It doesn’t feel that long ago when I wrote about my first three months of motherhood. Now, a full year has gone by! I have my own first year of motherhood lessons. While they may not apply to everyone I hope they can resonate with someone.
First Year of Motherhood Lessons
Sleep and energy dramatically change
The first three months of motherhood honestly were a bit of a blur for me. Having a baby means that your sleep schedule gets thrown off. You have to get up in the middle of the night to feed. There’s sleep regression. You have to sleep train your little ones. Not mention they’re up early pretty much every day. All of these things mean my bedtime is now a lot earlier than before and I really enjoy my morning coffee.
Your patience and willpower will be tested.
It takes a lot of patience (and deep breathing) to manage a seemingly inconsolable baby. Sleep training alone is a test of willpower. Sometimes my daughter knocks over my coffee or cries the entire car ride home no matter what I do to calm her. There are days where I want to yell in frustration or throw my hands up in defeat. There are days where I have. I do my best to remind myself that those moments are temporary and will pass. Nonetheless, the tests will come.
There will be plenty of opinions on your motherhood. You do you.
Plenty of people have opinions on what they believe you can, cannot, should, and should not do for your child. These opinions can prove to be overwhelming, annoying, frustrating, and even upsetting. However, YOU DO YOU. You can choose to agree or disagree. Yes, there will be pushback. They may side-eye or continue to voice their opinions. Nonetheless, it’s your child. It’s your motherhood. You’re in charge. You do you.
Take time to take care of yourself.
I’ve learned throughout my first year that self-care is important and necessary. You need to get adequate rest. Make sure you get a shower and brush your teeth. Prioritize your own physical and mental heath. Schedule time to relax and socialize with others. Treat yourself when you can. If you aren’t at your best you can’t be the best for others. I’ve increased my self-awareness and mindfulness. I check in with myself to make sure I’m doing ok. I remind myself I am just as important as my daughter and I deserve to be cared for too.
It’s probably the hardest and most rewarding thing you’ll do.
I don’t think it would have made much of a difference if I had known for nine months that I was having a baby. Sure, I could have had more time process the fact that I was becoming a mother. I may have had more time to buy baby items and read parenting books. But you really don’t know what your journey of motherhood is going to be like until your little one arrives. Even the most experienced mom will probably tell you that each child and the first year of motherhood lessons you learn are different. Motherhood hasn’t been easy. I have experienced some of my lowest moments during this first year of motherhood. However, the good sometimes even great moments have made this journey worthwhile. I look forward to the many years to come.