The last half of my pregnancy we wanted to save money so we went without internet in our home. I would buy pregnancy books from the thrift store and read them in my free time. I devoured each one (probably ten total). I thought that I had this “baby” thing figured out. When man-cub J arrived and I held him in my arms for the first time, everything was different. I couldn’t remember a single word I read from those books. Eventually the knowledge I gained slowly came back, but I also quickly learned that every baby is different and you need to learn your own unique lessons with each one.
Here are some of the lessons that we have learned during our first year of motherhood.
1. Babies really don’t need that much.
Honestly all a newborn really needs is you, a bed, and a car seat. Obviously we buy more than that for them but sometimes I think we go overboard. Do they really need that swing that rocks 12 different ways? No, they will sleep without it. Save your money for the necessities, like diapers.
2. Slow down.
A baby’s world is much slower than ours. My son just turned one and he is constantly trying to figure out the world around him. He doesn’t know what happens when you bang a toy on another toy so he does it again and again to learn. Sometimes I get impatient because I want to do something else or go somewhere else but he’s concentrating on something. I’ve learned that when I pick him up before he’s done he gets frustrated. When I wait till he’s done (only a few more seconds) he’s happy to go somewhere else with me. Sometimes we need to be on their timing instead of our own.
3. Your mood is contagious.
This is one that I’ve really been focused on lately. Sometimes I can get crabby (especially in the morning) and I’ve noticed that when I’m crabby, he’s crabby. I’ve really been trying to work on smiling even when I’m not in a good mood because then at least one of us is happy which makes the day more manageable.
4. Google can either solve or create panic attacks
So you think your baby ate desitin? Based on some forum discussions, my panic attack was solved as most parents said that when they called poison control, they were just told to be braced for some funky poos.
Is your toddler on a nursing strike? There must be something wrong (cold, teething, bad nursing experience, etc) because toddler won’t want to wean until they are between the ages of 2-4! This caused a greater panic attack than I needed, because when I talked to a lactation consultant, she said it sounded like my man-cub was going through a completely normal weaning phase.
What lessons did you learn from your first year of motherhood?