Lessons Learned in my First Year of Motherhood
Elijah's first year is officially in the books! I often scroll through my iPhone photo gallery at his earlier pictures and am literally astonished about how much he has grown! Being a first time mom, I definitely didn't know what to expect. Typically, I applied my "fake it till' you make it" life philosophy, and literally winged it until I got the hang of things. With no mother, grandmother, or mother-in law within 200 miles, I never really experienced that one-on-one, frequent motherly "how-to" help with Elijah. With my husband so quickly needing to go back to work after his birth, I was basically left to figure things out on my own during the day - all while keeping my Mom on speed-dial.
For the first 2 months, I remember not even wanting to leave the house. Me, BY MYSELF, with the baby, IN PUBLIC?! What if I can't figure out how to set up the stroller? What if he starts crying in the middle of this grocery shopping trip? It was all just too stressful, so I basically stayed in pj's for weeks with him at home. After awhile, I was just about fed up and needed to feel fresh air hit my skin. I set up the stroller, and took Elijah on his first walk through out neighborhood. I all of a sudden got this huge boost of confidence, and the rest is history.
I lost a lot, and I mean A LOT of sleep the first couple of months. But by month 3, he was sleeping through the night. THANK THE LORD. Perhaps the biggest lessons I've learned are patience, overall adjustment and incorporation of mom duties in our everyday schedule, and struggling with my type-a cleaning/organization personality. I have always been the type of person that never leaves a room with things out of place, needs perfect placement of throw pillows on the bed before I walk away, etc. Once Elijah reached his crawling and walking stages, this way of life was DONE. OVER. FINISHED. At first, I was not willing to accept this. I would find myself literally stressing out because things weren't perfectly in place. Finally, I asked, "why do you do this to yourself?!" I've accepted that life is different now, and IT IS OKAY. I now leave played with toys or books out until he goes to sleep for the evening - because honey, there is no reason to clean up a mess he will just continue creating.
I've learned that it IS possible to be a working mom and not have the guilt associated with it. My education and career path has always been a high priority, and I feel that seeing me go to work, advance, and achieve my professional goals is vital to setting a good example in his life, and for his future. It helps that we are so pleased with Elijah's educational daycare, I feel so good dropping him off everyday knowing he is safe and surrounded by teachers and staff members who truly love him.
I am blessed in the sense that my son loves to be out and about - he is a huge fan of his stroller! He is the most patient shopping buddy and absolutely loves to go out to dinner with mommy and daddy. Food is his vice, so if for some reason he is getting a bit fussy, I slip him a snack and all is good in the world. Elijah has such a feisty personality, and is developing a little bit of a temper! But all in all, I love seeing the boy he is growing to be, and I can't wait for what's in store for year two.
The Mimosa Mom