Today my little Lucas turns 9 months, which means he’s been in my heart for a whole 18 months. It’s been a whirlwind full of life lessons and life changes, so today, on the afternoon of his 9th monthaversary, and in no particular (completely random) order, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the course of that time.
Pregnancy is the longest 9 months of your life when compared to how quickly the first 9 months of your child’s life breezes by.
If you are going to have a baby shower a diaper raffle is a must! In Lucas’ 9 months of life, I have never once had to purchase a box of diapers. Thanks ladies! You know who you are.
You will question every decision you ever make when it comes to your child, but if someone else dare questions a decision you have made, well, God help them.
Every stage of your kids life is “the best stage ever” until the next stage comes along. Each stage brings with it new exciting developments that will leave you saying things like “newborns are adorable, but this is so much more fun”
The holy grail of baby-visit-gifts is diapers, baby wipes and cooked food.
As hard as you try to keep your pre-baby home aesthetic in tact, toys will descend upon your home and take over.
Naps. Learn to take them. Learn to love them. Learn to let go of the shit you should be doing instead.
Sleep training is as much a gift to your child as it is to you and your partner.
Even if you are a person who thrives on quiet/alone time, maternity leave can be very isolating, especially in the winter time. It’s important to find out what programs your community offers so that you can get out and be around adults every once in a while.
You will need to embrace your new normal, and I’m not just talking about your body. Laundry will take longer. The house will be messier. Your hair will be dirtier. It’s all fine. No one cares except you, so drop those expectations down a bit.
A high quality stroller and high chair are worth the investment. They are like the house and car of baby purchases.
Expensive baby clothes are not worth the investment, but are damn adorable when you can afford them.
Infant hand-me-downs are basically brand new clothes that have been worn a handful of times. Take all the hand-me-downs you can get.
Vacationing when your kid is 6 months old is the absolute perfect age.
If you have a dog, you are going to feel bad for them. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
You will think there is no possible way you can love your child more than you already do, but then the next day will arrive and prove you wrong 100 times over.
BREASTFEEDING IS NOT FREE, OR EASY! Don’t beat yourself up if you have to exclusively pump, supplement or completely transition to formula. Fed is best. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
If you were not a morning person before you had a baby, you will not miraculously become a morning person, but you will learn to survive early mornings and that shit will get easier with time. Which brings me to my next point….
Invest in delicious high quality coffee grinds or beans. You will be drinking it cold AF, and the expensive stuff tastes better cold then the cheap stuff does. I recommend True North by Starbucks. When it goes on sale it’s about $8 a bag.
Read to your child. Every. Single. Day.
If you are unfortunate enough to experience the loss of a family member or a friend, you will grieve loss differently than you would have in the past. You will have a completely new perspective on loss, and it will hit you harder and deeper when it happens. You will think of the mother who has lost her child, or the child that has lost a parent, and it will have a lasting affect on you, and make you hold your own babe so tight it almost hurts. Let that little baby heal your heart with their magical hugs.
TEETHING. IS. THE. WORST. Even the best sleepers will become the worst sleepers. This isn’t a time for crying it out. This is a time for snuggles and comfort.
Loud toys with lots of buttons, music and lights are annoying AF, but they are also life savers. Embrace the chaos.
If you have friends and close family that are also raising children you are one of the lucky ones. Lean on them. Learn from them. Let them in.
Your mother will tell people you are a “by the book” mother because the “book” (read: internet) didn’t exist when she was raising you.
Your paediatrician will tell you not to google stuff. You will google stuff. You can’t help it. It will scare you. You will google some more. It will scare you more. Its a vicious cycle and you probably should have just listened to your paediatrician.
You will, for the first time in your life, look forward to doctors appointments.
Finally, and this is the biggest lesson I have learned, motherhood will give you much more than it will take from you.
If you are a parent, or about to be a parent, or struggling to become a parent, I would love to hear from you. In an effort to learn from my community, I am always interested in the lessons people have learned or are learning along their journey. Please leave a comment below, or slide into my DM’s.Have a great Monday. xo
Photos my Michelle Lina Photography