Three Things I Learned in the First Year
My baby turned one today. I’ve been crying all week. Tears of joy, tears of sadness. Just tears. All week.
But as work started up again, I’ve had a daily hour long drive to reflect on Sam’s first year of life and my first year as a parent.
As a human, Sam’s doing a great job! He loves to eat. He’s exploring his world. He’s telling everyone how he feels in his own words. Killing it.
Me, however, as a new parent… I have some work to do.
I’m a good mom. I think everyone is a good mom doing the best you can and making the best choices for your baby. Go us! But I definitely know I have room for improvements.
- Put your phone down, Amanda. – I talk about this in our reflection video, too… I’m a millennial: I like social media. I love sharing pictures and videos all over Facebook. I also run an online business. I’m on my phone a lot; too much. Near the end of the summer, I started scheduling time to be off my phone and hang out with my kids. Yeah, I know I could have just put my phone down, but that didn’t work for me. So instead I said “This hour is for time with Sam,” I plugged my phone in in my bedroom, and went and played with my baby. It was liberating.
- Learn that my motherhood is not defined by a single decision. – I planned for an unmedicated birth. That didn’t happen. I planned to breastfeed until he was at least one. That didn’t happen. I planned to room share for 6-8 weeks and then move him to his crib. That didn’t happen. I planned for him to go to daycare. That did happen. I planned to do baby led weaning. That did happen. I planned to babywear. That did happen. Sometimes, plans happen. Sometimes, plans don’t happen. None of these single decisions I made as my son’s mother make or break my motherhood. My husband and I make the best decisions we can for him in the moment with the information we have. And he is happy and healthy. Going into year two, I’m trying to let go of the anxiety that the “what ifs” give me, make the best choices I can as Sam’s mom, and live to try another day.
- It’s okay to take time for yourself. – All three things on this list are a work in progress. But this one is going to be the most difficult for me. Sometimes, being a wife and mom feels like my identity; like that’s all I am. But it’s not. It wasn’t before my baby and it won’t be when he grows up. I am a teacher, a sister, a (wannabe) runner, a movie fanatic, a clearance-shopping guru, a do-it-yourself spa-er, an individual. And even as a wife and a mom, it’s important to continue to be an individual, if only for the fact that you will probably get burned out. I did and I will again. I plan on trying to communicate with my hubby when I really just need some me time and being very specific on what that means.
I am so excited for year two and to see what my little man becomes. I am also excited to grow as a mom and an individual.
What lessons did you take away from your baby’s first year?