Shew, what a year! Where did it go? Time is such a strange thing. In one way, I cannot remember not knowing my son, and in another I am scratching me head wondering… how it has already been a year?!
The first year is like this paradox…where the days are long and the year is short. It wasn’t always easy, to put it lightly. I have endured sleepless nights and countless ear infections. I have snapped at my husband when he did not deserve it. I have neglected myself and others at times. And I have messed up more times than I would care to admit.
But I have learned a lot along the way too.
1. Things don’t always go according to The Plan. I am an obsessive planner, and I like to always prepare and plan things in advance. Sometimes things just don’t work out they way you want them to.
I wanted so badly to exclusively breast feed my child, for example. But my body did not cooperate, despite my obsessive attempt to “fix” the problem for the first five months of his life.
I always pictured myself as a stay-at-home mom. My mom stayed home, and most of my friends moms did as well. At this stage in life though, given financial and other circumstances, it is just best if I continue to work full-time. I do enjoy the work I do, and I am so thankful for the job that I have, which allows me so much freedom and flexibility.
But I still cry sometimes after I drop him off at daycare. I will always wonder if I am doing the “right thing.” Even if that decision changes in the future, I will always wonder.
So I guess the lesson I learned was to adapt quicker, and resist reality less. There just isn’t enough time to dwell on what isn’t.
2. I cannot be all things all the time. I follow a lot of blogs, and I love the inspiration and ideas they give to me. But, I started to feel an obligation to implement all sorts of things…all at the same time! Make homemade baby food, start a blog, cook homemade meals every night, organize and de clutter, make my own bread, make decorating my house more of a priority, grocery shop with coupons…the list was ever-growing, and it just became ridiculous! It was this long list of should-do’s that just made me feel like I wasn’t adding up.
I have learned to have grace with myself. I have learned to accept that especially as long as there are tiny humans in my house, I will sometimes have to put a few things on hold. I now pick one project to focus on at a time. Just the day-to-day sometimes consumes my entire day most of the time. I am learning to accept that.
3. Love trumps perfection. Things may be a total chaotic mess some days, and I will likely continue to make mistakes with this parenthood journey. But I never want my boy to doubt how much I love him. Everything I do comes from a heart full of love. I know that is what matters most.
Some Year 1 Stats:
I am a self-professed-nerd. True to form, I have put together a few stats I have collected for my son’s first year:
- 12 weeks of maternity leave
- 25 trips to the pediatrician (the ones that made it on my calendar, anyway!)
- 1 set of ear tubes
- 2 chest x-rays
- 1 trip to the ER
- 1 trip to the zoo
- 5 out of town trips with baby in tow
- 2 nights spent away (travel for my work)
- 6 new teeth
- hundreds of smiles
- thousands of kisses
- infinite love
So there are my thoughts on the first year. Wonderful? Absolutely. Difficult? Heck yes. But every ounce of effort, every tear, every sleepless night…was totally worth it!
I have never felt a love so big and unconditional. Somebody told me that the love we feel for our children is the closest thing we will know or feel that compares to God’s love for us. I love that.
Happy birthday to my baby love!! You melt my heart every day.