1- Trust your instincts
God gave them to you for you a reason. We’ve survived for thousands of years as a human species without books telling us when our babies should be reaching milestones or why they might be crying.
2- Your house will never look perfect again.
Seriously, just let go of this one. Your house will not pass the white glove test and there’s most likely clutter or piled up laundry hiding somewhere. But this is a beautiful thing because it means you share a home with people you love who are blossoming in this space while dirtying clothes and leaving toys behind. And let’s face it, was your home ever perfect before kids? Or was it just an empty bottle of wine that sat out on the counters for a few days instead of a sippy cup??
3- Bring the baby in the shower with you.
It is understandable if you didn’t wake up before your baby after getting up with them 5 times overnight to hop in the shower and get ready for the day. Additionally it is totally acceptable to take a second shower after being covered in a poop blowout or projectile spit up. Just take the little bouncer, bumbo or exersaucer into the bathroom with you and let your baby play away while you shower.
4- You can’t have it all.
Let me say it again, you can’t have it all. It is impossible to get in a 1 hour workout 5 times a week, eat clean homemade meals every night according to a menu plan, have the house sparkling and all of the laundry clean folded and put away. All while managing to have a growing successful career that allows you to do bountiful activities with your children focusing on motor skill and sensory development. While maybe you can have it all, but you can forget ever sleeping again! The point is, something has to sacrifice somewhere, and you need to decide what sacrifice is worth it for you and your family.
5- There is no expert who can solve everything for you.
In fact, the closest thing to an expert on your baby is most likely you. Each baby and each mother is different, so no tow relationships and experiences will be the same. Realize that as long as your child is healthy, happy and growing it doesn’t matter where they sleep, how many naps they take a day, or if you’ve decided to teach them baby sign language. Trust yourself and listen to your baby’s cues as to what they need. You’ll both be happier for doing what felt right to you.
6- Let go of the guilt.
You aren’t the perfect mother, never will be and no mother is either. We are all human and there are going to do things that aren’t “right” and you won’t be able to give your best 100% of the time. Just keep giving what you can to your family and let go of this image of perfection.
7- They grow and develop at their own rate
No two babies are the same, not even identical twins that share DNA. Every baby grows and develops at their own rate. Do not compare your child to others and feel as if your child is behind or lacking in some way. As long as they are hitting their developmental milestones don’t worry if they fit perfectly on some chart, or are progressing at the same rate as your friend’s baby.
8- Take advice with a grain of salt.
Everyone has their own experiences in parenthood. Most people are giving you their opinion or advice to try help or relate to you. Realize that their family is comprised of completely different individuals than yours. What may have worked for them may not work for you. Kindly thank them for their advice and do something because you feel its best for your family, not because someone else told you to.
9- It will go by so fast.
I know it is said over and over again, but the days may be long, but the years are short. Take the time to soak up the precious moments of your first year of motherhood, before you know it there will only be days until your firstborn is turning one and just the words “Happy Birthday” get you teary eyed. You’ll never have these days back again so take as many pictures as you want, snuggle and love on your baby as much as you can and truly enjoy the ride. The first year of motherhood is an amazing experience that sadly won’t last forever.
10- The magic doesn’t stop at 1.
Yes, your child’s first year of life is over, however, in the grand scheme of things their life has just begun. Your baby turning one may be bittersweet, but it is more sweet than anything else. They are going to continue to amaze you, and there will be many more moments to celebrate with your child. Celebrate the first year of your little one’s life, enjoy the days that pass you by and know that you want to experience a whole lifetime of milestones and happiness with your child, not just the first year only.