I’ve been a mom for a year now. My baby is officially a toddler now, and I’ve watched her as she’s smiled her first smile and taken her first steps. I’ve listened to her say her first word, and watched as her little waddling walk turned into a little waddling run.
I’ve been a mom for a year. It has been hectic, emotional, and magical. I love when she sneaks into my bed in the morning for cuddles after her daddy goes to work. I worry about everything— is she turning out okay? Am I a good mom?
I don’t want to bore you with a sappy introspective post, so I’m going to try to keep this succinct. Being a mom has taught me a lot that I don’t know if I would have learned otherwise. Here’s a few of them.
1. Family is what you make it.
Fortunately, family isn’t limited to your blood kin. Although I’ve been blessed with some wonderful, supportive family members, they aren’t the only family that Critter will get to know. Our family extends beyond blood, and I am so lucky to have these wonderful people in my life to help us, support us, and to love on my child.
2. A good friend is worth their weight in gold.
I have made some wonderful new friends during and because of this whole parenthood thing. I love my “mom friends” who know exactly how it feels when you just can’t handle one more minute without adult conversation and my couple friends who adore my kid because they can give her back at the end of the day. Parenthood can get lonely. It’s a fact. Having friends makes your load a lot lighter.
3. You’re a better parent before you have kids.
Before Critter actually arrived, I had her childhood all planned out. She would be well-dressed with bows in her hair. She would eat healthy meals and snacks. She would sleep through the night by six months. She and I would always coordinate. My house would always be clean. Her nursery would always have a theme. We would do educational activities, and there would be absolutely no TV before age two. Well. Food allergies and Reflux ruined her perfect diet. She hates sleep. She loves Sofia the First. So far, she’s still turning out fine.
4. You’re both more and less patient than you think.
I don’t know how this works, but it’s true. I find myself reading the same book for the 32nd time even though my daughter is wandering around feeding my shoe to the dog, and I think “I never knew I could be this patient.” Then, I watch her try to feed herself lunch and I just want to feed her myself because how can one child be so slow and so messy? Maybe I used up my patience on the 32nd rendition of Mr. Brown Can Moo.
I’ve learned a lot more, of course, but instead of listing it all, I’m going to sneak in some toddler cuddles. The internet will still be here tomorrow to listen to my musings, but she won’t be this small forever. I’m going to savor these moments while I can.