Looking Back At The First Year of Parenting

parenting sassy bloom By Mums for Mums

Todays Blog is by Laura. If you like this article and want to hear more from Laura, please let us know below.

 

Hi Sassy Bloomers, my name is Laura and my baby boy turned one today, he entered the world at 19.09 so this year at exactly that time I poured myself some bubbles and toasted myself (and my wonderful husband!) We made it; we reached our 12 month milestone as parents. It’s been tough at times but we’ve done OK, I think!

 

We smiled as we sat and talked about out highs and lows of year one and the things we’ve learnt, here goes…

 

Time flies – It doesn’t feel like it at the time, in fact those first six weeks feel like an eternity, my husband describes them to expectant friends as ‘the most amazingly, awful six weeks of your life’ and he’s probably not too far wrong. However, these days are a distant blur of sleepless nights and new baby snuggles now and I remember the times we spent getting to know our little guy fondly.

 

Hang in there – this applies to almost everything, sleep, feeding, your body and your emotions among others. One of the most useful things I’ve read is a saying ‘and this too will pass’. No matter how tough a certain aspect is (we all have different challenges – but we all have them) it won’t last forever so try not to make it harder on yourself by thinking everything should be perfect and your baby should have read, digested and be following Gina Ford (or anyone/thing else placed on this earth purely to make us feel useless) to the letter from day one.

 

It’s a game of trial and error – you have to get to know a new person and their likes and dislikes but they can’t speak and only have limited ability to show you what they want…it’s like a constant game of charades with somebody who’s sat on their hands! Magically, despite that, over time you learn a special little language of your own and things get clearer! Every baby is different – we hear it a lot but for good reason, it’s so true! What works for one baby won’t necessarily work for another and nothing you’re not comfortable with will ever work for you and your baby. Other people, both peers and professionals are an amazing tool and can offer great ideas but never take advice from people who don’t ask you questions and don’t try anything you’re not comfortable with.  We all have different goals and ideals; the most important thing is we stay true to them and trust our Mummy instincts, they’re rarely wrong.

 

Once you find what works for you, don’t be afraid to stick with it – whether it’s a strict routine or a go with the flow attitude? It’s your life, your baby and your choice, there’s no right or wrong answer and you shouldn’t feel the need to explain your choices to others or feel guilty about not being able to make every social gathering, life is different now and that’s alright – real friends adapt.

 

Guilt – get used to it, it’s here to stay! However, try not to beat yourself up about decisions or mistakes you make. When we give birth we don’t grow a cape and start wearing our underwear outside of our trousers (well, not on purpose!) Yet we set ourselves expectations that are befitting of a superhero, we’re still just human and trying our best – some days are better than others.

 

Mummy Power – supporting other Mummies to feel good and positive is one of the kindest things we can do for each other and one of the nicest things we can receive. Try to support other mums and their decisions (even if they’re not in line with your preferences), sometimes keeping quiet is the best thing you can do. Give help if they ask for it but please don’t start anything with ‘you should…’

Have you tried? We liked or I read about are all much softer alternatives and can make the difference between a well-meaning comment being gratefully received and causing offence – we’re sensitive souls us hormonal, sleep deprived mummies!

 

Get out – a change of scenery and some fresh air can turn your whole day around!!

 

Steer clear of black – although its slimming properties seem appealing to hide those post baby lumps and bumps, it shows up every bodily fluid that is likely to be thrown at you throughout the day!

 

Get help – be grateful for anybody who offers to help, don’t feel bad about handing over the reins so you can have a nap or even just a shower. If budget allows don’t be too proud to accept a cleaner/dog walker/night nanny/(insert others here) may dramatically improve your quality of life!

 

Make time – for each other. Once the crazy world of parenting calms down a little and you’ve all adjusted to your new world, take some guilt free mummy and daddy time, it could be dressing up for a nice meal at home once a week or venturing out together if you’re lucky enough to have a babysitter you trust, either way concentrate on each other (we lasted 3 minutes before talking about our little dude!)

 

Take photographs – this past year has disappeared in front of our eyes but one of the best things I’ve done is take a weekly photo (well, picked one of the hundreds taken) of Ted which I’m having made into a book so I have a keepsake of how his little face changed over those first 52 weeks.

 

Enjoy! – we’ll only get these times once so embrace them, even the moments that occur at 3am when you’d really like to be asleep – they’re precious and really don’t last long!

 

I wonder what the next 12 months have in store for us and what we’ll learn this year – plenty I’m sure.

Post your thoughts on this article below and share if you found it interesting.

 

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