Every year in November, I begin to think of a list that I should write for my next birthday. It gets harder as it gets longer each year, but I think it is a good way to review the year or propose something for the year ahead. This year since I came into motherhood right before I turned 34, I decided it would be nice to reflect on it for my 35th birthday. I need to actually write about my 35th birthday in particular, but we shall save that for another post. So here are my 35 insights over the past year, many people might not agree and that is fine with me.
1. Everyone parents differently and that is okay.
2. Your body created this beautiful little life.
3. It’s okay to be sad and think your body failed.
4. Birth plans don’t go as planned.
5. My child’s imperfections are perfection.
6. I may always relive my birth experience for better or worse.
7. I can lose my cool, it happens.
8. Breastfeeding is wonderful if possible, if not, fed is best.
9. You will see all the good traits you inherited from your parents.
10. You will see all the bad traits you inherited from your parents.
11. It’s okay to feel frustrated, put the baby down and breathe.
12. Sometimes you will cry while raising your child and that is okay.
13. Your child can be your biggest confidant.
14. Show your emotions, so that your child knows theirs are okay too.
15. Model the behavior you wish your child to emulate.
16. Be your child’s biggest cheerleader.
17. Everyone will tell you how to do things, listen and then do it your way.
18. Learn to blend childrearing methods if you are from two different cultures.
19. Be patient while introducing food.
20. They aren’t ‘sleep regressions’, but ‘developmental leaps’, like an explosion of knowledge.
21. Introduce bottles earlier for easier acceptance, but not before 6 weeks if trying to establish breastfeeding.
22. No matter what your child loves you, be good to them.
23. Cuddling is therapeutic for both child and parent.
24. Bed-sharing can be full of sweet little moments.
25. Socialize kids so they are comfortable around others.
26. Get down on the floor and play together as much as you can.
27. Alone time is in the past for now, so find moments for yourself like a good cup of coffee or a walk to get lost in your head.
28. It’s okay to be anxious about returning to work.
29. Make sure your child has toys in their language as much as possible.
30. Embrace baby-wearing as it makes life easier.
31. Bilingual children can be slower learning to speak and that is okay.
32. Follow your child’s cues/ schedule if it gives you peace of mind.
33. A year flies by quicker than you can imagine.
34. Your struggles will become your strengths.
35. Lullabies may become your new calling.