Baby’s First Year – A user’s guide to some of the biggest surprises.
As time is closing in on my baby’s first birthday, I am filled with a lot of emotions. Pride is what comes to mind first. I have kept this baby alive for twelve months – something I wasn’t so confident about as we were being wheeled out to the parking lot 24 hours after delivery. The next emotion I feel is astonishment at just how much I have learned this year. I often have glimpses of my former life, and I just laugh and laugh at what I thought I knew. Another feeling I get is the gratefulness of having new perspectives. I have a new outlook on things my parents did for me, and a new comradery with the mom in aisle two ignoring her screaming child, because now I get it. There were a lot of things I expected to change when I became a mom, and a lot of things surprised me. Here are some of the biggest surprises for me in our first year.
- Having a baby is truly a 24-hour job. I thought I understood this. LOL. Even when your newborn is sleeping, you are CONSTANTLY thinking about them, wondering how long they’ll sleep, preparing bottles, pumping, cleaning up spit-up, etc. So to that space in your brain used for daydreaming and pondering ideas, say goodbye and remember the good times you once had. That space is now occupied by all things baby.
- You will be sad about the dumbest things. This lesson came early for me when I was pregnant. My husband asked if I wanted to watch a movie that happened to star Robin Williams, and I sobbed for three hours straight. I have cried during McDonald’s commercials, I have cried over being tired, and I have cried over spilled milk. It all comes with the territory.
- Parenting is not 50-50. This lesson stung for a long time. I thought that once the baby was out of me and in the real world, my husband and I would share the responsibility right down the middle. The truth is, at least in the first year, that moms do more. More feeding, more rocking, more changing, more bathing, and way less sleep. This will cause you to temporarily hate your husband’s very existence, but fortunately for him, your murder plans are interrupted by a crying baby. These are cold, hard facts. Accept them and move on.
- Your body is going to do a lot of really strange things that no one will warn you about. From postpartum bleeding, to breastmilk spraying across the room, to the return of aunt flow. You will be surprised and fascinated and grossed out at the changes that will happen. You thought puberty was awkward and panic inducing. Buckle up.
- You will be surprised at the amount of joy that comes from being a mother. I think so many couples start families because, “That’s just what you do,” but when you see the first smile, or hear the first belly laugh, or the first “mama,” you melt into a million pieces and everything feels right in the world.
Comment below with what surprised YOU the most in baby’s first year!