I remember the first time you looked up at me after you were placed in my arms. It was at that moment looking in to your beautiful eyes that I knew, you knew, I was your mama, and just like that our journey together began.
It’s been 760 days since I became a mom, and I can truly say that it has not only been life changing, but also the most special experience I have ever taken on. Since becoming a new mom these last couple of years I really have learned a lot. I also still have a lot to learn, but that’s life and especially parenthood! Trust me, from the girl who had zero experience with kids or babies, I sure have come a long way with my beautiful son who just celebrated his second birthday by the way! So in honor of the first two years of his life I thought I would reflect on what I have learned since becoming a new parent, and I’m so happy to share all these tips with my fellow new or expecting parents.
1. Nothing will ever be the same! This is 100% true and for obvious reasons. Having a child is a true responsibility that changes everything about your life. Sometimes it blows my mind when I think back to before I had my son. It’s like trying to remember how my life was before, because at this point I can’t even imagine my life moving forward without him, which is a weird concept. Trust me, sometimes there are tough times or bad moments where you remember how easy it was before you were a parent. Totally normal feelings. It’s important to know that although nothing will ever be the same, you are still the same person. Yes, the same person just with a lot more responsibility now for another human being who loves you unconditionally!
2. It’s all about balance.
In case you didn’t know this about me I happen to be a self-proclaimed professional multitasker! However, even I was challenged after becoming a new mom with the adjustment to parenthood in correlation to the other aspects of my life, like working full-time, being a wife, running a household, personal time, social life etc… When you start to feel overwhelmed just stop and take a deep breath. It takes time, but you will find your own rhythm that works for you. Remember it’s about balance. Not everything can be perfect all the time, but you’ll find new ways to adjust. Just don’t forget to make a little time for yourself. Self love is important to your overall wellness.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
This advice is subjective, but what I’m basically trying to say is that being a new parent is tough, especially if you come from little to no experience. The first few weeks are the toughest for sure, so if you have someone who is offering their help, like a parent, trusted friend or family member, don’t be shy to accept, especially if it means a small break for you so you can take a nap or a shower!
4. They grow out of their clothes fast.
It’s true. They grow so fast so don’t buy too many clothes at once. Ok, I’m speaking from experience. Fifty percent sale at Carters? Yup, they’ve gotten me several times because apparently I love shopping and styling my son’s outfits of the day too! Seriously though, babies… toddlers…they stretch so fast. So although investing in the basics and special occasion outfits is essential, don’t overdo it and buy too much or you’ll end up with a closet full of clothes they wore only once, or even worse not at all!
5. So what do you need a lot of?
Onesies… onesies…oh did I mention onesies? They are comfortable, affordable, cute, and easy to change out quickly in an emergency! Make sure you always have extra onesies to grab during the night in case they have an accident, and in the diaper bag when you are out and about. Depending on where you live and the weather a onesie is a great way to layer as well.
6. Be aware of sleep regression.
Have you heard of this? I hadn’t, until we were experiencing it first hand with our son John. Just when you think you’ve gotten the baby on some kind of sleep pattern at night or for naps during the day, out of no where they’re totally off and you can’t figure out why the sudden change. Don’t worry. It’s pretty normal. It’s most likely not anything you’re doing wrong. They just go through these stages. It’s called regression and it happens around 4 months, 8 months, even 18 months and 2 years old! Don’t worry, it only last a few weeks (of course every baby is different) and then they’ll eventually get back on track. During these periods of regression just continue doing your best to get them back on a schedule and eventually they will.
7. Pick the right stroller!
I wish I could rewind and follow this tip myself. You see my hubby and I made a rookie mistake and purchased a very nice but large stroller before my son was born. We used it of course, but while preparing for our first family vacation with the baby we learned we’d have to buy a jogging stroller instead (those are the ones with very large wheels). These are good for off-roading through sand or tough terrain. The original stroller we purchased was not made for that. A lot of parents purchase the 2-1 travel stroller that has a carrier that attaches. This is another good option that I wish we had invested in. It’s also a good idea at some point to buy a small umbrella stroller for quick outings. Personally, at two years old now this is the stroller I prefer to use on an everyday basis. These are the kinds of strollers that worked for our little family, but again your situation may be different. The important tip to take from this is to think ahead so that you purchase the RIGHT kind of stroller that will meet your future needs (or travels).
8. Speaking of traveling.
I’M A BIG ADVOCATE FOR TRAVELING WITH YOUR LITTLE ONES! Don’t be afraid to take your kids along with you on your trips. A lot of people may try to talk you out of it but trust me it can be done! My husband and I love to travel. The only difference now is that we travel as a party of three and not just two! Sure, it’s a little more difficult and expensive, but totally doable, and truthfully your trips will be that much more special. The first time my son ever said “mama,”played in the sand, or went to a beach was in Hawaii! On our most recent trip to Greece, I was overwhelmed by how much the Greeks loved kids, and I swear we got special treatment from the locals because of the baby! Such great special memories. The hardest part is probably the actual traveling, like on a plane, but I’ve got you covered there too. Read my blog post about traveling with young ones on a plane.
9. Cherish every moment because they grow so fast.
This is so sad and true 😦 Especially the first few weeks as an infant you see the changes start happening quickly. Then, the next thing you know they are three months..then 6 months…and before you know it you’re planning their first birthday. Moral of the story, take photos, take videos, write and document all their “firsts” in some kind of journal. Cherish the moments while you can. As I mentioned earlier my son just turned two and I swear it feels like I was just planning his first birthday yesterday!
I hope you all enjoyed reading this post! To my fellow and future parents I hope my personal insight has been helpful to you. Please feel free to leave a comment, question, or additional tips below in the comment section. Happy parenting!