My little baby boy turns one tomorrow! Everyone says 'they grow so fast, the time time goes so quickly, bla bla bla...' but isn't it true? My son is such a joy and has given my life a whole new enriching perspective. It's been a wonderful year, full of all kinds of new challenges and experiences.
I thought it might be helpful to new mums out there especially, to share a few things I've experienced, learned and thought about this past year.
5 things I wasn't expecting from motherhood:
- To feel so tired so often. Even once the sleepless nights are a distant memory, it's still tiring work being a stay at home mum. An early night feels like a real treat to me these days!
- To find enjoyment from such little things. Examples include: smiling at my son and seeing him smile back at me, the first time he ate any new kind of food or meal, watching his excitement when he's grasped a new skill....
- To have so much fun! Sometimes I feel guilty that while others are at work I'm running around the flat squealing and laughing with my son, or getting to enjoy being outside with him on a sunny day.
- To feel fulfilled without a career. Before having my son, I had an interesting job working for an international auction house. I thought I would miss the deadlines, the research and the buzz of the art world. Instead, I am more than happy being a stay at home mum.
- To rely so much on a new peer group of mummies. I've made some great new friends in my local area who all have similarly aged babies. I see them almost every day and they are like a lifeline to me. As well as sharing questions, advice and suggestions on our children, we also just have a lot of fun and enjoy each others company. I'd feel lost without them.
5 things I've learned from a year of motherhood:
- Treasure every moment. They really do grow, change and learn so fast that you don't want to wish away any time. Enjoy them at each stage of their development.
- Follow your instincts. I'm a firm believer that doing what feels right often is right. I think you get more attuned to your child's needs so it becomes easier to know what they want and how to deal with certain situations.
- The difficult times don't last! Those trying first few weeks, surviving on barely any sleep and feeling like you can't cope soon fade in your memory. There will be other obstacles of course but it's those tough times that help us to really appreciate the good times.
- Getting out lots is good for baby and you. I remember going to a postnatal yoga class when my son was 8 weeks old. It was raining and I had to take the pram on the bus for the first time to get there. I made myself do it and was so glad I did. Being around other new mums did me the world of good. I think my son has also benefited from being taken to a variety of activities. He enjoys being around other babies and it's got him used to being in different environments.
- Routines work! As much as you might not like the idea of having a routine with your child, it makes life easier for baby and you. They benefit from knowing what's coming next throughout the day and you know when best to schedule activities/outings.
What do you remember learning or experiencing from your first year of motherhood?