Being a mama is everything I thought it would be and more. 

I truly didn't know a love so big existed, and I definitely didn't know what exhaustion truly feels like.

Here are 10 lessons I've learned from my first year of motherhood:

  1. Being a mom makes you a thousand times more indecisive. Every decision comes from a place of love and no decision feels good enough for your child, but all decisions are good decisions because they come from a place of love. 
     
  2. Mom guilt is real, but it's also a waste of energy. I no longer feel guilty for practicing self-care. Or for letting Henry bump his head. Or for taking Henry to the gym almost every weekday morning so that I can have time for myself.
     
  3. Stop wishing for the future. I say, "I can't wait til Henry can __" so often and I'm missing out on the present when I do this. I don't even want to wish for next week, because today is just too damn good. 
     
  4. There are not enough books in the world to teach me how to raise my babySeriously. I wish I hadn't read any books, or blogs, or asked any person for opinions ever. Henry doesn't fit into a mold {either do I as a parent} and I'm finding that it's better to watch and listen to HIM than try to make him fit into someone else's standard of how he should be sleeping or breastfeeding or eating food or moving. 
     
  5. Sleep is precious. I didn't follow the advice of "sleep when your baby sleeps" when he was a newborn, but now I'm finally napping during his second nap of the day a few days a week. It's life changing. 
     
  6. Self-care is EVERYTHING. It makes me a better mom and wife. Sometimes getting the other people in my life on board that I need self-care seems futile, but if only they knew what a cranky mama I'd be without it. It's okay if they don't get it. Do it for yourself anyway. 
     
  7. It's okay to feel overwhelmed. I'm not a bad mom for getting overwhelmed and I'm not failing at motherhood. Breathe through it. And turn on some music. 
     
  8. Flexibility is key. Babies are unpredictable, and for a planner like myself this has been a challenging adjustment. Always have a back up plan, a plan B and C.
     
  9. Actually, all the baby stuff *is* super useful. During my pregnancy I was so resistant to having BABY STUFF everywhere. Clutter is not my thing. Either is bright, colorful plastic. But the sound machines (we have two!) and stroller and all the toys and books and STUFF is important and helpful and necessary. Finding a place for all of it to be out of sight has helped. 
     
  10. Repeat the mantra often: "YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB."Have self-love in every situation. When Henry won't sleep through the night. When Henry won't eat what I cook. When he needs something from me but I have no clue what he's trying to tell me. Practice self-love with positive self-talk and remember that I am doing the very best I can. 

Thanks for following along through my first year of being a mama. I'm so grateful for all of you.