The day our baby completes one year is always an exciting one and we look forward to it. And with that, all dreading also comes and goes. My baby girl turned one-year-old in April 2017. It was the time to celebrate her 1st and I didn’t realize that that was my 1st year of motherhood too. Her birth. Her life. Was the start of my journey of motherhood too. From the moment I first took the test, there was no looking back. I was my baby’s mommy. And that baby was mine. And there is nothing I love more. Now my daughter completed her 500 days today or I can say at the same time I too completed my 500 days of motherhood too.
Through this post, I want to share that not only was it the most rewarding 500 days of my life, but also the hardest. I giggled every day but cried a great deal too. It transforms your relationships. It makes you feel a love you never knew existed. It simplifies life’s pleasures. It can be absolutely terrifying. It shows you how strong you are.
So now that the party is over and my 500 days into motherhood are going to finish today, this is what I’ve learned:
- Time flies.
I thought the days were going on forever, but fast forward 499 days and the time truly went by too quick. My tiny baby grew up into a wandering tot in a flash.
- The small moments are everything.
The tiniest moments turn out to be the biggest achievements, such as a long-awaited poop. The first smile or the adorable baby talk(nowadays she babbles kaa –pattaaa-kaa-kaa-pattaa-kaaa—babujjiii). Watching your baby grow is incredible. Each milestone comes and goes very quickly. And it’s the small moments you remember, like the joy a baby can get from playing with a cardboard box or kitchen utensils.
- Emotions increase.
When you become a parent, instantly emotions start to flow. The love you feel for your tiny one is overwhelming. Sometimes it can seem unreasonable. You become soppy about everything, like when you have to pack up your baby’s clothes because they don’t fit anymore. Fear, anxiety, blues also tends to be amped up with a new baby. And when you mix in exhaustion and hormones it makes for one weepy mama.
- A baby changes your marriage.
Babies can throw your marriage upside down. With little sleep, lack of quality time as a couple, and high stress, a baby can take a toll on a marriage. Romance takes a break when the baby is permanently cuddled in between you and your partner. There is no time for movie nights or sporadic weekend getaways; baby’s needs to come first.
- Relationship changes.
Not only does marriage change, relationships with everyone else transform too. Friendships get put on hold. It is hard to hold a proper conversation without being interrupted by a child. Girls nights out seems to be a distant dream. New bonds are formed with other mothers. A friendship that can stand the test of a baby is meant to be.
- Full of guilt.
There is no such thing as a perfect mother, so why are we full of guilt when we mess up? Moms are after all human and get irritated, upset, angry, grumpy and sad. We all have off days, and babies do too.
- Never judge another mother.
You never know what another mom is going through. Before having a baby, I couldn’t help but get irritated at the mother whose tot was screaming in a supermarket or a plane. We’ve all been there, so instead of judging offer to help.
- Taking time to be with your little one.
I know the house is a mess and there is so many stuff to get back to. But slow down, and take time to be with your baby. Put down the phone. And actually watch and be present with them. Be it morning cuddles, watching them play in the bath or babbling with them.
- Go with the flow
I spent way too much time Googling and reading about how to be a mother in my first year, from sleep to breastfeeding to discipline. Follow your gut and do what works for you and your baby.
- It’s ok to have some me time.
For the first few months of motherhood, I wanted to do everything myself after recovering from the C-sec. I am not blaming my baby here, but it was me who let her took over my life and I lost the sense of the person I used to be before parenthood. I reconsidered what was important to me and made an effort to make time for myself.
At first, it felt strange to be out without a baby attached to my hip. But soon it felt liberating, and I felt refreshed and more appreciative of my little one. If someone offers to watch the baby or make you a meal, take them up on it. You don’t have to be supermom all the time.
- It’s okay not to be happy all the time.
Motherhood is complicated. We are told to cherish every moment and that this is the best time of our lives. Right now my baby is teething, my husband is sick and on the top of that he is staying away from us and the house looks like a bomb went off. I can’t say I will cherish this moment but feeling down or upset is normal. And the more you talk about it, the more you realize other mothers feel the same.
- Moms are amazing at adapting.
Yes, it has been a hard first year but mothers are great at adapting; be it little sleep, taking care of a sick child or multitasking. What may seem overwhelming at first quickly becomes second nature.
So if I can do this anybody can do it. I have grown in ways I never imagined. Been pushed further than I ever thought possible. And celebrated things I never knew would make me happy.
My daughter is my inspiration for all I do. Before becoming a mommy. That title—MOMMY–did not seem super glamorous. But once I had her. I cannot think of a title I love more.