Being a new mom is anything but easy, but with time, patience (lots of it!), and the support of your family and friends, you can (and will) get through it! I was extremely scared about becoming a first-time mom, I had no idea what to expect. The advice and stories from others definitely didn’t prepare me for the real thing, and I don’t think anything ever could have. It’s a whole new life!
Now that my daughter is about to be one year old, I often find myself thinking back on to what a crazy, roller coaster year this has been. The first year of motherhood is exhausting yet joyful, frustrating yet exciting, and every other little emotion that you can think of all at once.
Even though motherhood is a constant learning process, here are the 10 main things that I learned throughout my first year as a mom.
1. Privacy… Well, there is no such thing anymore. I’ve learned to adjust to having a constant shadow crawling behind me everywhere I go (even if this is to the shower or the bathroom!). There are no limits.
2. The word “mom” can never be repeated enough! Since my daughter’s vocabulary has now expanded to just a few words, “mom” and “mama” seem to be her favorite ones, over and over and over again! But I love every moment.
3. It is okay to cry and need alone time once in awhile. This is a must. Alone time, even for a short while, is extremely important for yourself and your mental health so you don’t get or feel overwhelmed. So to all moms, don’t be afraid to go pick up your favorite wine and relax in your (temporarily) quiet bubble bath!
4. I now have a clear understanding when other parents would tell me how fast time goes by. It really does! I’m still having trouble with the thought that my daughter is already walking.
5. Getting help is OKAY. I know a lot of us don’t like to accept help from others, but throughout this crazy time full of adjustments, stress, and sleep deprivation, it very much needed and appreciated!
6. I never knew that I could love another human being as much as I love my daughter. She is my whole world and her smile warms my heart. I couldn’t picture my life without her and I would do anything to protect her. It’s a whole new love and connection that only a mother could understand, and now I know what that means when my mom used to tell me, “when you have your own child, you’ll understand.”
7. Babies go through many, many stages (good and bad). This might include hair pulling, teething, pinching, biting, temper tantrums, and other emotional or personality changes. My daughter is constantly changing and forming her own little personality, and I can’t seem to keep up!
8. Patience is key!
9. Going back to day one, I never knew how hard recovery would be. With shifting hormones and anxiety, while also having to adapt to having a little one, I learned how much my mom had to go through with me when I was a baby and found a new appreciation for all moms.
10. Bonding with your baby isn’t always immediate. It could take days or even weeks. And that’s okay. Unfortunately, I suffered from postpartum depression in addition to my whirlwind of hormones and it took me awhile to fight through it. But it did get better with time and strength. (Note: While I had a mild case of postpartum depression, more serious postpartum depression requires medical intervention. Please consult with your doctor if you are experiencing daily bouts of sadness, fatigue, insomnia, hopelessness, loss of appetite or you have thoughts of harming yourself or your baby).
Do you remember what your first year as a mom was like? If you aren’t a mom yet, what things are you looking forward to the most?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!