As unbelievable as it seems, my baby boy will be turning one next month. I feel that the last eleven months have flown by, yet I’ve grown so much as a parent and a person thanks to my little guy. Along the way I’ve learned so much, so here are five important lessons I want to share with you.
At some point you’ll accidentally hurt your child and you’ll feel terrible, but it will be okay!
When Connor was a little over a month old, I decided to clip his fingernails for the first time. Seeing as I’ve clipped mine for years, I thought it would be super easy. WRONG. As I carefully navigated the world’s tiniest clippers around an even smaller fingernail, I went to clip and I heard a crunch that I can never un-hear. As I pulled the clippers away, to my horror I cut my little baby’s skin above his finger nail. He was fine and didn’t react; I on the other hand was a complete mess. I started bawling and apologizing to him, not sure if I should rush him to the emergency room or put a bandaid on his delicate finger. I got a hold of my mom and she said he would be ok, it happens. Safe to say I was much more traumatized than he ever was! When this happens, which it will, take a deep breath and snuggle your little one.
Not everyone will agree with your parenting choices and that’s okay. In return, try to accept other’s decisions.
The world is full of parents who will take the chance to judge and degrade others over the simplest things. Now I’m all for kindly talking to another mom that you see putting their child’s life in danger, like putting her baby’s car seat on the top of the cart, but if someone else decides to give their baby formula or breastmilk or they choose to not vaccinate, that is their decision and others need to be okay with that. I personally chose to not circumcise my son. I’ve gotten odd responses and judgmental comments over it, but it comes down to this: My child, my choice. Plain and simple.
Adding another person to the family can put pressure on your relationship, so communication truly is key.
Before Connor was born, we considered “getting up early” as getting up before noon. Now that Connor is our alarm clock, we get up when he decides it’s time to get up, even if that means to be up at 5:55am.
When Connor was a few months and it was time for me to go back to work, I thought that I’d have no issue getting up for work and juggling night feedings like I have been. Once I started my new morning job, getting up during the night was getting harder and getting up for work was exhausting. I often would thing to myself, “Why the heck isn’t Adam getting up with him? Why is it always me?” I noticed that our relationship seemed tense and I would get short with him.
Then one night I snapped on Adam for not getting up to feed the baby. He was very confused and I realized that my feelings were completely wrong. Why? I never communicated to him that I’d like him to get up with the baby; I just thought he would do it on his own. Men aren’t wired the way women are, sometimes you have to say what you feel or straight up ask them to do what you want them to do. After Adam and I discussed my frustrations, without any hesitation he said he would feed Connor at night when I wasn’t feeling up to it. The whole outburst could have been avoided by communicating when the problem first started.
Chores can wait, hang out with your kid.
When we first brought Connor home I was recovering for a C-section and I had this new human to take care of. Along with that there was a pile of laundry to do, floors to be vacuumed, etc. I attempted to juggle it all, especially when Adam was home from work. I can easily spend hours cleaning but there will always be more to do. Connor would wake up and need my attention so I couldn’t finish what I was doing. I would get overwhelmed by dirty counters and soon enough I felt the burden of not being able to catch up on anything.
While on Facebook I stumbled across a blog post that mentioned an excellent point: Chores can wait. Now I’m not saying to ignore everything all the time, but if I have a pile of laundry that needs to be done and Connor is pulling on me trying to get my attention, I choose to play with him.
Don’t let your insecurities make you miss out on making memories.
During my pregnancy I gained 64 pounds, so I’m left with a lovely mommy pouch along with an array of tiger stripes. I have yet to get back down to my pre-baby weight so clothes don’t look the way I’d like them to on my mommy body. There would be times that I’d rather stay home than go to the pool, or my anxiety would be bad enough that I wouldn’t be willing to go out in public with just Connor and I. As someone who struggles with anxiety I have to work myself up to do simple tasks such as grocery shop or go for a walk. I think of everything that can possibly go wrong and end up scaring myself out of going.
Truth is, life is short. Childhood is short. I want my son to have fun memories and pictures of places and things he’s seen. Whether that would be getting in a swimsuit to swim with your kids or going to the state fair that is filled with thousands of people, try to get out there and make lasting memories.