I HAVE managed to keep two helpless, needy humans alive for a year now! And while I don’t claim to be an expert of any sort (far from it!), I do however feel it makes me eligible to share 10 things I’ve learned about being a parent this past year:1. You’re very much entitled to say “don’t touch my baby until you’ve washed your hands” or “don’t kiss my baby on the mouth”. If they fail to comply, you’re entitled to punch them.
2. You can spend a fortune on expensive, educational toys; but an empty water bottle will have them in raptures far longer than any Fischer Price/Leapfrog creation.
3. Clothes under one year old: 90% of what you need are pajamas and onesies. Only about 10% are actually
outfits for going out. Buy as the occasion/function approaches. I learnt this the hard way…Donating bags of expensive baby dresses, pinafores, skinny jeans (what was I thinking!) to other people.
4. You will fret about every single decision you make. EVERY. SINGLE. decision. You will worry about which diapers prevent nappy rash and when to start solids. You’ll analyze the pros and cons of walking rings and will spend more time researching and deciding on a stroller than you will a house or a car. You will question your car seat choice at least 5 times a day. You will put on, then promptly take off your baby’s jacket in an effort to psychically determine if she’s too hot or cold. Which is what makes the next point so hard to believe…
5. You will be judged. By other moms. By family. By know-it-all it friends with kids. By “well-meaning” friends without kids. Heck, even strangers. You will be judged if you breastfeed. You will be judged if you don’t. You will judged if you use cloth diapers or disposables. You will be judged if you do BLW, or if you feed purées. You will be judged for co-sleeping, sleep training, too many hugs and kisses (you’re spoiling), too little hugs and kisses (you’re abandoning). Basically, you will be judged for just about every decision you make and this judging is normally swiftly followed by a piece of “expert” advice.
6. You’ll come up short.
Hold yourself against those crazy standards on social media (Pinterest moms, anyone?), TV, your real-life friends or even your own mom, and you’ll almost always come up short. The pressure to be “Supermom” has never been greater.
Be kind to yourself. Be gentle with your self-criticism. It’s a hard, hard job, this being a mom thing.
7. You’ll lower your standards
The first time my baby’s pacifier fell on the floor, I threw it away and gave her a brand new one. Who knew what was lurking on that floor? E-coli? Streptococcus? HIV? 😂Lol
As the months passed, that darn pacifier hit the floor more times than I care to remember… So now it’s down to the 5-second rule and a good blow. Yep, I have the ability to “blow” those germs right off any object.
Of course, your standards of safety, health and nutrition won’t slack… But you will stop sweating the little things. I have found Motherhood the best cure for OCD.
8. Your heart will burst with love. Not all the time. Most times you’ll feel inadequate, tired, depressed and overwhelmed… But there’ll be those moments in the darkness, when love will overtake you and give you a reason to go on. Not the obvious “when your baby smiles” or “grabs your finger” moments. But the time you make a weird sound and your baby tries to copy it: she’s emulating you, you’re her teacher!
Or when she’s screaming blue murder in her crib but quietens the moment you pick her up: you’re her comfort and her peace!
There’ll be a hundred moments like that when you’ll look at your child and realize that you would quiet literally and gladly lay down your life for this little person.
9. It goes SO SLOWLY. Those 1am-refusing-to-sleep-unless-I’m-rocked moments drag on by so slowly that every second feels like an hour. Those days when you stumble out of bed bleary-eyed, and manage your newborn on only a few broken fragments of sleep…those days when they just won’t eat, the house is a mess, and all you want is a shower…Those days seem like they will never end. Hang in there. It gets better, I promise.
10. It goes SO FAST.
In a blink of an eye you go from happy pregnant woman, to mom-of-a-toddler. It passes before you know it. The baby who craved your every touch now wants to be independent and crawl/walk in the other direction. It’s bittersweet and it arrives way, way too fast. Treasure every second. Yes, even those endless sleepless nights.
To everyone who helped me this past year, a million “thank you’s”! I credit you in the fine young girls Avalon and Harper are becoming. And to anyone who’s judged me, questioned my choices and to all the “Pinterest” moms…You know where to stick it!