It has been a full year of being a new mommy.
I can't fathom how fast the time has past. I watch my daughter waddle around like a baby monster, saying words and comprehending words spoken to her. I watch her do all of the things I simply could not imagine she could do as a 4lbs 6oz premie laying bare-chest against me. It has been the most amazing and eye opening learning experience. Undoubtedly the most frequent question I have gotten is 'how are you handling motherhood?'
My answer use to be simply it is going good. But after looking at all my pictures over the last year and seeing the bags under my eyes grow exponentially, I feel the most appropriate answers should be Motherhood is like running on a treadmill, I keep running because I'd hate to miss a step! Imagine that
As an unwanted rite of passage for other mothers-to-be I feel compelled to sum up my top first-year-mommy recap.
Don't always expect others to come to you. In the beginning yes- your friends and family will call and come to check on you and baby. But don't let the duties of being a new mommy bury you and you forget to reach out to others. This can become a bad habit and soon you will find yourself not invited to girl's night out.
Even the time you spend away from baby is valuable. If you are blessed enough to have a babysitter or daycare where baby goes to get much needed outside interactions, take a day off just so you can sleep. Don't feel bad that you are not actually being productive (That is so bad to say but I stand behind it 100%).
Motherhood doesn't require as much baby gear as advertised. Take it from the baby gear junkie, I have either not used half of the unnecessary items I've purchased (not gifted, that would just be rude) or gently used the items and ended up throwing things out because I hate clutter.
Pick through the unwanted advice, there are some gems amongst them. While you are rolling your eyes at your mother in law's sister, you are missing out on some wacky stuff that actually works. We praise our pediatricians that are still in residency and ignore the lady that has mothered 19 children.
If you pay attention to your little ones, they will teach you everything you need to know. This is what the lady with the 19 children was trying to tell you, but it took you a whole year to figure it out (maybe longer).
It takes anywhere from 6 to 12 months to get the most glee-filled laugh out of this little person. Hold your breath and wait for it: It will be the best sound that will ever fill your ears!
That is the absolute best advice I could give!