12 Things I Have Learned in 12 Months

Photo by: http://www.kimlorraine.com

12 Things I have learned in 12 Months…

Today is my baby’s first birthday.  12 months of newness.  12 months of navigating an entirely new reality.  12 months of realizing that all the months going forward are going to contribute to the largest learning curve I have ever been on.  These are the 12 lessons she has taught me in 12 months.

One Month: It is possible to experience the most discomfort/exhaustion you have ever felt, and experience the greatest love all at the same time.  We move through emotions…all the time. 

Two Months: Breastfeeding is NOT free.  It’s actually a huge investment on a woman’s time and body.  It’s a lesson in giving.  The act of giving can be an amazing gift. 

Three Months: The word “partner “in parenting does not mean 50/50.  It means making it work.  It means adjusting expectations. It means making sacrifices not necessarily for each other, but for the new little person you are raising (and also trying to just keep happy and alive at this point).  It’s not perfect, but you work on growing and evolving together. 

Four Months: Being a Mom can be incredibly fulfilling, and it can be incredibly lonely all at the same time.  Going from seeing other adults every day, to barely seeing any…is an adjustment.  It’s a good time to get comfortable with yourself, and appreciate how strong you are. 

Five Months: Babies are pretty darn incredible.  They do something new every minute of every day.  Seeing that, is a pretty big gift.  Being their model is a big job. You are now an every day teacher.  

Six Months: If I don’t take care of my body, my body is not going to take care of me.  Time to invest in myself more than I initially thought.   You can’t pour from an empty cup, and self-advocacy should always be at the front of my priorities. 

Seven Months: I am slightly confused how we survived as a species.  Once a baby starts really moving they skip over every safe and fun toy, and head straight to the electrical cord.  The ultimate teether.  Why do I have toys?  Also, how do I help her keep that amazing curiosity about the world? Fear is not the F-word I want my daughter comfortable with. 

Eight Months:  Personalities are amazing.  Considering we all have different ones.  We all have these amazing dispositions that just almost appear….and yet we carry them our entire lives.  We all have strengths and weaknesses.  It’s healthy to appreciate BOTH. 

Nine Months:  That expression “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.” Is literally a baby’s MANTRA! It’s also a great reminder as an adult.  That should be a part of us we carry on for a lifetime. 

Ten Months: Seeing a new baby I think: When was my baby ever THAT small?  I should make an extra point to be present when I am with her.  This time will never happen again.

Eleven Months: Keeping my cool is now a skill I REALLY need to practice.  It’s not my baby’s job to be calm all of the time, but it’s my job to model how to be calm or calm down.  Tantrums aren’t an adult thing.  Just because you can Tweet it DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD SAY IT.  There are healthy ways to disagree, state your opinion, and express frustration.  It’s not black or white. 

Twelve Months: I am the exact type of parent that my baby needs. Trust in knowing that this little person was placed with me because I am exactly what she needs.  I will always show up for her, and work on doing so the best way I can. 

Happy Birthday!