It’s been almost a year since I have become a mom and all I can think is: where did the year go?
To recap: I thought I was going to give birth around Christmas time in 2016, but our little angel would not come until January 16, 2017, Martin Luther King Day. Those first two weeks were difficult. Nothing could have prepared me for my little to no milk supply, the sleepless days and nights that rolled into each other, the post-partum mom bod, the hormonal imbalance. All of it was a shock to the system. The beauty, though, and the thread running through all of these things was the baby. His smell, his snuggles, the peace of him sleeping, his first baths at home, his joy of nursing, the tears in our eyes, when my husband and I looked at each other and whispered, we made that.
In my opinion, the level of difficulty that motherhood presented went like this:
First two nights: THE BEST. You are on an adrenaline high.
First two weeks: QUITE DIFFICULT. The adjustment period. Learning to (or not) pump and breastfeed and bottle feed. Adjusting to no sleep (you can never really adjust, you just survive, somehow).
First three months: THE LONG STRETCH. By far, as a whole, the hardest out of the first year. Hormonal imbalances are still there, and the questions of identity begin to creep in. Who am I in the world, now that I am a mother? For those who left jobs, you might feel either dread of going back or a yearning to be something more.
First six months: DIFFICULT BUT DOABLE. As in, your baby will hopefully be doing things that excite you by this time. Maybe sleeping more. Maybe sitting up. Rolling over. Trying solid foods. You will see that all your hard work in the first 3 months are paying off in the second half.
Six-Ten months: THE CUTE PHASE. Oh, my goodness. These months are wonderful. Your little human can sit up, hopefully crawl, giggle, enjoy different flavors in foods. He is a joy to all and it’s truly a gift to see the world through your baby’s eyes.
Ten-Twelve months: STOP TIME. You feel the impending doom of the first year being over. You think, bring my baby back! Stop growing! You contemplate whether you will carry on telling people the age of your baby. Is he 15 months or Is he newly one year old? You get in extra snuggles because you know the beauty of parenthood stronger than ever, and you even consider congratulating yourself—as you should! You made it! You survived the first year!
Bennett is on his way to 11 months and I am absolutely glowing. I love him so much. And I am proud of the job Nick and I have done. We are looking forward to the future and holding tight to the present.
Happy first year of parenthood! Just know, YOU can do hard things. Every day is different than the last. You are capable of everything. As a mom or a dad, you are a superhero to a little someone. Own it.