Monday, March 11, 2013

5 things I've learned during my first year as a mom

There are so many other things I have learned over the last 14 months I've spent as a new mom, and I'll share some of them in another post on another day. These first five things have just been weighing heavily on my mind lately, and so I finally made myself sit down and type them up today.

1. You'll do a lot of things you said you never would.  For example, 'Did you hear so-and-so is co-sleeping? I'll never let my baby sleep in my bed...' or 'I'd never let my baby eat in the carseat' or 'I'll never let my baby have a pacifier after they're a year old'.  Basically?  Just don't say never in regards to what you won't do as a parent and you'll probably be ok.  And just for the record, when I'd read posts like this before Riggs was born, I'd always think to myself, 'Oh, they just gave in too easily, I know I'll never...' HAHAHAHAHAHA.

2.  It's not gross when it's your baby.  Or maybe that should say it's not as gross, but still, you get the idea.  I knew this would happen, that I'd be pooped on, peed on, spit up on, or 'forced' to eat a pre-chewed puff by my adorable smiling son who is so excited to be sharing. But I know it's really, completely, totally true when I see my germophobic husband taking a sip out of my son's sippy cup when it's offered, with a big smile, even though we can both see the little bits of food from what ever Riggs was eating on the straw. That is true love right there!

3.  You'll cry when you watch or read the news, because you now see every story from a mothers perspective and you imagine if it was your baby.  This is so true for me - any sad story involving a child just breaks my heart because all I can think about it if it were Riggs - poor little guy gets smothered with hugs from a crazy, crying mama whenever there's an especially sad story on the news. My advice?  Just don't even watch or read any news, ever.

4.  You'll hate it when people say 'this too shall pass', especially because it always does pass, and then you miss whatever stage was giving you so much grief.  This hasn't actually been too much of a problem for me so far, maybe because Riggs is really a very easy baby.  But I also think that I've managed to embrace nearly all of the hard moments that having a baby will bring about, because for some reason I am just so painfully aware of how fast my little guy is changing and how fuzzy memories get, even memories that are just days old. I remember when he was waking up three or four times in a twelve hour night of sleep. I would just want to lay in bed so badly, until I was holding him in my arms, barely able to see his little face as he nursed in the darkness. And sometimes tears would fill my eyes as I saw glimpses of him in the future, when he wouldn't be breastfeeding anymore, and when he would spend his days at school instead of here with me, and when (choke) he would move away and not even live with me anymore. And with my head filled with those thoughts, I clung to those moment with him in the middle of the night that would never come again.

Yesterday I watched as Riggs tried so hard, over and over, to climb on the couch by himself.  I had to banish that little bit of frustration that started to creep into my thoughts as I stayed close, unable to accomplish anything 'important' because I had to keep my eye on my crazy climber. Today I wish I would have paid a little closer attention and even taken a short video of his attempts, because he can now climb up (and down) with ease, and it's hard to realize that another little bit of his baby-ness has faded away into the shadowy realm of memory.

5.  You'll be so excited to get out of the house by yourself, and then you'll just want to go home, because you'll miss your baby so much.  Am I the only one here?  This is such a 'problem' for me.  Steve and I didn't go on a date by ourselves until Riggs was 10 months old (crazy in itself, I know, but we love spending time with our little guy) and after about an hour we were both wondering what Riggs was doing.  Steve told me to text my mom to see how he was doing.  We looked at the pictures she sent us and felt a little better, as it was obvious he was having a blast.  We shopped around a little bit and enjoyed walking and talking together without any distractions.  But when it was time to go to the movie we had planned on seeing, we both looked at each other and decided to skip the movie...we wanted to see our Riggy!

Please be sure to comment and share your thoughts on my list, I always love hearing about other the experiences other mama's have had during their first year with a new baby!


  1. All of it... SO true! And then it just keeps multiplying the longer they're in your life and the more kids you have! Motherhood is not for the faint of heart... ( And just for the record, I probably said I would never say these things before I was a mom.) :)

  2. Great list, Whitney! I can relate to all of them. #3 was the biggest surprise to me as a mom. I'm not very emotional unless something really big and important is happening. Even during pregnancy, I didn't cry or get emotional like a lot of women do. However, after S was born, that is another story! Just like you described, I get sad and teary anytime I hear negative news related to families and kids. As for #5, that is exactly how we are! We only been out without him twice. The first time was when he was 16 months old, and we missed him the entire time. A lot of people I know with kids think we are nuts. Glad to see you understand :-)

  3. I am SO here with you on all of these!!