One of our most popular posts of all time was Emily’s post one year into motherhood. I learned so much from it myself, and now that Baby Joe is one, I figured I should write my own! I can’t believe it’s already been a year – and what a year it’s been. I definitely think that the pandemic has added a layer into my first year as a mom – so keep that in mind as you read. Here we go…
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I lost and found myself all at the same time.
This was the hardest for me – and it didn’t hit me until like 6 months in. I will say, I think the pandemic had SO much to do with this, but there was one day where I finally broke down. I didn’t recognize myself. I was VERY social before he was born. I think leaving San Francisco had a lot to do with this as well. I was used to going out every weekend, attending every restaurant opening, going to Barry’s every single day, brunch, lunch, spa days, etc. Reno is obviously slower pace – but throw in a pandemic and a new baby and WHOA. I missed little things too – like going out for a late dinner with Joe, watching Netflix all day in bed, going to the gym, etc. This transition was a lot – but at the same time, I was SO, blissfully happy. So much of me missed my old life, but so much of me didn’t. It’s hard to explain and I’m definitely rambling. Despite all of this, I’ve also never felt more comfortable in my own skin, never felt more fulfilled and so solidified about who I really am. There are some days where I miss my old life so much, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything – even on the worst days.
It goes by faster than you think
Everyone warned me – but I didn’t get it until it was too late. “Enjoy the newborn snuggles.” And I did – they were amazing – but then one day they were gone. And I wasn’t ready. I wish I knew that it would be the last time he took a nap on me, the last time he would chill in his swing, the last time he could hang out on the bed with us until he learned how to roll over, the last time I would have to hold his bottle for him and every other little milestone. Seriously, where did the time go – looking back, it felt like it was gone in an instant. I would do anything to go back. Take all of the photos and videos.
Snaps are the devil
Seriously, why do they even make clothes with snaps? I have a laundry list of items I didn’t need and regret buying but anything with snaps is at the top of my list. Don’t. Do. It.
Babies are resilient
When we learned our sweet boy had hip dysplasia and would have to be in a harness, I thought the world was ending. Joe had to call my mom and tell her to come over because I was that unwell. But did he notice? I don’t think so. He never acted any different, and he wasn’t in any pain, but it felt like the end of my world at the time. I was not expecting to face something so serious so soon, so by the time we were told he needed a helmet too, I was in a much better place. Of course, that was hard too – but he did much better than I did in both of those situations. He adapted to both of those things within a couple of days, and both of them went by so fast. He is so much braver and stronger than I will ever be- and I am still amazed by this.
Take advice with a grain of salt
Considering how anxious and how strung I am in all areas of my life, I am actually a pretty “chill” mom – but I’m also not. One day someone told me to give them formula before bed so they would be full for longer, and I was like, oh – he’s had formula before, this will be fine. WRONG. He hadn’t had it in months, and his little tummy wasn’t used to it and he was up ALLLLL night. I remember feeling so embarrassed, like such a failure, and like a horrible mom for making his tummy upset just so I could get a little more sleep. That being said, ask for help when you need it, but also really think about and research any advice (unsolicited or not) – trust me, I learned this the hard way.
I did all the things I said I’d never do
I used to think the moms who took their baby’s monthly milestone pics were SOOOO LAME. But then I did it too. When Gigi Hadid put “khai’s mom” in her Instagram bio, so did I. The moms that would do baby talk on stories used to annoy me, but now I do it. AKA I’m the world’s biggest hypocrite. When he goes to sleep at night, I spend the rest of the evening looking at photos of him. Literally every single night. This is who I am now and that’s okay. And to all the moms I judged before, I’m sorry, and I get it.
Hangovers are one million x worse with a baby
Just don’t do it. Or plan ahead – it’s not a good situation.
Sleep When the baby sleeps is crap advice
I think this is the single most annoying piece of advice I received besides “Give yourself grace” – I swear, if I hear that one more time…. But seriously, if I slept when he slept I would never get anything done. Everyone is different, but for me, this is the ONLY time I can get things done. In the beginning, it was SO easy, because he slept so much, but that time was fleeting. At first, I was like, “I got this – I can totally work the same amount and be totally fine.” OMG how wrong I was. That lasted one month maybe. I never had a childcare plan- I still don’t really. I always just assumed I would keep him home with me until he was one and then daycare. But then Covid happened. I decided to get a full-time nanny instead of daycare because I felt much safer with that plan. I know we are all in a crazy situation right now – kids at home, working from home; everything is at home.
Your relationships will change
I realized this when my own friends started having kids, but you don’t really get it until you’re in it. I used to wonder why it was so hard to grab dinner or drinks with my friends who had kids and now I laugh out loud at just the thought of it. Again, I’m sorry to any of my friends if I ever gave you a hard time about this. Your marriage will also change too – a lot. The beginning was so hard, but now I feel like part of a family instead of just one half, and there’s no better feeling.
The days you get nothing done are the best
I learned to really slow down since I had him, and it’s not really in my nature and so it’s been a nice change of pace. Somedays I just don’t feel like getting ready, getting dressed, or doing anything at all – besides hanging out with him. At first I felt guilty, but now I love them.
They will be nothing like you expect
I expected a little brown baby who would snuggle in bed with me all day and read books and watch movies. What I got: a blonde-haired hazel-eyed boy who never, and I mean never, sits still!
Nothing else matters
I used to get so worked up about things so far out of my control, but he really put so much in perspective for me. As long as he is healthy, happy, and loved – then I am doing a good job, and everything outside of that will be okay, My anxiety shifted a lot when I had him – this was a super hard year for so many of us, but I think he is the only reason I handled it as well as I did.
You will have that much more respect for your own mama
I have this quote saved in my phone: “you never know how much you need your mom until you become one.” It is so true! I used to think her job was so easy – I have never been more wrong about anything in my life. And she is still doing it 34 years later. Having her nearby to help with raising Baby Joe means the absolute world to me, and I have such newfound respect and appreciation for all that she did for me!