My First Year As A Mom

Never did I image writing a personal blog about all that I have experienced over this past year.

Tears. Laughter.Unimaginable Challenges. And even more laughter.

Now if only I could sum up my first year as a Mom in so many words. Throughout the year I jotted down things that I wanted to remember. Things that meant something to me and that maybe I had no idea they were even things that existed. I also asked the Mom’s in this amazing baby group I am part of to tell me what their experience was. We have all been together since we peed on a stick. It has been amazing getting to know these ladies. So here are just a few things about my first year as a new Mom (they are pretty random) as well as others from my Mom friends.

I get bored and exhausted all in the same moment. I used the expression “rewind & repeat” a lot this year because that is what it felt like, especially in the beginning. Everything repeated itself every 2-4 hours. Eat, sleep repeat. As Mason got older the time just spread out a bit. So I would be bored with the routine of it all. Wake up. Change diaper. Eat. Nap. Repeat. But in between all of those the emotional and mental part this all play in your day to day life was exhausting. This little human slithering, crawling, walking around was boring and exhausting all in the same. Who knew.

The day and days after he came were not at all what I thought it would be like. I had this big picture of having an amazing labor, having tons of visitors in the hospital and leaving 2 days later while skipping to my front door step baby in hand. Instead we were in the hospital for 5 days. I could barely walk, let alone skip. And it was like this for about 3 weeks (due to complications during delivery). It was hard. It was emotional. And it was nothing I could have every planned for or imagined. I actually think it is funny all the pain we go through delivering a baby, and then still can complain that things hurt afterwards. You would think nothing could hurt you ever again, because all Moms are pretty much super hero’s in my books.

I can’t do it alone. As much as I like to think I can do everything alone, this one, I just really can’t. Simple tasks like grocery shopping and showering were no longer easy.

You will no longer get invited…anywhere. I don’t honestly think people do this intentionally but I think a lot is assumed once you have a baby. People assume you no longer have time or you are just too busy. And while that may be true, an invite out to do something with adults WITHOUT a baby attached to your leg has never been more attractive.

Things are just harder. The smallest simplest things just become so much work.

There are so many firsts that just blow your mind. Rolling over. Eating food. Walking. The feeling you get when these happen is beyond anything you can imagine.

Things have changed. 30 years ago we rode in cars with just a booster seat( if that) and slept with blankets. Things have evolved and changed. It can make things very confusing and hard.

My husband is one amazing person. He held my newborn son to my body so I could try and nurse him even though I didn’t have the strength to hold him to me. He took Mason to his first immunizations because I was too scared. And he changed every single diaper for almost 2 weeks after he came home from the hospital. He held me as I cried. He listened to me when I screamed and he just let me be me. The new me, the frustrated, confused and scared me. He was there for me like I couldn’t have ever imagined a person could be. And not just when he wanted to, but every single day. There were good days and there were bad days and he was there for every one.

Sleep. Well you know how they say get it while you can. They tell you this when you are hugely pregnant and can’t even sleep at that point either. I honestly wish you could bank sleep. Like sleep 14 hours one night and spread it between a few others. That would be a dream. Mason was always a pretty rough sleeper. He would have a couple weeks where he would sleep 6-8 hours a night and then go right back to being up every other. He even went about a month where he was up every 45 minutes screaming his face off. Whoever created the term, sleeping like a baby is really truly on crack. Finally at 11 months old Mason started sleeping 12 hours straight. If someone had told me in the beginning that it would take 11 months for him to sleep that long, well I just wouldn’t have believed them.

I always said I was way too selfish to have kids. I am bratty and I want what I want. This didn’t really change when Mason came except for the fact that he comes first. His snotty running nose comes before my nice clean sweater. His hot cooked dinner comes before my cold left over one. And his happiness above all comes before mine. I would go to the end of the world to make sure he was happy.

Life changed. Life changed fast. I knew to expect that there were no longer going to be weekend events like all night drinking binges or anything like that but I didn’t expect that at 6pm everything shut down for us. That was time for Mason to have a bath and get to bed. Which then means I had to be here with him.

Maternity leave is great but can be lonely. I forgot that everyone else still had jobs to do.

I’ve never been one to care what other people think of me. Wow did that change. What if he cries? What if he poops? What if he spits up? What will people think? There is this non-stop judging that seems to happen the minute you put a parent hat on. It’s hard to not let it get to you but it has taught me one thing. To not do it myself. Every Mom or Dad out there is just doing the best they know how to. There is no rule book (man there should be one). There is just you, your feelings, and what you believe in.

Dogs and kids just do not go together. My dogs used to be my babies. Who knew that their food, their hair, their poop, their everything would become such a hassle once babies came.

Clueless. Completely and utterly clueless. I remember leaving the hospital thinking okay now what. Like how do I know when to feed him or if something’s wrong or anything at all for that matter. But…you just do.

When you think you have it all figured out, you don’t. Things change by the minute. Being a huge planner, this was really hard for me.

I cried. A LOT. Sometimes Mason would look at me and literally come give me a hug. Sometimes they would be sad tears. Sometimes they would be tears of love. And sometimes they would be tears of disbelief. Either way there were a lot of tears.

I thought I was a worrier before I had a kid. Holy Moly. I am pretty sure I can come up with a way that the sky could possibly fall and hurt my kid. The amount of unimaginable things this brain of mine has come up with since he came is absolutely crazy.

Thank the lord for the internet and my baby group. I remember when a friend added me to this group when I was about 4 months pregnant. I thought to myself, oh great a group of hormonal ladies, this should go over well. Well almost 2 years later and we are all still together. We have watched our bellies turn into babies turn into kids together and it has been such a blessing. We all went through everything at the same time (our due dates were all within a few months of each other). It was so nice knowing that someone else is there. Someone is crying with you. Someone is worrying with you. Someone is just as clueless as you are and they were there for me the whole step of the way.

