My baby boy turned one last week. I. cannot. believe. it. This was by far, the fastest year of my life. I probably said the exact same thing after my first, and second babies turned one.
The first year is a special season of falling in love with this precious little creation, and thanking God for his life in yours. But the first year is also an exhausting one, filled with emotional ups and downs, physical changes (for both you and baby) and about a billion insecure parenting moments. Your baby achieves new milestones constantly, and before you know it…. whoosh! They’re turning one.
As much as I’m a bit heartbroken that my sweet newborn is already a one year old, there’s another part of me that is taking a big breath, and appreciating that we’re on the other side of newborn-dom.
My sweet boy is an angel, and a fairly easy-going baby. However, up until about a month ago, I had not slept through the night in 11 months. ELEVEN MONTHS.
Thus, as I celebrate his first birthday, I can look back to some of our early challenges and pat myself on the back. We made it to the other side.
Early on, I couldn’t imagine EVER getting him to sleep in his crib instead of with me or in his bouncy chair. But sure enough, we got there. I couldn’t imagine that he would EVER nurse less often than every 2 hours around the clock. I didn’t know how I’d ever get him on a nap schedule or get him to sleep through the night without eating. I really couldn’t imagine that my pre-pregnancy clothes would EVER fit again, but we got there.
And this is my third child! Surely I’ve got it all figured out by now? Nope – every time you have a baby, the first year is this blend of emotionally exhausting, and beautiful, and it’s a new journey each time.
So now we’ve started the second year, and it’s a different set of goals, milestones and challenges. Right now I can’t imagine successfully weaning him from breast milk, minimizing his use of the pacifier, or helping him learn to use a straw and sippy cup. But I know that not long from now I’ll be on the other side of these milestones, and I’ll feel heartbroken that he’s turning 2 already.
The funny thing about being a parent is that all of the tough things…the things we would like to trade for more snuggles instead…actually just deepen our love and bond with the child. Much like marriage, or any relationship, caring for one another through the lovely and the not-so-lovely is what makes our love for one another so precious.
Cheers to us, Moms, for surviving newborn-dom. And here’s to many more special ups and downs as a parent!