Becoming a mother was a very unexpected surprise for me (being that I was 19!). I was NOT ready, and felt 100% unsure about my new role. I certainly didn’t think I would discover these things about myself – and some of these might not be the same for you…but I did learn some amazing and unexpected things during my first year of motherhood that I wanted to share with my readers!
1. I Loved The Way My Baby Smelled
From their sweet-smelling saliva to their kissable baby toes – I LOVE the way my babies smell. I didn’t realize until I breastfed my second babe that their dirty diapers actually smell like buttered popcorn! Crazy, right?!
2. I became a health nut
From McDonald’s every day in college, to kale shakes and homemade baby food – I became obsessed with nutrition labels and facts! I trained myself to know exactly how much protein my 20 lb. baby needed each day, and refused to give him anything processed or that contained sugar.
3. Sunscreen Became A Diaper Bag Staple
Living in the south, and still being in my early 20s, I never cared much for sunscreen. I always wanted to have that golden Carolina tan, and said poo poo to sunscreen. But having a very fair-skinned baby (and becoming a health nut, as mentioned above!) I kept sunscreen in my diaper bag at all times, even in winter, and slathered it on my baby whether we were in the shade, or at the beach.
I think I read an article at that time (this would be EIGHT WHOLE YEARS AGO! AHHH) that said babies could get a sunburn even in the shade. I took that article to heart, and have been crazy about it ever since.
4. I Can Run On 2 Hours Of Sleep
Ah, I remember pre-mom Corinne. She slept a full ten hours at night, and napped after her college classes were done in the afternoon.
I laughed as I wrote that, because #momlife means running on maaaaaaybe 2 hours (if you’re lucky!) because that’s how often they eat. Going from 12 hours of sleep a day to maybe 2 hours in the beginning was really difficult, but I learned to sleep while he slept, and we even practiced co-sleeping that really helped us bond and rest together.
5. Both My Anxiety + My Confidence Grew
Having a baby gave me nightmares – I imagined him being kidnapped, abducted, and even abused at daycare. Every possible horrible scenario would play in my head like a bad movie. I was responsible for this tiny, vulnerable human being. And there were times I felt very inadequate in my new role.
BUT – I also came to realize within that first year that I did know what I was doing. I realized that I understood his cues, his needs, and was able to teach him! His first word might have been one of the super popular four-letter words I tend to use while driving, but every step he took, or word he learned, or new thing he tried – I took absolute pride in. Teaching tiny humans and watching them actually do what they’ve been taught has been incredible for me as a mother and a person.
6. Mom Brain Is Real
I wasn’t always sharp as a tack – but boy, there are some days I’d give anything to have my memory back! I will be in mid conversation, and forget my thought completely. I have learned that writing things down helps! I have a planner, a calendar, a magnetic whiteboard calendar on the fridge, and several timers I have on my phone each morning to keep us on schedule for getting out the door and packing the things Max needs for school.
Thank God for technology ;).
7. I Bounced Back Immediately
Pre-baby, I was a little on the chunkier side for my height (I’m only 5′!). Once I became pregnant, I slimmed down a lot for some strange reason starting halfway through my second trimester, and by the time I had given birth I was 20 lbs. lighter than when I has first gotten pregnant. I thought for sure there were some thyroid issues I was experiencing – but I was just fine. I won’t say my exact weight – I get a lot of criticism for what my body did naturally.
But I thank my lucky stars (and my mother’s genes) for giving birth to a very healthy baby boy.
8. Poop Is Just Another Word
Before we become wives or mothers, girls are brought up to never discuss poop. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s never actually said out loud, but maybe we shame each other into thinking it’s so disgusting, and don’t want to admit ourselves that we do it? Am I on the right track, here? I’m not sure exactly what it is, but whatever. Having a baby changed all that – and now I can talk openly about my child’s bowel movements (and sometimes lack thereof). Color. Consistency. Frequency. Shape. You get the idea.
9. Caffeine Makes Me A Better Mom
I don’t like to admit that I don’t sing like a Disney princess when my kids wake up for the 3rd time in the middle of the night because their left sock went missing, or the baby wants to play at 2:07 a.m. But I have found some wonderful solace in my daily cup of Joe, even if it needs to be reheated two or three times. Coffee helps me function with the lack of sleep I get, but luckily the older they get the better they sleep (for the most part!).
10.I’m A Baby When It Comes To Their Shots
I act real tough – but the moment the nurse asks me to help hold my babies down so she can give them shots and they cry, I cry inside. I act all tough, even with my cheeks burning red, and offer ice cream for all their trouble. If we’re being honest, the ice cream is probably to cool my face down, but it’s also a plus that it happens to cheer them up too ;).
11. I Can Totally Handle Another Human’s Bodily Functions
Before I became a mother, the slightest mention of vomit would make me feel sick. I certainly never thought I’d be staring at a child who has just had a blow out diaper that has bubbled up to his shoulders – and I would be the one responsible for cleaning it up. But as a mother now, I didn’t/don’t give those moments even a second of thought. I go straight into Mommy-Autopilot, and handle the situation as quickly as possible. I no longer care that there’s vomit, or runny diapers and noses – I just care that my little one is clean and safe.
12. I Have A Dirty House – But I Don’t Care
There’s always that pile of laundry in the hallway, and dishes overflowing in the sink. And while I know they are there, it isn’t a pressing or annoying thought for me. As long as I have happy and healthy people in my home, I will have dishes in the sink and dirty clothes in the laundry basket. They are fed, they are clothed, and they are well taken care of. So I don’t FREAKING care if my house is dirty (mostly because I’m tired, and to care would be sacrificing some much-needed energy I need to thrive in the more important parts in my life).
Okay, so I kind of care, because I can read people very well. It’s a super secret skill of mine. And when someone walks into my house, I watch them glance from the knocked over toy bin to the kitchen sink, and gradually switch their gaze to the hallway where the last load of laundry is waiting to be collected into a basket. I get it, we’re a little messy. I don’t want anyone to think I’m a slob, or I neglect my house or kids – because I certainly don’t. But that’s just the immediate thought someone has when your house isn’t completely tidy. I don’t spend hours meticulously scrubbing my baseboards, and scheduling the loads of laundry for the week. I sit down, play with my kids, and ignore the housework for the most part. Plus, I’m a crazy person and decided to start up a blog in the middle of all of our schedules. So while I do clean, I don’t make it a priority to keep the house spotless while there are memories to be made. So…that’s my excuse ;).
What are some things you learned during your first year of motherhood?
I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below 🙂