My oldest is about to turn ten which means I have officially been a mother for TEN YEARS! A whole decade of motherhood has taken place and I can barely relate to that woman who gave birth ten years ago. There are so many things that I wish I could tell my former self during that first year of motherhood.
Undeniable Truths I Wish I’d Known as a New Mom
Truth #1: They will eventually sleep.
Those first few months are hard and I feared that I might never sleep again. I thought I would be up every night until they moved out. I missed sleep more than I ever imagined possible. Ten years later, I now know they will one day lay in bed, read a chapter book, and turn their own light off. Why do I wish I knew this? So, I could have enjoyed those sleepless nights rocking my baby at 2:00 am because that stage will so quickly.
Truth #2: Ten years later, no one gives a sh** if you nursed or bottle fed.
My first born was not an easy delivery and then ended up spending time in the NICU. Because of those problems, I had to quit nursing and spent MONTHS agonizing over it. I had more guilt than you could imagine. I feared I had somehow ruined him and he was destined to be sicker than other children. Needless to say, his fourth grade teacher and coaches have never quizzed me about whether or not he was breastfed as a baby. I wish I would have been more confident in my decision and realized that he would be great no matter how we fed him.
Truth #3: Milestones will be hit in their own time so stop comparing.
I spent a lot of time comparing my oldest to other kids his age for every milestone. I worried about everything from rolling, crawling, walking, talking, eating, etc. Rather than just enjoying each milestone as it came, I wanted to make sure he was doing everything he was supposed to be doing for that age. I would tell that crazy mom to RELAX!
Truth #4: You will never stop worrying, but the worries change.
When your baby is little, you worry about keeping them safe, how much they are or are not eating, their sleep cycle, potty training, etc… I now know those worries are small in comparison to what lay ahead. As they get older, you will worry about much bigger issues. Are you creating a good person? Do they show empathy? Do they think of others and look out for those who are mistreated? Are they confident in their abilities? These worries are much deeper and demand ourselves as parents to evaluate our own behavior because they are emulating everything we do.
Truth #5: Once they start kindergarten, life will start moving really fast.
Once they start school, it will feel like life is moving faster than you want it to. So, take every chance to enjoy those first five years. You can’t get those years back. The good and the bad days will be missed from those first five years so take the time to realize that you’ll miss them.
Motherhood is a unique journey and goes through MANY seasons. I’ve learned that the best way to handle each season is to enjoy it while it lasts and try not to stress about the little things. It only took a full decade to learn that though.