Thursday, January 29, 2015

First Year Surprises

With Felicity's birthday right around the corner, approaching much more quickly than I'd like, I've of course got all the feels. I'm reflecting a lot on her first year and, as I begin one of her scrapbooks (*cough* the one of the day she was born... get on it, Stacy, amiright?), I'm feeling so much wistfulness over the tiny newborn in the pictures that I hardly remember! Today it has me thinking about all the things that surprised me about her first year. It will be interesting to compare when (God willing) #2 comes along to see what's the same, what's different, or at least what doesn't surprise me the second time around as a 'seasoned' mom.

  • I struggled for way longer after she was born than I ever thought I would. As I've said before, my milk supply issues and her tongue/lip tie and weight issues certainly contributed to it, but I really thought after like a month or two, I'd have this mom thing down. That was probably pretty naive of me as, in reality, it was probably a good 6 months until I really felt like we'd hit our stride as a mommy/baby duo. And to add to that, I didn't think about how every stage would bring a new challenge (but also lots of new joys!), and that I'd have to re-figure her/us out at each step of the way! Now I know that when I find something that works, it will probably change in a week or two.
  • I had to lower my standards regarding housework a LOT. Pre-baby, Steven and I cleaned the house top to bottom weekly. Now that he's working more hours and I'm home, housework has mostly fallen on my shoulders (though he's happy to help if asked/needed). Weekly is just not doable for me, even now! That last part, the fact that I *still* struggle, has surprised me as well. Dusting happens way less often, and bathrooms and the kitchen are about the only things that get done every single week, because those spaces gross me out if they aren't super clean. I actually do vacuum more (about every other day, and that's probably pushing it) now that I have a crumb catcher of a baby, but everything else has taken more of a back seat than I'd like. I try to remember that being with and playing with my baby is more important and that I won't look back and think "gee, I wish I had cleaned more". It's a balance though, because dirtiness and clutter stresses me out.  
I do not remember being this big!
  • Oh, let me go back to the beginning for a minute. The post partum healing. Good grief. I know it's not like that for everyone, but it took me FOREVER to heal! I thought after a month or so I'd be good as new but it was probably a good 5 months before I was back to normal and closer to the 10 month mark before I felt like my old self (yes, that's just a month ago!). It's largely because of how quickly Felicity came, so here's to hoping the next baby takes a little more time!
  • Well here's a good surprise. Steven and I fared better than I thought we would. We did have new parent challenges and it took us a while to figure out how to be both parents and spouses, but I think we actually handled it pretty well. I should say "are handling it". There are still aspects of our pre-baby relationship that we both miss, but also new aspects we really enjoy. I think a big reason we are doing as well as we are is that we set aside intentional time together almost every single day. It's easy to zone out once the baby is asleep and just do our own thing, but we make sure to spend some time together whether it's board games, just sitting and talking, working on hobbies while we chat, or cuddling and watching a show together. We also try to go on a date about once a month, and we do family dates as well. 

  • I didn't expect that our baby would still be in our bed at a year old. We were both open to the idea of cosleeping from the get go (clearly since we bought a cosleeper) and also somewhat open to the idea of bedsharing. But, if I'm being honest, I probably imagined something like her transitioning to her crib around six months, or napping there or something. Well, it just hasn't worked for her OR us, and we're ok with that. We figure when it stops working for one of us, that's when we'll address it (we actually have a plan in place for a slow/gentle transition when that happens, but none of us is ready yet). Also if I'm being honest, we both love it way more than I thought we would. Some of our best moments as a family are when Steven and I go to bed or wake up with Felicity there. Sometimes when we get in bed, she'll start laughing in her sleep. She will often times wake up in the morning by patting my face, kissing me, or blowing raspberries. They have made some of the best memories! Yes, there are downsides... it'd be nice to have our bed for us, and I can't get anything done in our room during the day because she naps in there. But the pros vastly outweigh the cons for us. We get SO much more sleep because we never have to get up! No trudging across the house or rocking the baby in the wee hours of the morning. She's right there in bed with us for us to comfort. We bought a king size bed about 6 months after she was born, which has really improved any space issues we had before (though it's amazing how a ~20lb human can still crowd you lol). Basically, it's working for us and that's all that matters, but the pregnant me would not have thought we'd have a(n almost) one year old in our bed!
  • And, cliche to say maybe, I'm surprised at just how much love I have for this tiny person. Not at all surprised that I do love her; I knew I would. But at the vast amount of love in my heart for her. I'm surprised that, a year in, she can do something she's done a billion times (wave, blow a kiss, "dance") and my heart still feels like it's going to explode right out of my chest. I can literally be with her around the clock for weeks, and then have 2 hours of "me time" and be missing her terribly by hour 2. Felicity is absolutely a piece of my heart walking around on the outside. Goodness, my heart wants to burst just writing this. I love that little girl so much and it's such a beautiful thing watching Steven love her just as much! 
I'm sure I'm forgetting a ton, but that's what stands out to me as I think back over the past several months. I'd love to hear some things that surprised you about your first year with your baby!

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations making it this first year!! You can't imagine how much fun you have in store!!