7 True Things About the First Year of Motherhood
Becoming a parent is a huge responsibility and often along the way, we find ourselves panicking trying to find the most optimal and unmistakable options.
Here are 10 true facts about the first year of motherhood that can be very helpful to you.
1. You are going to suck at this parenting gig + be awesome at it at the same time, all the time.
You will be a different parent every morning to a child who will also be different, sometimes changing in just hours, or minutes, or before your eyes. There will be good days and bad days, good minutes and bad minutes, good choices and not so good ones. You will do some things, probably a lot of things, wrong. Be gentle with yourself, because you are wildly loved and incredibly needed.
2. Postpartum bodies are squashy + wobbly + dimpled + stretched.
Also foreign and embarrassing and difficult and painful and gorgeously imperfect, and they tend to stay that way for quite a while. You made a human. Now make your peace. Eat good food. Walk around when you’re well enough. Listen to the people who tell you you’re beautiful. Take them at their word. Remember where your worth comes from.
3. Your baby is not like the other babies.
Your baby is the only one of herself who has ever been, and you and your partner are the only experts on her. Your baby will not behave like the books say, won’t like what she’s supposed to like, won’t do what she’s supposed to do when she’s supposed to do it, and that’s normal and great and perfectly okay.
The best thing you can do is put down your literature and get to know your baby.
4. We have to stop telling people that things should be easy + painless.
Just because your baby doesn’t sleep through the night at 5 weeks or eat with a fork by her first birthday or cries a lot, or your boobs get sore from breastfeeding (even though her latch is perfect)—just because it isn’t EASY and PAINLESS—it isn’t necessarily wrong. Sometimes hard is okay, sometimes, often, it’s even good. Hard is how we grow. And guess what, kiddo? Parenting is hard.
5. The sooner you can figure out how to accept unwanted advice gracefully, the easier your year is going to be.
If I were you, I’d aim for…
Nobody is out to get you. Everyone wants you to succeed. And screw them all anyway, because you are raising a child, and that is awesome. Did your kid eat something today? Is she relatively hygienically sound? Smiles occasionally? You win all the things. You are awesome enough to absorb any and all commentary, keep the bits you like, and toss the bits you don’t. How sweet of them to care.
6. Start stretching, because it’s time to get flexible.
Your schedule, your sleep, your stellar punctuality record, your deadlines, your best shirts, your relationships—everything is about to get messy and complicated. You have two choices: become a weepinghungrytiredmess of doom, or swallow every ounce of pride you have and become flexible.
Ask for help. Admit failure. Be late. Stay in your pajamas. Ignore the dishes. Let slide what can slide and rejoice when you make it through with all your bare necessities intact. You are going to miss a few parties and a lot of snoozes and probably many other important things, and it will be okay. It will be better than okay. It will be amazing.
7. We have to lift each other up.
Raising babies is the hardest thing many of us have ever done. We can tear each other to bits, criticize choices and turn up noses, or we can love each other, admire adorable babies, offer a hand and celebrate victories. This is not a difficult choice, people. Nobody cares that your way is better. Everyone cares that your kid is gorgeous and let’s chat over coffee and what have you been doing with your hair lately because you look fabulous. Don’t be horrible. It isn’t really that hard.