A Year Later…What I’ve Learned So Far

It’s been on my mind a lot lately:  motherhood is hard ya’ll.  You conjure up in your head what it must be like to parent a child, but it’s NEVER like the real deal.  It dawned on me that I did not account for all the challenges or hurdles that would come with parenting.  I mostly thought of all the good things that would happen or what I wanted to see happen.  Anyone else do that?

My little one turned one in January and as she grows right in front of me I’ve been thinking about the past year.  My takeaways have been:

  1. Postpartum depression is no laughing matter.  That alone can change your perspective on life as a whole.  To acknowledge such a shift in one’s personality can be frightening.  The good thing is that once I realized I had it, I started making a conscious effort towards positive change.  It took months to recover (once I was aware).
  2. Life is about taking chances and risks.  I was so afraid to have a baby for fear of the unknown:  what if I didn’t really want to have a child as much as I thought I did?  What if I end up a single mom?  What if something goes wrong during pregnancy?  What if, what if, what if….I focused on the downsides instead of giving myself hope for the positives.  Well, what if everything goes well and I have nothing to worry about?  Truth is, life is unexpected and you will never have all the answers.  Just take a chance on what you want and let things fall into place.  Stop worrying and start living.
  3. There will always be something to do.  It will never ALL get done.  So knowing this:  enjoy the now and enjoy your baby!  She won’t be a baby forever!
  4. It’s important to have alone time.  Even if only for a few hours. Individuality is important.   As a parent, you add motherhood to your existing identity, not replace it.  It’s important not to lose yourself in your child.  When possible take time for yourself to do something you enjoy:  get a manicure, get your hair done, organize a space at home (I find it therapeutic to clean), read a book or just daydream.
  5. Life is better when I am happy.  My family will agree with this statement.
  6. Although the baby will take up the majority of my time, it’s still important to nurture the relationship with my partner.  Dad needs some TLC too.

Becoming a parent is no easy feat and there will always be something new to learn.  I am grateful to have made it this far and look forward to the next several years of this parenting adventure.

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