Its been almost three months since giving birth to my sweet daughter. In that short time span, I have learned more than I have in a lifetime. Below are 23 things I've learned since becoming a mom.
1. Crying is okay.
No really, it's okay! I tell myself this at least 10 times a day. Sometimes I can do everything for her and she's still crying, and I'm just left with holding her. But really, it's okay. She's okay. You're okay. Everything is okay.
2. Blow-out diapers equal healthy baby. Be prepared!
I never ever changed a diaper until I became a mom. Don't judge. This morning, I fed her and as I went to burp her, she blew out the back of her diaper. Then she spit up all over the skirt I was wearing. I didn't have a burp cloth or a diaper nearby because I had taken her upstairs. Luckily the church had size 1 diapers and wipes under the changing table. Thank you Pennsville!
3. Parenthood should be changed to Patiencehood.
I've learned more patience since becoming a mom than I have in my entire life. Parenthood places patience on a whole new level!
4. She's learning, too.
I watch right now as she looks around, jabbing her tiny fists into her mouth, occasionally finding her thumb. I smile at her and she immediately smiles back. I listen to her coo as she waits with expectation for me to acknowledge her again. Yes, she's learning, and I knew she would, just not so quickly.
5. Laughing happens often.
I've laughed more since becoming a mom, and this is perhaps my favorite part of parenthood. Emily's personality comes out each day, and we are always laughing at things she does.
6. Embarrassment will occur.
The first time Emily tooted in church, it was all I could do to hide the shade of red appearing on my cheeks. It was so loud, and I'm pretty sure the entire church heard. That's not the only embarrassing moment, and I'm sure there are many more to come, especially when she starts talking.
7. Listen to advice, but don't attempt all advice.
Some are wives' tales, and some are opinion, but everyone loves to give advice. And I actually don't mind it, because some of it has helped. However, there are other times when I can only listen but silently disagree. For example, Emily doesn't do socks. She kicks them off as soon as they are on her feet. So no, socks aren't going to help her sleep better. Not everyone likes socks. I personally can't sleep with socks on my feet either, while my husband can. I sweetly disagreed out loud on this one, and the woman was surprised that Emily didn't like wearing them. Regardless, I'm thankful for people who state their advice and opinions, as long as they don't stare over you, waiting to see if you put those socks on, and thankfully, she didn't.
8. A piece of your heart lives outside your body.
Without this little girl in my life, a piece of my heart would be gone. As soon as I met her, I knew I'd do just about anything for her.
9. Sleep-deprivation is a thing.
Sure, I've pulled all-nighters to finish papers for school. Not even those times compare to the deprivation of being a mom, especially in the first month. It's gotten much better, although I still yawn several times a day.
10. The first month of breastfeeding is crucial but cruel.
Dear Lactation Consultants, I don't care who you are, the first month of breastfeeding may be painful even if you're doing it right. I honestly considered switching to formula, but I was so set on breastfeeding, just like I was set on giving birth without an epidural. I MUST be crazy! I continued to breastfeed despite the grueling schedule and the pain. If it weren't for that one person who warned how painful and frustrating it would be, I probably would have given up. Thank you! You know who you are.
11. Everything is 10 times more difficult to do.
I'm lucky if I can grab a shower in the morning without her waking up and crying. When leaving the house, it requires a good twenty minutes of planning before we are heading out the door. Writing? I barely have time for that these days; however, when I do write, I have way more to say than I did before.
12. Her smiles are the best!
She has the sweetest little smile in the whole world, and my smiles have become less fake thanks to her.
13. Soaking in scripture is important.
I'll be soaking in scripture until I have granny fingers! (Yes, I have a lame sense of humor. :P) Seriously though, I couldn't make it through the day without spending at least a few minutes reading God's Word along with a devotional.
14. Soaking in a shower is also important.
At least once a week, I take a shower in the evening while my husband watches Emily. It allows me to think, relax, and have a little ME time.
15. You need ME time.
Yes, ME time. It's important. Crucial. I'd be burnt out without it. This might involve taking a long shower, hanging with friends for a couple hours, shopping, or in my case as well, writing. Whatever you enjoy doing, try to find a half hour to 2-hour slot just doing something for your own well-being once or twice a week.
16. Life is way better with a little girl.
Need I say more? Dresses. Headbands. Cute little shoes. I love having a daughter. I'm sure having a little boy has its perks too.
17. "Your life will never be the same."
I already knew this, but the words didn't have much meaning until Emily was born.
18. I am stronger than I thought.
Twenty hours of labor and Emily finally made her grand debut. It wasn't until giving birth that I realized how strong I was. I had never even spent the night in a hospital, so I had no idea what to expect. I also realized how strong-willed I was when I refused the epidural just as I had set out to do. Believe me though, I almost asked for it, and had I gotten it, I still would label myself strong.
Who knew? The bigger she gets, the more toned my muscles get. Fine by me.
20. I respect all parents. Single, young, old, etc.
If you are putting your child first and doing your very best to raise them, you have earned my respect. Do I still think it's best to be married? Yes. Do I still think being a teenage mom isn't the best idea. Yes. However, all of you who are doing this parenting thing on your own or at a young age have my utmost respect.
21. Every baby is unique.
I still hear of parents who go for a car ride to help their baby go to sleep. "They love it." "It's great!" Not for Emily. She cries at the sight of her carseat, and going anywhere can be a hassle when it's just her and I. She clearly is her own individual.
22. Don't say you won't until you cross that road.
I said she wouldn't get a pacifier, but when her foot had to be pricked for blood one too many times in the hospital, and the only thing that comforted her was a pacifier, you bet we gave it to her.
23. Your relationship with your mom changes.
A few hours after giving birth, my parents came into the room. After the commotion was over, I just looked at my mom in complete awe, big crocodile tears threatening to streak down my face. I never understood her love for me, my sister, and my brother until that moment.
I'd love to hear your stories! What have you learned since becoming a mom? What do I have to look forward to? Let me know in the comments section! Thanks for reading.