It’s officially been a year since I went back to work AND Isla turned 2 yesterday. It’s been a whirlwind of emotions and it brought me back to this post I wrote last year when Isla turned 1, I survived my first year of motherhood, and I went back to work all in the blink of an eye. When I read this back to myself it makes me miss those early days with Isla, but it also makes me realize how far we have come and all the blessings we have to look forward too so enjoy the post below. I am sure you can relate to one point or another!
I made it! I have survived my first year as a parent and mother. Even now, saying that I am a mom is incredibly weird. I have always dreamed of being a mother and hoped to be one someday and the fact that I am one still leaves me speechless. Not to mention that I have the most amazing little girl that ever walked the planet. Loving someone is a pretty amazing feeling but I don’t think you are ever prepared for the love you experience when you have a child. To say I wake up every day incredibly grateful and happy would be an understatement. Isla has made me a better Christian, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister and a woman. The love I feel for her is why I was put on this earth and if this is what being a mom feels like, then I hope I am blessed to experience it again and again…and maybe even again!
Of course, being a new mom is a surreal experience but the fact still remains that it is tough work. It can be draining, tiring, emotional, physically exhausting and frustrating. Just when you think you have it all figured out, BAM! Something changes. A baby that once slept through the night suddenly awakens with cries, a baby that nursed till she was full suddenly wants nothing to do with you and a baby that once laughed at your silly face suddenly cries in fear! As quickly as things change though, remember that it always gets better.
In no particular order, here are some things I have learned this year. Some may be silly, some may be sad and some you may think that I am completely out of my mind. I do hope that some of them make you chuckle and help you realize that you are not alone.
- I could smell Isla’s hair for days. Seriously; there is nothing like the smell of a baby.
- I can usually sit with Isla and kiss her cheeks for 20 minutes straight. No stopping and no joke! I hardly wear lip gloss at all anymore because I don’t want to ruin her pretty little cheeks.
- Everything takes twice as long as it use too. For example, I started putting up our Christmas tree on November 24th last year and I finally put on the last ornament 11 days later! Seriously! Frequent interruptions will be the story of your life.
- You will learn how to do everything one-handed! Vacuuming, dishes, picking up thrown food off of the floor, washing tomato sauce off of their cheek while your left foot presses the buttons on their play and sing piano in order to distract them from the fact that you are washing tomato sauce off of their cheek. Sounds like a lot I know, but you will be a pro at putting on your makeup one handed in no time.
- Robeez shoes will be your best friend. If you haven’t heard of them, go find them! These cute and stylish shoes have a stretchy band around the ankle so you will never be looking for a lost shoe again.
- One day, you will get into your vehicle and it will take you 20 minutes to realize that “Sing along Songs” is still playing in your car and you are belting out “Wheels on the Bus” like you once belted out Justin Timberlake.
- Instead of watching your favourite show at night, you will cuddle on the couch with your husband and “watch” your baby on the monitor. She may not move for 2 hours but you will still watch just to make sure she is ok. You don’t want to miss a foot twitch!
- In the beginning you may sleep in the shower, sleep standing up, on the dog’s bed; anywhere you can catch a quick siesta. I won’t judge.
- Your first time getting out of the house and going to the grocery store ALONE will make you feel like you are running away from the law or something. The first time I left the house, I felt a high I had never felt before. Sad I know but it still felt good to me!
- Eventually you will get poop on your hands, your face, under your fingernails, in your hair, stuck in your wedding ring…heck I have even found traces of it on the walls. Don’t worry. Soap and water will clean it right up.
- While we are talking about poo, you may find yourself studying it from time to time. Is it soft, hard, brown, black?! These aren’t carpet samples folks, these are your babies bowel movements and they are important!
- Shower?! Who needs a shower! And when you do get a shower, be prepared to lather, make googly noises out the side of the curtain, then lather, rinse and repeat again.
- The first time you leave your babe alone in the church nursery will have you asking yourself these questions “Is it childproof? They don’t keep little things they could choke on out in the open do they? They know what they are doing in there right?!” I was only nervous for a second honest!
- Ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid. People are always willing to help out a new momma. Just ask. They will want to see and hold the baby as payment though. It’s a small price to pay for some shut eye and a clean kitchen! Thanks friend! J
- Coffee, coffee, coffee! Enough said on this subject.
- A messy house is a loved and lived in house. This may be your new motto. Don’t stress about the small stuff. Laundry can wait, toys can be cleaned up and dishes can always be done; trust me. I am a neat freak and I have learned to live with some extra clutter. What I could not live with is missing Isla’s first step because I felt the need to dust the furniture around her.
- Put your phone down! Honestly you miss so much when your face is stuck in your phone. Anything I feel the need to do is done on my own time and when Isla is asleep. Updating your Facebook status can wait! I have done this and felt terrible when I miss a smile or a laugh.
- Your purse will no longer hold your favourite lipstick. It will now be the main dumping ground for burp cloths, pacifiers, wipes, teethers and other random things like Cheerios or a half-eaten cookie! “How the heck did that get in there?” you will often ask yourself.
- “This too shall pass.” These are words I live by. Late nights, never-ending crying, teething, growth spurts and sleep regression will all end as quickly as they started. Trust me. You will both come out of it stronger.
- Lastly, this little person you created will run your life until the day you die, or at least until they are 18! Embrace everything, love everything and remember how blessed you are to be a mother. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.