I Survived My First Year of Motherhood and This is What I Learned

I find him naked practically half the time. Just butt naked against the wall as he pees on top of the clean diaper he just threw behind him on the newly vacuumed floor.

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This is my son and he just turned one.

Now that I have a 1-year old I guess that means I am also a 1-year-old. One year as a mother, of course. Though my newly developed wrinkles and grey hair may say otherwise.

No part of motherhood has been easy for me.  Starting with the pregnancy where he practically karate chopped my organs into 99 cent taco meat every night. To the 36 hours that finally led to delivery where… you know what, I am not even going there!   To the first 3 months which I don’t think I slept a wink while watching my sweet angel suck the living life out of my once perky boobs.

If there is anything I have learned over the year it is that becoming a mother is a transition, not a snap of the fingers and boom!
You know what you are doing and are soooo happy!
Not even close…

This is a new role you can only try to prepare for and that in reality is the starring role you will play for the rest of your life. So obviously, no pressure 😉

I have learned it is a transition. It is a process. I am one year in and I still have my abundance of meltdowns trying to balance my own needs while simultaneously being everything and more to my son.

If there is anything I have learned over the past year it is this:

It’s Okay to be Scared

Becoming a mother, realizing you are responsible for more than just your Saturday night bad decisions is hard… no actually,  it is scary as hell! To be responsible for keeping another human not only alive but to raise them as, thoughtful, loving, intelligent humans!

Motherhood is one scary hood.

It’s Okay to be Annoyed 

Everyone wants to tell you how to be a mother.. how to dress, bathe, feed – you name it. The funny thing about motherhood is that you can’t read a book or listen to the advice and think you have it all down.  Whether it is your mother in law or your banker.  everyone has an opinion that they think is right. You can take or reject the advice given, it doesn’t matter. You only learn how to be the mother you are by allowing yourself to be the person you are.

 

It’s Okay to Forget your Name

I literally forget what I am doing while I am doing it, but it is no time for bragging. My mind which has always been all over the place is now so all over the place that I am lucky if I just finish this sentence! My brain has never worked the same since I have become a mother.  Train of thought – gone! Let’s add all other concentration issues, focus, memory, all something I am pretty sure ditched me the second my brain switched to mom mode. At first, I thought I had brain damage and even asked my doctor if we should do some type of disability test. She laughed and said no Michelle, welcome to motherhood. I laughed back and said, yeah, this isn’t funny!

Mom brain, it’s a thing! Accept it and figure out how to tackle it.



It’s Okay to Need a Break

Its okay to need a minute to yourself. To take a moment of just sitting in your living room TV on silent and just breathe. Its okay to ask for a few hours off and to take that hour-long bath.  Motherhood is like every other job in the world where time off is needed for rejuvenation. Whether it is grabbing drinks with the girls or taking that yoga class, schedule it in. Make the Time.

It’s Okay to Miss your Baby

Its okay to finally get that baby free break for a few hours but then think, “I wonder what my baby is doing..what he’s eating and is he smiling?!” What you are feeling is normal and probably will not change for a while. The best thing to do is organize video calls if necessary or power through it like ripping off a band-aid.

It’s Okay to not Recognize your Body

Boobs- gone if not sagging to my ankles. Baby hair keeps springing up in the front of my hairline like bamboo sticks, baby tummy oh not going anywhere! I was lucky enough to not get stretch marks or hold on to my baby weight but I think that was the universe’s way of saying sorry for my horrible labor. Regardless of how your body changed, it will take time to accept it and understand that those new bean bags you have for boobs were totally worth breastfeeding.  It might take some time to look in the mirror and love your body once again, but once you do you realize you look so much more beautiful than you ever have before. If not, it’s almost 2019 – you have medical options!

It’s Okay to feel Guilty

With most of the above in mind, you will learn as I have learned that you will practically always feel guilty. Guilty for leaving your baby or guilty for not missing your baby, guilty for that extra hour of sleep. Mom guilt is something that never goes away. It is embedded in your brain right where your short-term memory used to be. Whether it’s eating half of his chicken nuggets or just really looking forward to naptime, I have learned the guilt doesn’t disappear. and ongoing management of this guilt is going to be a lifelong mission.

The truth is, some days I look at my son and I think “how the hell did I ever live the past 32 years of my life without you.”.  And then some days I think, “what the hell was thinking I could do this alone?”.  Sometimes I think both of those thoughts 10 times in one day.
Motherhood is the actual definition for crazy.

The feeling I get after my son gives me a high five and when my son pees all over the wall are very much contradicting, but that is motherhood, right? Proud, annoyed, tired, loved, sad, it is not meant to make sense.

I am officially one year in and it has been quite the roller coaster.  But at least now I am more prepared for the rest of the loops and turns on this lifelong amazing ride. IMG_6356

<3 Hot Mess

Photos by Samantha Black Photography



4 thoughts on “I Survived My First Year of Motherhood and This is What I Learned

  1. Here’s the thing – nobody really knows what they are doing – everybody is making it up as they go along. The ones to avoid are those telling others how to do it, or pretending they have a perfect life (because we all know that just out of camera shot of their magazine photo-shoot homes, there is a hell hole).

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