I am nearly 12 whole months into this parenting gig, and I have been spending a lot of time reflecting upon this past year and my journey into motherhood. A lot of things have surprised me, and I am prepared to be continually surprised as time goes on. But here is a collection of things from the first year that had me caught pretty off-guard:
It can be lonely. Majority of my days I feel fulfilled, just by spending time with McKenna. But there are days that come where I crave adult contact. My days are filled of McKenna and my nights are spent hanging out with Matthew. Majority of days, this is more than enough. But occasionally.. occasionally there is that pang of lonliness and longing for the days where I was a social being, having lunch dates and working with adults and going to bars and drinking on weekdays. The lonely days are definitely difficult but they are greatly outnumbered by the happy ones, and for that, I am grateful.
Breastfeeding is really hard (in the beginning). But then it gets really, really easy. I remember in those early days, I was in constant pain and just so, so frustrated. I remember thinking “how on EARTH can something that is supposed to be so natural, be so damn difficult?!” It takes perseverance, patience, and on top of that a bunch of other factors related to health that are completely out of your control. But we stuck with it, and after awhile it became the easiest part of our day, and easily one of my favorite experiences from the journey thus far.
Everybody has an opinion. Oh. My. Gosh. The amount of unsolicited advice that I have received this past year is unreal! I understand that people have the best of intentions, but really? It is soooooooooooo annoying. You definitely learn to take it all in stride and sometimes, just bite your tongue. But man oh man, it is just the worst.
Parenting is a controversial subject. Everyone has their own opinion, their own story, their own way they think is right. But the bottom line is that every child is different. I have met so many mothers, and people, who have been so supportive and kind to me.. and then there are the others who I constantly feel are judging my choices. At the end of the day, we are all working our hardest to raise our babies the best we can. At the end of the day, we should all be in this together.
NOTHING went how I envisioned it. I never thought I would be the mum who adopted such parenting ideas as bedsharing, extended nursing, and baby led weaning, but those choices are some of the best parenting decisions I have made. Every baby is different and mine made it clear from the get go that a more natural, attachment parenting style worked much better for her, making for a better family as a whole.
It takes a village. And I am so thankful for ours. I will be doing a special post tomorrow about all of the people who have been detrimental to the success of Matthew & I’s journey into parenting. We want (and need) to personally thank all of the people who deserve to be thanked. Without you, it wouldn’t have been possible.
I love her so much more than I could have ever imagined. You hear it all the time. About how you will fall in love with your child instantly and the attachment will be unlike anything you have ever experienced. To be honest, I LOVED McKenna instantly but I fell in love with her over time. I don’t know when exactly it happened, but suddenly, she was my everything. She was my purpose for being. She was my greatest creation, proudest accomplishment, and the absolute love of my life. And that connection has only deepened over time. Sometimes, I can’t even remember what life was like before her. Like she has just always been. But in a way, I am sure that is true, because she has always been a part of me, a part of my soul. A part of her father & I’s life plan long before we had even met, before I became pregnant.
To all you other mothers, what was your biggest surprise about motherhood?