Congratulations! Your little one is now a whole one year old – and you have survived! You may have less hair with more grey bits. You may have felt like you’ve aged ten years in the one that you have spent as a parent. You may even have shed enough tears to fill lakes and rivers. But here you are – you made it.
No matter how prepared you are for parenthood, there are certain things that you only learn in the very first year you are on the carousel. Grab a drink and take a look at some of the things that you will only learn in the first year of parenthood:
- Sleep is a currency. You want the dishes done? Offer them the extra half hour in bed in the morning, and you are onto a winner.
- A cake smash photo shoot is a great way to celebrate their birthday; even if it is messy. The memories are worth the mess, and the pictures are the cutest thing ever!
- Babies are selfish – in the best possible way. They need you like no one else has ever needed you, which is fantastic and suffocating all at once.
- You learn exactly how strong you really are. All of those sleepless nights? You survived them, and you’re still alive!
- You will sacrifice more than you planned. Your youth, your time, and in some cases, your pretty bras! You give up pieces of yourself to be a mother that you don’t get back for a very long time.
- You respect your parents in a new way. Everything you’ve gone through this year, your parents did it, too, with you. Which means that you now understand all the sacrifices that they made for you.
- Opinions are everywhere, from weaning to breastfeeding, everyone has word vomit when you have a baby.
- You learned how wrong you were in some situations. Sometimes, science knows better than you do and that’s okay! It’s all learning!
- Breast is best, but it’s not easy! You know that breast milk is superior, but it didn’t stop you longing for your partner with his useless nipples to take over a feed so you can get some sweet, sweet sleep.
- Your body felt like it was hit by a train. Not only did you go through labour and all the pain it brings, but then you were sent home to look after a selfish and loud human without any rest. There was no recovery time or time to slow down – and that hurt.
- You need a village. Even if you don’t let anyone else care for your baby, YOU need a village. A village of other parents who can empathise on the hard days and reassure you that you’re getting it right.
Parenthood in that first year? A maze without an end. But here you are on your child’s first birthday, and you’re getting it right. You’re both still here, still loving each other and still proud. Well done!