The First Year is the Hardest…

first year hardest

The first year is the hardest, not sure if any other mamas can relate, but for me the first year was the hardest year of my life. I am a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and attachment parent. So my babies are usually attached to my hip for a good 365 days.

And you know how it goes… Most days I wouldn’t trade my life for anything else, but sometimes that feeling will creep up. Where all you want to do is take a trip back to your suntanned 23-year-old self who can hop in the car and sit on a patio for drinks and who has no idea where the night will lead. Instead I am perfecting my juggling skills as I carry one baby on my hip, while I try to open a can of black beans to accompany dinner {of which I used to create gourmet meals} now I’m lucky if I can get a meat and two sides that somewhat go together. All while my 3-year-old is making Play-Doh pancakes and announcing to me that she has peed and I see a puddle forming under her Cinderella panties…

I end up on the couch many nights when my little is sick so she can be elevated to avoid further sickness. This helps build my immunity toward sleep. I feel like a complete and utter hot mess, some days unable to shower let alone breathe by myself.

Laundry piles up, to-do lists grow, toys magically birth new toys that litter every space available that we set foot. I found the only way to find joy in these demanding days is to surrender. Truly the best medicine for my climbing anxiety is to fully embrace my energetic toddler and smiley baby. To raise a white flag to attempting to be the “I have all my crap together mom” and instead be the “I don’t want to miss out mom.” Because yes, the first year is the hardest, and while I have absolutely zero self-time. It is also incredibly rewarding and filled with moments you can’t even adequately describe.

What makes me truly feel thankful for my life is when I am around those who haven’t embarked on the parenthood journey yet. For example, my brother-in-law does not have any children, and when he comes around us, I feel like he gets a pretty decent dose of our crazy. This past weekend we decided to stroll around the Domain…um when did it become the next, hip, downtown because I was completely unaware (probably off nursing somewhere sneaking some wine in a sippy cup with hair that smelled like baby spit up) anyway, we stop at Hat Creek where our three-year-old can play. At one point, she has decided to sit in her baby sister’s stroller and, before we knew it, there were drops coming out of the bottom of the stroller. She just sat there and peed.

(Breathe mama breathe)

So I have to do the whole potty training accident pants change in public. Uncle M just looks at us like we committed to the craziest life choice on the planet. And it makes me sad because of course we are going to have moments where my husband and I just look at each other like WHAT THE Flounder. But (the but is very important here), but, then there are those indescribable moments, ones that are hard to explain to anyone. Ones you have to experience yourself…like your toddler telling her daddy, “When I get married, I marry you daddy, my prince.” (cue heart shaped eyes) Or your baby learns to say “ma-ma” and lays her sweet head on your chest, just so she can be close to me. Plus a zillion others like this.

As much as I feel like I have no me time in that first year, I gain some pretty spectacular moments with my daughters by putting aside my selfish needs. And despite my urge to time warp myself back to that blonde girl wearing a short skirt and cute heels, I say to her: 

Dear 23-year-old self with the shaved legs and flat tummy…you may be enjoying your cocktail, but just you wait, your 33-year-old self has never felt so loved, so whole, so complete.

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One Response to The First Year is the Hardest…

  1. Charlotte Howard June 5, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

    First year is definitely the hardest, but it is only the beginning and is such a wonderful and empowering/humbling experience being a parent. I think this is a wonderful post, but remember everything takes practice.

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