This has been a year of learning for myself and there's been lots of reflecting going on with my baby now outgrowing her first year.
Like many over prepared mothers, I read a lot of books and spoke with a lot of experienced mothers. And surprisingly, I never felt too overwhelmed and I wasn't thrown too many curve balls.
I feel like I had a pretty easy year!
Huge disclaimer: I was lucky and blessed with a fat newborn who continued to grow healthy, hardly cried (and when she did it was at a very low volume), ate like a champ, slept like a log, has a happy demeanor, copies (and learns) like a xerox machine, and was all around a great intro to motherhood. So if you're baby has colic, hates latching, won't sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time, etc.- take what I say with a grain of salt! You have my respect!
I swear my success is 80% Capri and 20% Me
My tips aren't mind blowing, but they are just my learnings. And I wanna write them down. I made it a nice number of ten!
1. My favorite question is "When did your baby start sleeping through the night?"
This is an unfair question. Capri first started sleeping 8 hours or more around 3 months. She now sleeps 13 hours a night, normally. And life being perfectly normal isn't as consistent as I'd like! What most mothers didn't tell me was that sleeping through the night does NOT mean it happens every night or even majority of the time. We still have a baby who wakes up now and then and cries herself back to sleep in the middle of the night.
She has a growth spurt = she wakes up.
She's teething = she wakes up.
She has hand, foot, mouth = she wakes up.
She's at her grandparents = she wakes up.
She hears someone ring the doorbell = she wakes up.
She took too long of a nap = she wakes up.
She went to bed thirty minutes past her normal bedtime = she wakes up.
Sooooo..... this question that mothers seem to ask to help them feel comradely or pride over their babies sleeping habits. It's a sham. Capri does great at sleeping. And she's been "sleeping through the night" since 4 months. Major quotations needed.
And as I've dug a little deeper into other mother's nightly lives..... I'm not alone!
Just be prepared- which brings me to #2.
2. The best advice my mother has given me on motherhood is that I need to kiss my nights of sleeping 10+ hours a night goodbye.... and just sleep in general..... at least for the next 20-30 years.
Ever since I accepted this fate, I've been a lot more pleasant and tough!
I really really LOVE sleep. But I love Capri more.
3. Some people believe you can't spoil a baby under one- I'm not in that group. A real struggle for me is balancing cuddling my baby and creating an independent baby. It's necessary since I work from home with storage unit customers that come in and I can't always be holding Capri. I'm guessing this is only going to be a problem for the first baby bc once you have more than one, you can't tote them around as much and they have a friend to play with. Anywho- Capri plays great by herself and she isn't nipping at my heels too much. Yet, I want to make sure I cuddle, read, snuggle, and love on her enough, too. I'm always paranoid about enabling bad habits in Capri AND not being nurturing enough. I overthink things. Period.
4. Not all sicknesses can be traced and explained. I really thought there would always be someone, some food, or some place to blame for illnesses. Nope. See last post for proof.
5. Preventing a baby from pulling her own hair is almost impossible. Capri has been able to yank every pony, elastic, and headband so far (along with tuffs of her hair). I've tried speaking to her in many tones, pinning down the arms, tapping the hand, leaving the hair down, and a plethora of others. I could use some tips on this one still.
I prayed for hair so I shouldn't complain too much! It's worth it.
6. Don't judge others and/or don't judge your own mothering tactics so harshly. And besides, the odds of the next baby being a clone of your baby is unlikely- so you'll have to relearn and rediscover new tactics for the next newborn!
7. Most of my friends (esp the ones that live nearby) are fellow moms. So when Capri is sick- my list of people to be able to call becomes significantly smaller! I don't want to ask a fellow mom to come help bc that endangers her baby. It's quite the predicament.
8. It's okay to think your baby is the cutest, smartest, funniest baby- you're supposed to! It means you're a good mom! And I'm sure there's some study on how that instills good self-esteem in them or something. That's what I tell myself!
9. If you're a planner, you should probably settle down. It's tough! Nursing, poopy diapers, vomiting, sleeping, diet changes, nap changes, etc! Planning and having too many expectations is rough.
10. Living around family has taken on new meaning! Babysitters, helpers, feeling love, support system, trusting adults, etc!!!! I'm so grateful for Chase's family here and I miss being around my parents, sister, brothers, nieces, nephew FOR REAL! I've always missed them, but for the first time I would consider moving and finding careers to be near them. I'd consider it....... but hey, I still wanna travel and find adventure out of Utah and in new places!
Ok. Stepping off my pedestal now :) Later!