I can't believe London is going to be ONE this Friday. It's been a crazy emotional time for me, just reflecting on what an unforgettable, life-changing year this has been. Lolo is the most amazing little girl; she is smart, happy, curious, and kind.
There are so many transitions you experience in life; going off to college, getting married, finding a new career. But I would confidently say that there is no transition more intense (for lack of a better word) than the transition to being a parent. It's truly life-altering in so many ways. You simply cannot prepare for the physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion of motherhood, but you also can't prepare for how much LOVE you'll feel toward such a tiny being.
When I think of who I was 365 days ago, I barely recognize that "girl." I feel like I have grown up this year. I am stronger, more secure in who I am, more patient, and more loving. London has brought me to this place, and I am so thankful to be her "mumma." While I'm no expert ;), there are certain things that I've learned thus far that I would love to share with all of you. As always, expect some good candid-ness (is that a word?) Here are a few things I've taken away from this year...
1. It's way more difficult AND way more amazing than you could ever imagine.
2. Do things YOUR way. No one knows your child better than you do. Not your mother, your friends, the doctor, or the random people that like to put in their two cents. Trust your instincts.
3. Don't "sleep when the baby sleeps." I think that is the WORST advice because it just simply doesn't happen. Here's what you should do; make yourself a coffee, read a magazine, watch crappy tv, and just do something MINDLESS.
4. Motherhood takes the word "TIRED" to a whole new level.
5. Soak up the snuggles. Want to let your baby sleep on you? Do it. It won't last forever. London is only 1, and I already find myself missing her daily naps on me. Enjoy it.
6. Don't get too comfortable! Just when you think "I've got the hang of this" ... something changes! The baby gets sick, schedules go array, I mean, it never fails!
7. Take time for yourself. I'm a better Mom when I can do something for myself once a day....even if that "something" means eating a normal freaking lunch or taking 5 glorious minutes to myself. It just HELPS.
8. Babies are incredibly resilient. They are small, but they are super tough and in terms of their schedules ... it's ok to change it up from time to time. They will adjust.
9. My husband is the best guy in life. He has been my biggest support, cheerleader, and confidant this year + parenthood has enhanced our marriage is so many amazing ways. I'm incredibly lucky.
10. It's OK to formula feed your baby. I had to accept that breast feeding was not in the cards for us, and that is just fine. London is thriving, she's healthy, and she's HAPPY.
11. Write in a "baby book." I'm so happy that I did this. The first few months are such a blur, and I have this book as a way to remember what it was like!
12. Get Outside. Walk. Walk. Walk. I found solace in the great outdoors; even in the winter I would bundle Lo up, and we would get some fresh air. It always made me feel better.
13. Being "flexible" is an art...I'm still working on it.
14. Buy a bathrobe. A big soft, fluffy bathrobe is what I lived in all winter (sorry, Chris!) If Lo woke in the middle of the night, she would snuggle into my bathrobe and fall right asleep. Have to admit, Chris has worn that bathrobe MANY times as well! :)
15. It's ok to have bad days. There are times when I just simply don't feel like "momming," as I like to call it. It's OK! Cut yourself some slack...you can't be "on" all the time and usually the next day is better anyway!
16. Nothing beats the sound of a baby's laugh or giggle. It's the sweetest sound in the world + it makes my heart so happy.
17. You don't need too many toys. Funny enough, babies will want to play with everything BUT their toys. Have a spatula? Tupperware? Pots and pans? All great options ;)
18. Motherhood and parenthood in general is "freeing." I just don't care about the petty things I used to care about. Frankly, I'm too busy to give energy or effort to anyone/anything that is negative.
19. Grandparents are absolutely amazing in every way. I am appreciative of them 100% of the time. Family in general is pretty freaking awesome!
20. "Bittersweet" is the word I have used most since becoming a Mom. It's a big tug-o-war of emotions between excitement when you're baby masters a new skill, and sheer sadness that they're growing up so fast.
21. Let them be little. Let them explore, let them be curious...even if it makes a big mess! I'm a bit of a neat freak, so this is tough! I'm still learning...
22. Don't feel guilty about "me" time or taking time as a couple. It's so important to have alone time and it's completely normal to need it! Your relationship should be nurtured, so take the time to do so and you'll be better for it!
23. Try to stay in the present. Each month I remember saying "this is the best age!" What I've found is that it keeps getting better and better. Enjoy each and every stage.
24. London is the BEST, smartest, happiest, most beautiful baby on the planet. I've learned that every parent thinks that about their own kids, and that's exactly how it should be :)
25. Love for your child is love in its purest form. There's nothing I wouldn't do for my baby, and I will always call her my "baby" no matter how old she gets!