My baby turned one this week. There are extended family gatherings to come, but in the meantime we celebrated just the three of us with a carrot cake cupcake topped with cream cheese icing and a diy busy board that is almost finished (I totally felt pressure to have it done for his actual birthday but, let’s face it, this year James didn’t even notice). And now that it’s past I’m thinking on the year and how our lives have changed. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way:
You’ll parent differently than everyone around you and you’ll feel pressure to parent like everyone else. Do what works for you and don’t yourself go and judge other parents. We’re all doing the best we can and in the end, whether breastfed or bottle fed, babies that are fed and loved are going to turn out fine.
You’ll parent differently than you thought you would. That’s ok too. If you plan to cloth diaper but decide against it because it seems like way to much work that’s fine.
Be easy on yourself. You will get super frustrated when you’re tired and the crying won’t stop (put the baby down and walk away if you have to). You will accidentally bump your kids head on something as you’re carrying them. This does not make you a bad mum or dad. Parenting is hard work and full of ups and downs. If you made it out of bed in the morning (even if only to get baby and hop back in) you are doing so so well.
Learn to be flexible. Babies rarely live by your schedule so most of your days are constantly changing, which can be difficult for someone like me who likes to plan, but it’s something you can grow in (I have!).
You’ll be able to get by on less sleep than you ever thought you would and you won’t be a zombie (ok some days you will be but you’ll be alright most days!).
For the days when you are a zombie or just need to get things done – ask for help! I had housemates around which was fantastic especially during the first few weeks while I was recovering (so many thanks Brittany!). I never got the hang of pumping so I was always breastfeeding and we just took baby around with us everywhere, but next time around I think I’d have someone over more regularly to watch babe between feeds so I could get some time to myself (I did do this but looking back I think I’d take advantage of it more).
Find a group of moms or dads that you can walk through this season with. We still keep in touch with our prenatal group and it’s been so encouraging having them to ask questions of and celebrate the little things with (because although it’s cute when your baby rolls over for the first time no one gets it like parents who’s babies are going through it at the same time).
>> Because I missed last week you get two posts this week! Stop by tomorrow for part two… <<