The things I’ve learned in my first year as a mommy

Posted on: December 16, 2011

My first year as a parent has been a long road.  I’ve learned many things along the way about myself and what it means to be a parent.  Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned and some things I’ve experienced this past year.

1).  No matter how many books you read when you’re pregnant, how many people you talk to, or what you do, you will NEVER be prepared to be a parent.  If you’re reading this and you are pregnant with your first child, I’m sorry, but it’s true.  You may read some of the best parenting books out there, but until you hold that tiny little baby in your arms for the first time, you won’t truly know what it’s like and how joyous and how difficult parenting can be.

2).  The second your child is born, your life changes FOREVER.  All of a sudden, you have this miniature person you’re responsible for.  In an instant your life goes from being all about you and your significant other to being all about the baby.  EVERYTHING, and I mean EVERYTHING, revolves around them.

3).  Trying to leave your house takes twice as long as it used to.  Good luck being on time for anything!  First, you have to prepare the diaper bag and make sure you have all the necessities (diapers, wipes, extra set of clothes, burp cloths, toys/rattles, bottle, bib, pacifier, baby food).  If you’re like me, you try to always have the diaper bag stocked and ready to go but there is always that one item you forget about and need to grab on your way out the door. Second, you have to put the baby in the car seat and stroller.  Seems easy enough, right?  Maybe when your baby is 2 months old and doesn’t do much, but once they hit that 6 month mark and are more squirmy and start to develop their personalities, they might have their own ideas about the car seat and if they’d like to be in it or not.  Third, as soon as you’re all ready to walk out the door, you smell it…the dirty diaper.  Yep, you have to take the baby out of the car seat, go into his room, and change his diaper.  And, if your child is anything like mine, they’ll wiggle and squirm all over making the diaper change take twice as long as it should.  Eventually you finally finish and head out.  Of course, it’s 20 minutes later than you wanted to leave…

4).  After your baby is born, all the attention goes to the baby and you get ignored.  I remember walking into church and people would run over, look at “G” in the stroller and say, “Hi little man.  Hi G” and never say one word to me.  Or, they’d eventually look up and say, “Oh, hi Leah”, making me an after thought.  This is what it’s like:  You walk into a room anywhere and people flock to see the baby and start oooing and ahhing over him and act like you’re not there.  I wish I could say this one wasn’t true, but it is.  New moms sometimes go through this phase where you feel invisible and wonder if anyone will remember you’re still around.  Eventually, the newness of the baby wears off and people start to give you attention again and you feel better but, they still flock to your baby first…

5).  Being a parent is like riding a roller coaster; you have extreme highs and extreme lows with some twists and turns in the middle.  I’ve had days with my son that have just been full of pure joy and happiness.  I’ve also had days where I’ve wanted to pull my hair out and scream at the top of my lungs.  Then there are the days where you experience both joy and stress.  And, let’s not forget about the never-ending feeling of exhaustion.  Ah yes, parenting is a roller coaster ride…

6).  While being a parent is the most challenging experience I’ve ever gone through, it’s also the most wonderful.  I never knew that a child could bring so much joy and love into my life.  I can’t even begin to describe to you the way it feels.  The love you have for your son or daughter and the joy they bring into your life is different from how you feel about any other person.  It is a very unique and special relationship and I am so very grateful God has blessed my husband and I with this amazing gift of being parents.

2 Responses to "The things I’ve learned in my first year as a mommy"

It really is funny how everything changes . . . and that there are literally NO words to adequately describe . . .

Exactly! No words…

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