What I Have Learned This Past Year

Since this year has been both the greatest and most exhausting year of my life, I thought I’d take a few minutes to write about the things I have learned about motherhood. In no particular order….

1. Eat something before you head to the hospital. They really don’t let you eat or drink anything there. It’s tough to summon the energy to push a baby out when you haven’t eaten in 24+ hours.

2. Spending 9 months worrying about delivery is a big waste of worrying. Labor Amnesia kicks in before you can feel your legs again.

3. Epidurals are every bit as wonderful as I expected them to be.

4. Baby boys have no control over where they pee and will not stop even if they are hitting themselves in the face.

5. Cats and babies are okay together as long as the cat has a good 6-9 months to get used to it being there before the baby is mobile. At that point they realize they’re stuck with the thing. I must also add that cats are passive aggressive little creatures who will make their feelings known even if in subtle ways such as chewing the nipples off bottles or destroying teethers.

6. Milestones come when you least expect them. Worrying about when a baby will sit up or crawl or walk is silly. Just when you think it will never happen, they get up and walk across the room. Just because I know this doesn’t mean I won’t worry anyway.

7. Just because the parents are small doesn’t mean the baby will be.

8. You should never underestimate the strength of a baby who doesn’t want to be changed. Things that you never imagined you’d let your baby chew on become great toys when you need a distraction for this particular occasion.

9. Bath time can be considered an aerobic workout.

10. Travel systems are not necessary. Get the stroller frame and the bucket seat. Then switch to an umbrella stroller (I recommend the Maclaren)

11. All the stuff you get at your baby shower is awesome for the first few months when you realize you need a whole new set of stuff.

12. An 8 pound baby can take up more space than 2 grown adults.

13. You will not remember anything about the first month of your child’s life unless you write it down and take pictures. You may still not remember it. Like labor, we forget these things. It’s natures way of ensuring we have more children.

14. Breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone and if it doesn’t work for you, flipping out about it won’t help the situation. I don’t care what people say, Formula is a nutritionally perfect food. If breastfeeding was nutritionally perfect you wouldn’t have to supplement your baby’s diet with vitamins.

15. Make a point of taking a picture of your baby every single day. I had planned to do this and then didn’t do it and I wish more than anything that I had.

16. You can never take too many pictures.

17. All the things you thought you wouldn’t get done while you were pregnant and killed yourself doing in the last few weeks… waste of time. Life doesn’t cease to exist. Eventually, life continues. You will have time to do things again.

18. Sleep before the baby comes. That’s one thing you won’t be doing after it arrives.

19. You can have a baby and a clean house.

20. Napping while the baby naps is not good advice for someone anal about getting things done like me.

21. Bonding isn’t always instant. It’s okay if it’s not. It will happen.

22. Did I mention that you should take a lot of pictures.

23. People tell you that babies grow up fast and to enjoy every second of it. No truer word was ever spoken. By the time they reach a year old you’ll try to remember what they were like when they were tiny and you just can’t. They grow up before your eyes.

24. Just when you think you’ve kept everything clean and sanitized, you’ll find your baby eating cat fur and sticks.

25. You can never imagine the intensity of the love you will feel for your baby until one day you’re holding them in your arms and you feel like your heart will literally burst with the joy of knowing that you are holding the most precious being in the whole world. You will sit back and marvel at the amazing tiny child that your body created and try to imagine what the world was like before they were in it. Then you’ll realize that that world may never have existed because the only thing important now is the child in your arms and when he is there with you, everything is perfect.

Happy 1st Birthday my dear sweet precious Andrew 🙂

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2 thoughts on “What I Have Learned This Past Year

  1. Emily VanderPloeg

    Thanks for sharing Em! Labor is weighing heavily on my mind right about now, so I’m taking your advice to heart. Seriously take a picture EVERY DAY?? I figured at least once a week. Steve already complains that I take too many pictures! lol

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