Although life changed I made a point to make sure my life still went on. It took me a while to do this, as I sat in a big gigantic funk for a long time, but it was important to know that even though we now had Mason, our lives don’t stop. They go on with that much more joy in them. Finding Mason a place in our lives was the best outlook we could have ever had rather than changing our lives to revolve around him.

It gets easier. Then it gets harder. Then it gets easier again.

Date nights are important.

I never felt so vulnerable. So in love. So different.

Pancakes are okay for dinner

Being a Mom can be lonely

When they say you will be overwhelmed by the amount of laundry, I thought it would just be baby stuff. I never imagined how dirty my own clothes would get on a daily basis.

I never knew how rewarding staying up really late and just watching my baby sleep would be

Unsolicited advice will happen way too often

When you look at the other Mom in Wal-Mart who appears to have it all together, remember that it just appears that way…and it probably appears you do too

Overall, I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.  Or that my heart could love something so small this much.

And now a few words from my wonderful Mom friends…

You’re NEVER ready or prepared for a baby.
Unsolicited advice will happen daily, learn to listen but go with your instincts
Schedules do not exist
You will never be on time again!!
Patience is a virtue

Although I had taken care of kids and sick kids at work before having a baby, I thought I was prepared. Well, I kind of was, except, my shift never ends and I don’t get 3 days off to myself. Get ready to have your side-kick with you 24/7, a huge loss of personal time.

Treasure each moment (good or bad)
Schedules never go as planned
Your house will never be the same clean again
Take time for yourself

You will never love another person the way u love your child. There will be many many nights when u get barely any sleep… But u will live through it and love them just the same. Be patient. Don’t worry what stage your baby is at… They all grow so differently you can’t compare their accomplishments. Try to spend as much time with them as you can because they grow so fast. Make sure to keep your husband a priority too as it is a team effort to raise a baby/family. Do things for yourself that u enjoy … Be sure baby spends time with others as well so isn’t afraid to be left with someone else. Don’t let others opinions on the way u raise a child upset you… Everyone has an opinion about everything and always do what u feel is right.

I love my daughter with my whole being. I cannot get enough of her. When I’m away from her, I miss her.
However, life has changed and will never ever be the same. There is no alone time, I am always thinking of her well being (even in my sleep me thinks!) I am going to cry my eyes out when I go back to work. One year of mat leave is not enough – they’re still babies! Everything happens in a blink. Literally – I cannot savor the moments enough.
Let baby experience everything he/she can. Breathe fresh air, soak in sunlight and be with good people.
Although I think about how easy my life was before and how carefree I lived – there is not one thing I would change now.

Murphy’s Law for babies:

1. They will always take marathon naps when you plan to be somewhere after nap time.
2. You will spend exorbitant amounts of money on toys to have them prefer boxes/shoes/tupperware.
3. The better their wardrobe gets, the worse yours gets.
4. You will vow to be the best mom and give only organic food/breastfeed/have them sleep in their crib and then throw some if not all of the vows out the window just to survive.

At the end of the day, if your baby is fed, dry and loved, you’re doing a good job.

The first year with a baby is super rough on your marriage

It’s ok not to enjoy staying at home.

When people say they grow so fast, they really REALLY do! It’s so easy to get caught up in daily routines and lose track of time. Time feels like it’s standing still for a while and then it feels like you blink and they’re 6 months, or a year…

Routines are great, but if baby has older siblings sometimes you just have to go with the flow and take catnaps when you can get them. And drive around the block to get baby to sleep before activities (and have her inevitably wake up and need entertainment for the next hour…)

You are not prepared. You think you are, but you are not. You will mourn your old life while at the same time treasuring your new one. Every day that you think you can’t go on, it’s too hard – guess what? You can, and you will. This is now your life’s purpose. You will eat, sleep (or not sleep) and breathe your child. They will take take take and you will give give give and ask nothing in return except the unconditional love they have for you.

Your partner will think you have forgotten him, and he may be jealous. Include him, but understand that he will never “understand” and it will take him much longer to bond to the new family member. Make alone time for just the two of you, because men show affection physically. Once you’ve seduced him, TELL HIM what you need. His support is the most important.

Your body is no longer yours. When you birthed your baby, your heart moved outside you, and this is why you will carnally, with all your being, NEED to keep them close. Food spoils, babies don’t, so love your baby in every way you can.

… you will say “what’s wrong?” Like 73638 times a day and get no answer.

Although in the moment some things may seem painful (labor), unbearable (endless crying/sleepless nights) and tough (constant needs to be fulfilled), time fades these memories so quickly and turn into amazing memories. You look back and think, wow that wasn’t as bad as I thought it was in that moment. looking back, nothing seems as bad as it once felt.

You become obsessed with pees and poos. Not yours, but your baby’s

Hmmm, ok bad – I wasn’t prepared for how much it would change my relationship. We both give 100% to Stella so it’s impossible to give 100% to each other. We’re finding a balance, but its constant work. good – every day is an adventure with a baby. Everyday she does something new and you get to watch this tiny unaware human grow and explore the world. It’s truly fascinating. I feel like it makes you feel more connected to nature and you’re more primal self. I really love it. It’s given me a lot of perspective as well because I am always thinking of someone else before myself.

The daily (or hourly) reports. From me to hubby, or MIL to me, or Mom to me…”She ate this, pooped at this time and it was this big, slept from x time to x time” I didn’t think I would ever care about things like this so much. And you know, the diaper changes aren’t so bad- I thought I would dread them, but they come with the messy territory of taking care of baby, and I don’t even notice them anymore.

Lastly, time flies. So have fun.

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