The first year of motherhood can be a blur what with having to adjust to and care for a newborn and also recover from delivery. While getting into a routine can seem like a distant dream, the first year of motherhood also comes with its fair share of surprising lessons.
Three women shared some of the lessons they learned in the first twelve months with their newborns.
Ever changing baby
‘You will be a different parent every morning to a child who will also be different, sometimes changing in just hours, or minutes, or before your eyes,’ Karyn wrote, in a post on Motherly.
The first year of motherhood will see your baby going through different changes from facial appearance to eating habits and developing their personality. The key is to take each milestone as it comes and adjusting accordingly. Don’t restrict yourself to only doing things in a certain way because what worked today might not work tomorrow.
Karyn says, “For whatever reason, people love to weigh in on babies—everyone has an opinion, and everyone wants to share.”
The key to managing all these so-called advisors is to learn to appear to listen to all of them but then choosing what works for you and sticking to it. Avoid getting defensive or trying to apply every piece of advice you get. Remember that what worked for another baby may not necessarily work for yours.
The hard times are just a phase
“Everything is a phase. I just repeat that whenever we are going through a particularly rough patch. Nothing lasts forever,” Cassie penned on her blog.
Colic, difficulty latching, refusing to feed, irregular sleeping habits, etc. All this is just a phase. It will pass eventually. Another plus, as your child gets older and settles into a regular routine, you will forget all about those hard times.
Your emotions get torn apart
In an article on Motherly, Antonia wrote, “I thought I knew emotions before—love, empathy, hope, sadness—but you peeled back those layers until my soul was exposed to every part of this world, both good and bad.”
Love becomes more intense. Many mothers say they didn’t know how much they could love until they met their child. Also, some others have said motherhood is like having your heart walking about outside your body.
Antonia continues to say, “I didn't know how the news would make me ache. I couldn't separate myself from the mothers in the news stories that were without shelter, without food, and in many cases without hope. I held you and I cried feeling their pain like it was my own.”
You need to make time for self-care
With a newborn in the house it’s possible to forget about taking care of yourself. There will even be days when you struggle to fit in a five-minute shower. However, self-care is extremely important, as Cassie discovered.
She wrote, “I have to take care of myself to take care of her. No, I can’t fit in a two-hour gym session anymore, but I can fit in a 10 minute walk and a glass of freaking water. And I have to fit it in, because she’s counting on me.”
You will make mistakes and that’s okay
Karyn advices, “Gather wisdom around you. Learn from your mistakes. Stay humble. Stay open. When you know better, do better. Be a better parent tomorrow than you were today, always, every day, as often as you can. Try things out and leave them behind shamelessly if they don't work out.”
There’s no blueprint on how to raise a baby. There are only guidelines. Keeping this in mind will motivate you when you try something and it fails. Use each failure as an opportunity to learn.