The first year of motherhood can be rough. It’s a wonderfully awesome, exhausting, and thrilling ride. It’s the year that your life will completely turn upside down and right side up again. Your abilities and decisions will never be in question more often than during this first year.
While it is a beautiful moment in time, it doesn’t come without its hardships. Through all of it, though, comes new life understanding and growth. Below are just a few things that I have learned in this first year of motherhood.
Don’t Blink Mama
When times are tough and you feel like your going to completely collapse from exhaustion. Remember that this will not last forever!
“This too shall pass” as they say.
Yes, there will come a day, you will look back and actually miss these times.
It’s so easy to take for granted the passing moments in our day-to-day lives, especially when we are worn-out. But this first year will fly by, so you’d better strap in and hold on tight!
Try your best to cling to every moment and soak it up as long as you can.
That tiny little face and body will change extremely fast in this first year – faster than any year to come, in fact!
Believe me, as a new mother I never imagined that I would just turn around one day and see a little toddler running around.
As hectic and tiring and crazy as this first year can be, it is also an incredibly magical time – so don’t blink!
Breastfeeding does get easier
One thing I didn’t realize before becoming a mother was that breastfeeding was so much more than just putting the baby up to your breast and letting them drink.
I quickly became aware that it was not quite as easy as that. But, if you make it to the end of the first year, you’ll seriously have it down!
Honestly, you get to a point where you don’t really even care if people see your boobs!
Well, you might a little, but you definitely will get more comfortable with just whipping them out when you need to.
Just remember, that while it can be difficult at times, it is well worth the effort!
Be patient with yourself and your baby, and take comfort in knowing that you are giving your child exactly what their little body needs.
Trust Your Instincts!
No one, and I mean NO ONE knows your baby better than you do.
Your instincts are everything when it comes to good parenting.
One of the reasons the first year can be so difficult is because your baby can’t communicate with you all that clearly.
Spend time with your little, hold them close, observe them. You will find that they speak much louder than you think, even if they can’t talk yet.
Follow your instincts and you can’t go wrong. It’s the secret to life (or at least to motherhood).
Accept a new sleep schedule
If you’re one of those rare few who’s babies slept through the night ever since you brought them home from the hospital than consider yourself lucky! You can skip this section.
But for the rest of us… we’ll have to get used to a little sleep deprivation.
This means no more sleeping in on weekends, or going to bed early because you feel tired. No more eight consecutive hours of sleep or waking up feeling incredibly rested.
Sad, I know, but you will be amazed at how much you can function and actually thrive on little to no sleep. It’s like you get mommy super powers or something!
Don’t fret too much, there will come a time when you get to sleep like a normal person again.
In the meantime, however, you will adapt to your new sleep schedule and further appreciate those nights when you happen to get a little more shut-eye than usual.
Give Yourself A Break
Things won’t be perfect all the time and that’s okay!
I have a bit of a ‘clean freak/type-A’ personality in me, so it was definitely difficult for me at times to not get down on myself (still is).
But it’s important to remember not to get discouraged or upset with yourself just because it maybe takes you four days to get the laundry folded and put away.
Your mommy duties are always going to take priority and that is a GOOD thing! If they didn’t, your children would suffer.
So go easy on yourself when it comes to house chores and daily to-dos. Focus on meeting your baby’s needs and the rest can wait.
That goes without saying, don’t forget to…
Ask For Help When You Need It
Don’t feel like you need to be everything to everyone all the time.
This do-it-all mentality that many moms seem to think they should have, can be really damaging over the course of time.
If you need help, ask for it! Especially in that first year, but really, always.
Communicate with your significant other, let him know that you are struggling and be specific about what you need him to do for you. Or call up grandma and have her come over for a couple of hours to help with laundry.
If you can afford it, hire a housekeeper. Even if it’s just for that first few months, it will really take a huge load off your shoulders.
Self-Care is Key
While motherhood is definitely a blessing, it is also emotionally, mentally, and physically challenging. Many mothers report that they feel as though they’ve lost their identity within this first year.
This is why I believe it is so crucial to engage in a regular self-care practice.
Taking care of ourselves is one of the best ways that we can take care of our children. You have to be full, in order to give.
So take the necessary time for yourself to recharge and renew. You will be a better parent for it.
Download your FREE copy of this Self-care guide for more information.
Also, if you’re looking for things to do during your self-care time, check out this post.
You’ve made it through your first year! It’s your momiversary! What have you learned this first year? Let me know in the comments.