Hello, my beautiful southern beauties! I can’t believe these words as I type them… my firstborn has turned ONE. What a rollercoaster it has been! The best rollercoaster I’ve ever been on. In this post, I’ll be laying out what I’ve learned the most in my first year of motherhood. Maybe some of it will resonate with you, maybe it won’t. Regardless, I’m glad you’re here and let’s jump right in!
1. It’s okay to cry… a lot.
This is a tough one for me! I tend to associate crying with weakness within myself. I’m a type 7 on the enneagram (any fans??) and will suppress any negative emotion until it becomes unhealthy. Well, over the past year, I’ve had to realize that the term “crying it out” not only applies to baby, but mom, too. There have been countless days and nights of crying for various reasons: feeling like I’m not a good mom, crying just because (hormones), feeling like I’m not socializing him enough, feeling like I’m failing as a mother. Not only are those lies from Satan, but those are very real postpartum thoughts that need attention. I’m so thankful for my tribe who I can vent and cry to. It’s been vital in my new role as a mom.
2. I’m not going to have it all together all of the time.
Oh, the perception of getting showered, ready, packed diaper bag, baby dressed, in the car, ready to rock and roll by 9am expectations. HA! That reality hit the fan rather quickly. Nope. Didn’t happen as I imagined it. Except for the days when we have commitments, you can find us in our jammies probably until 2pm, just trying to make it through the day with proper feedings, nap times and diaper changes. I had to let expectation go early on because I knew it was just not possible to have it all together ALL OF THE TIME. What I’ve learned? It’s OKAY! I actually really enjoy the days when we’re at home in our jammies soaking up each other’s company and bonding. Oh, and some advice for new moms out there, go ahead and get up way earlier than you anticipated because you are DEFINITELY going to take much longer to get ready (you’re tired) and probably forget something on your way out. I can’t count how many times I’ve circled the block to grab the one thing I needed that day.
3. I’m allowed to feel overwhelmed.
Whew. This one’s a biggie. Probably the most significant change for me in my first year of being a mother. Any mom knows there’s A TON that goes into being the mom. There’s a whole lot of behind the scenes that people don’t see. When I hear, “Look at that handsome little boy all happy and smiley! Thank you. I couldn’t agree more. In my head, ‘We had a full-blown blowout twice this morning and had to change clothes each time. He’s been fussy all morning and only wants me to hold him. He’s following me to the kitchen and bathroom, so desperate to eat but mama’s really got to use the ladies room after having a single cup of cold coffee. I didn’t have a chance to shower and feel like a scrub. My arm is killing me and on the verge of being numb from holding him all morning. He screamed profusely getting into his car seat and kept throwing his toys on the floor, crying even more. But here we are!’ Being overwhelmed is the new normal for me and I’m okay with it. I love my little boy to pieces. The takeaway, make sure to give the mamas in your life some grace, yourself included.
I am the most impatient person on the planet, I can admit it. I’d like to refer back to me being a type 7 on the enneagram (the enthusiast), in hopes that maybe that makes up for it? Maybe? No? Okay, no problem. I have a problem and I can admit it. I’ll tell ya this. Becoming a mom has taught me more patience in the last year than in the last 27 years of my life! It’s no longer my schedule, my expectations of the day, or my preferred way of how something is going to go down. Nope. It’s my babe’s schedule and let me tell you, I’m HERE for it. With becoming a mom, the unexplainable love and care for my babe far outweighs any negative or disappointing expectation I had. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still working on the patience thing in general, but my boy teaches me so much every day that I’m eternally grateful for.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
ALRIGHT, Y’ALL. I’ve saved the hardest for last (for me). At first, I was determined to do everything myself. I thought that if I couldn’t do it, then I wasn’t being a good mom. That is so far from the truth! I needed help and still do to this very day. Earlier, I mentioned my tribe and how thankful I am for them. It couldn’t be more true. That’s what family and friends are for. As much as I disliked it, I had to swallow my pride and ask for help, which was actually highly anticipated by my loved ones! They wanted to help!! Silly ‘ol me didn’t realize that it was that easy to ask and that it was also welcomed with open arms. Mamas, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your tribe wants to help you and hug your neck. Now, I reach out to my fellow mamas and ask them how they’re doing and if they need any help. There’s a beautiful and supporting community of moms out there for every mom.
That’s all I’ve got for now! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my thoughts and what I’ve learned this past year. I can’t believe my baby boy is growing up right before my eyes! Time, slow down! Thank you, Lord, for our beautiful son and for blessing us with the opportunity to be his parents. May we always be in Your Will. In Jesus Name, Amen.