Friday, July 5, 2013

Top Ten Things I've Learned in my First Year of Motherhood

Now that Fynn is a year old (still blows my mind), I wanted to share the top ten things I learned during this first year of motherhood. Things I never expected, things I learned through trial and error... you know, all those things that people experience but never really talk about.

1) How you feed your kid is your own business. Enough judging. Breast vs bottle, early solids vs waiting, baby-led weaning vs purees- WHATEVER. As long as your kid is fed and healthy, who the heck cares about your beliefs about the "right" way to do it. If there were one "right" way, everyone would do it.

2) It's your kid, screw them up however you want. I know that sounds weird, but it comes from dealing with friends, relatives, etc who all think you should do things a certain way. Well, they got to screw up their kid through their methods, now it's my turn to screw up mine. I'll listen when I want... which isn't very often. Don't take it personally, I just have to make my own parenting mistakes.

3) It goes by fast. Yeah, everyone says that. But you don't realize just how fast until all of a sudden your 6 pound blob becomes a walking, talking person who knows how to drive you nuts and melt your heart at the same time. It's hard, but try to treasure each little moment because it goes by before you know it.

4) Trust your gut. It's hard not to second-guess yourself, but as a mom you have this sixth sense. No, sorry, you can't see dead people, but you can feel when something isn't right with your kid. Go with it. Regardless of what other people say and think. 

5)Looking forward a nice hot meal with your hubby during the first six months? Dream on. The second you sit down to eat will be the second that the baby wakes up screaming. Never fails. Once their older and sleeping for more consistent stretches of time this ceases to be an issue, but until then? It's like they have a built in radar that knows when you're about to eat.

6) Sleep? Let me laugh for awhile. Unless you're one of those lucky people whose baby sleeps through the night at an early age (yeah, I'm cursing you right now), you should just give up on a good night's sleep. Try to do the whole, "sleep while the baby is sleeping" deal, but know that it's not always possible.

7) Oh, and on the topic of sleep. Where your child sleeps is your business. Love co-sleeping? Cool. Need that kid out of your room? Get them out. Change your mind every month, even better. Everyone feels the need to comment on how long Fynn slept in our room or how she often sleeps in bed with us. You learn quickly to let them sleep wherever and however they sleep best in order to maximize those precious minutes of sleep. Ignore all advice. Do what work for you. Unless it's not working, then get all the advice you can and try thing out until something works. 

8) Don't spend a ton of money on clothes. This is actually for two reasons. The first is the obvious, they outgrow them so fast that it's silly to spend a ton. There are some sizes that Fynn was in for about two weeks before outgrowing. Therefore, consignment shops, friends with kids, etc are your BFF's. Half the stuff we've bought at consignment shops still had the tags on them! It also helps to have a relative that loves shopping for baby clothes (hi Mom!) saves you a boatload and it's fun for them too.

9) Don't stress about how much your baby is sleeping or how much they eat. I wasted wayyyy too much time Googling how many hours of sleep she should get a day, how many ounces of breastmilk she should take at daycare or how much solid food she should be getting at any given age. So pointless. She'll do what she wants, when she wants. I can't force her to eat and I can't force her to sleep. As long as your baby is growing and happy, relax and enjoy it (I know, easier said then done.)

10) Last, but most certainly not least, enjoy. It's so easy to get caught up in the stress, the "I have to"'s and everything else in your life. Take at least a few minutes each day to just marvel at this little life you've created. Enjoy the new things they discover and the funny things they can do. Appreciate that you get to be with them each and every day... even when they're driving you nuts.

Other moms out there. Are there major words of wisdom you would give new moms? What are the biggest lessons you learned after having a baby? Please share! 


  1. I absolutely love this post. So true. People just love to give their unsolicited advice and judgments. I have 2 boys and they both have very different sleeping and eating patterns and we just do what works for them. Everybody else can mind their own business. :)

    Hope you had a wonderful holiday.

  2. These are great tips! I really like what you have to say about doing what is right for YOU and YOUR baby. So many people have strong ideas, which is great for them, but you really do have to do it your way.

    I remember when my oldest was four months old, and my husband put rice cereal in her bottle. I flipped out and "told on him" at the pediatrician's office the next week." His answer: Throw out the books. You know your baby best. Did it work? Unfortunately I had to admit that our daughter stopped crying constantly and seemed more satisfied. Grrrr..... of course my husband had to be right! LOL

    I don't have any words of wisdom for new moms because you covered it so well here. I do, however, have a tip for when the kids get older. DON'T do any discipline that will also make you, the parent, feel disciplined. I remember one time I told my daughter she was grounded from playing outside for a week. We lived in a tiny townhouse, and outside was where my girls spent the majority of their time. Oh, that week was LONG, but I wanted to stick to my guns. THINK about what is going to happen for YOU before making a discipline decision.


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