This week is going to be a tough one for me. My baby turns one on Friday. I didn’t think it would make me feel emotional, but it really has. I’ve been so caught up in planning little details of his birthday party and all of a sudden I’ll remember what kind of party I’m planning—a one year old’s birthday celebration. MY one year old’s birthday. And of course it makes me all teary-eyed.
For being such a small human being, Watson has taught me such large lessons over the past year. I thought I’d share a few of them today. Also, I stuck in some photos of him playing around the house. One of my favorite things to do is to watch him play. His personality is developing so quickly and I love watching his curiosity. He’s wearing a cute little outfit that I got at Nordstrom. They have the cutest clothes for babies and children—especially this spring! I love how they have a mix of play time and special occasion outfits. A lot of pieces can be mixed and matched, like the outfit he’s wearing below. This really comes in handy with this crazy weather we’ve been having… it’s hot one day and cold the next! (I linked everything at the bottom!)
Anyway, here we go. Things I’ve learned since becoming a mom….
1. I will never ever that same “footloose and fancy free” feeling again. No matter how serene or fun of a setting you might be in… and you may have the best babysitter in the entire world… but you’ll never be able to totally stop thinking about your role as a mom. You’ll never be “carefree” ever again. Because you have something so much more important than yourself to think of first. Taking care of a living, breathing person—one you love more than anything in the world is the biggest job you’ll ever have and there are always things to worry about and always responsibilities to jump on as soon as that babysitter leaves.
2. To always carry baby wipes. Always.
3. No matter how many parenting books you’ll read while pregnant, you still won’t know what the heck you’re doing. Each book says something different and no two babies are exactly the same, either. Just trust your gut and wing it. Mother’s intuition kicks in and your baby will survive from having an inexperienced caretaker, I promise. Otherwise, keep your pediatrician on speed dial for when you have questions or need reassurance. Or, do like I do and just ask your momma.
4. You’ll learn you have great talents in multi-tasking that you never knew you had. Scheduling a doctor’s appointment on the phone while breastfeeding your baby… while putting on makeup and eating your breakfast all at the same time. Got it!
5. You’ll run out of space on your iPhone every three weeks. Plug phone into computer, back up photos, and with all of this recently cleared out space, take 3,000 more photos of your baby. Photos of the exact same thing. Then repeat.
6. That my mom is a super hero. Sometimes I feel so busy and overwhelmed and then I think about my mom’s schedule while I was growing up. She was a teacher and would wake up at 5am to get ready every day. Then would get everyone up and prepare some sort of breakfast (even if it was pop tarts, she’d always make them for us), make sure my brother and I were taken care of, then drive 35 minutes to work at 7am. Then after working all day she would come home at 6 or 7pm (any other teachers out there will understand why so late) or hurry home early to take us to our practices or sports games, cook a full dinner and clean the kitchen, help us with whatever homework we (read: my brother) may have done wrong, then grade papers and create lesson plans before going to bed. HOW DID THE WOMAN DO ALL OF THAT IN ONE DAY? I know so many of you are thinking, “I know… my mom too!!” Moms rock, don’t they?
Even now, she lives an hour and a half away from me, but will drop anything to come to Charleston to help me with something or pick up Watson. I don’t know what I would do without her!
7. That I would have a newfound, incredible respect for all moms out there. Because #6.
8. Sleep deprivation doesn’t end. I didn’t realize I would remain sleep deprived even after Watson started sleeping 12 hours straight at night. But the truth is, when he goes to bed at about 7:30pm, that’s when I finally get to do some things around the house. Or make dinner. Or work on this blog. Or you know, just have a real moment to myself. There’s so much I want to get done in that short window of time between his bedtime and my bedtime… which is why we typically always go to bed at about 1:30am or later. But you know what I’ve also learned? How to cover up those dark circles and how to survive on little sleep.
9. Experiences are better than things. Watson has so many toys and trucks and stuffed animals. But what makes him the most happy is being outside… even just crawling around in our yard. Lately, he’ll pick up leaves, hand them to me, and look so proud of the “gifts” he’s giving me. He’s always found peace outdoors. When he would cry uncontrollably as a brand new baby, we’d take him outside and he’d stop. No toy ever could do that.
10. Getting ready to leave the house takes 10 times longer. Especially when Watson was teeny tiny, I learned that getting ready to leave home took a whole hour longer. Between having to jump out the shower soaking wet to nurture your crying baby who’s nearby in the rock n’ play… to having to nurse while your hair is at the point where it’s totally air drying and is going to need damage control with the flat iron to tame the frizz… to having to pack up a diaper bag that, in terms of size, resembles your pre-mom vacation carry on bag… to having to change a dirty diaper or two when you’re about to walk out the door… then after the last diaper, oh! it’s time to nurse again. And then you get in the car and realize you forgot to put mascara on one eye. Ah, then a diaper blowout!
As Watson got older and more routined, leaving the house got tremendously easier, but let’s put it this way, there’s no leaving to go anywhere fast!
11. You’ll have a new love for your spouse. Not only does Brandon keep our world on track, but seeing his relationship with Watson melts my heart into a puddle. Watson goes crazy when Brandon comes home. He kind of screams in excitement, almost! They both get a twinkle in their eyes. It sounds so corny, but it’s true and it hits me right in the feels.
12. That life will never be the same. But in the most amazing of ways. Yes, it’s hard. Really freaking hard. But that child will bring the most joy and real purpose into your life. What used to be fun doesn’t sound fun anymore because your life has changed and you’re in a new season of life. Your heart will love in a way that you didn’t know it could. You’ll feel prouder than ever before… of your child and of yourself for creating such a splendid tiny person. And if you’re like me, you’ll be absolutely terrified to ever have more children because you know it will all get exponentially harder when you do, but at the same time, you really just want eight more kids because your heart feels so full it could burst.
What have you learned since becoming a parent? Share in the comments below!
Thank you to Nordstrom for partnering on this post.