10 Life Lessons I Learned in 100 Days2:54 PM
Becoming a mother is something I've always dreamed about and always wanted to do. In so many ways, it has been far more rewarding and far more of a sacrifice than I could've ever imagined. It's officially been 100 days since this life-rocking event happened in my life so in reflection I wanted to share with you all 10 life lessons I've learned so far from being a mom which really, can apply to anyone, non-moms included.
1. There is nothing more important than bedtime
I will fully admit that I used to be the biggest night owl before Aria came into my life. My mom would always tell me that I'd stick to a schedule once life demanded it, and as usual, her wisdom came true. Ben, Aria and I now regularly begin our nightly routine at 8pm and are rarely awake past 11, but it has helped our daytime productivity so much. It makes me wish I was more strict about bedtime when it was just me to worry about!
One of the most helpful things in this whole process was having my friends generously send me their lists of favorite baby products (you know they will tell you the whole truth about if that snot-sucker really works) and be a commiserating ear while listening to stories of battle scars and crazy emotional rollercoasters. There's nothing like first-hand experience from people you trust. Which brings me to the next point...
It can seem like the most difficult thing to even get out of bed some days, especially in the beginning, but when I was invited to a mom group through church it gave me a sense of accomplishment being around all these warrior women who just went through the same struggle as me. Pregnancy and motherhood can be LONELY so I didn't realize I really needed that support in the friendship department until I got there. Awkward as it may feel, it's good to just say yes. It may open doors to friends, playdates and fresh air down the line.
I consider myself to be a pretty independent person so it was difficult to ask for so much help, but the quote "It takes a village to raise a child" is so much more true than ever I imagined. I felt very humbled by the support I received whether it was a friend stopping by and holding the baby for an hour, or my mom who stayed with me for a couple months in a selfless frenzy of cooking and cleaning. There is no greater love than sacrifice so take help offered and receive it as giant signs of love!
There have been many an occasion where one of us has spent an hour trying to rock, shush, bounce, or swing Aria to sleep only to be tortured by constant wails of protest. In desperation, we will text each other to please help! The other rolls in, pops the paci in, shushes for 10 seconds and she's out like a light. We could spend our energy being frustrated that it wasn't me but really, it's so much better to revel in the quiet together with a sleeping baby.
Any mom of any aged child knows that as helpful as Dr. Internet is, it also kinda sucks. Facebook mom groups are rampant with judgement and saltiness and there seems to be hypocritical advice at every turn. Mom guilt will eat you alive if you let it! That's why you must trust yourself because you know your child best.
In the world of newborns there are so many things out of your control (for instance how much sleep you get) but one thing you can control is how much water you drink. Most people should drink more water in general but if you are healing from bodily distress or breastfeeding it's imperative to not let this one accidentally slip. I try to keep water by my bedside, desk, and nursing locations so it's not an excuse that it's too far away.
I'll be honest, there are a LOT of both good and bad experiences you face as a new parent so it's really helpful to soak in the amazing things as they come as much as possible and letting the bad things roll off. Just practicing gratitude for little things in the journey can become a rewarding habit toward being the calm, chill parent you want to be.
9. Let others learn
The maternal instinct to protect and save your baby is so strong whenever you hear her cry but oh mah goodness, if you do everything yourself your arms WILL fall off. I'm pretty sure that's just science. Be good to yourself and your arms and let others figure out how to calm your poor baby too. It's good for them, good for the baby, and good for your sanity.
One of the hardest things in life is to just be okay with where you are in the process and not compare yourself to everyone else. I had a really difficult recovery which I may go more into in a future post, but I had to keep reminding myself that it's okay to take the recovery time I needed. What would I tell my best friend in the same position? That's what I need to say to myself. Be your own biggest cheerleader because you are trying your best.
Photography: Kassia Phoy
My Outfit: Lace Top / Tulle skirt
Aria's Outfit: Dress / Bow / Grace bracelet