My baby’s birthday, but my celebration

In a few days my baby boy will turn 1, but I’m celebrating myself.
I am blessed to have my baby and I am grateful to God for his health. It’s a bittersweet moment to see him growing up. But I am celebrating that I survived the first year of motherhood and I’m celebrating myself for this new role as a mom.

No one prepares you for motherhood

When you’re pregnant, you imagine what your child will look like, what he will be like and what life will be like. But technically you’re still living your life pre-baby. Yes, you have that growing belly, but you’re still going on with
your daily activities as you anticipate the big arrival. But once the baby arrives, that’s when life as a mom really starts. There are countless books and online resources but no one and nothing prepares you for #momlife.

So I honor myself

I sacrificed my body. I gave birth to a boy and nurtured him through exclusively breastfeeding. I devoted my being to feed him. This meant no longer being able to wear certain clothes. Being mindful of what I ate in-order to produce breastmilk. This meant leaking from my breasts and watching out for symptoms of Masitis. And a year of accepting my post-postpartum body. I sacrificed myself. It meant feeding, bathing and nurturing my son before my own needs. Some days there was no time for a shower. Some days I was lucky if I washed my face, so putting on makeup was out of the question. Putting on that pretty dress and high-heels at times seemed impossible. It was leggings and a shirt full of baby spit-up. Having a moment to myself, watch a show on Netflix, read a book, take a nap, go to the bathroom—forget it!

A new life

A year of adapting to a new life and letting go of the old one. I was no longer a working girl that was kicking butt at the office, going out to happy hours and spending hours training at the gym. I was now a stay-at-home mom devoted 24/7 to a baby and non- stop dirty diapers and never-ending laundry. I was now learning how to kick-butt in a career of caring for a little human.

A year of much needed self care. It was those nighttime feedings and tears that made me realized I needed to care for myself. I needed to come up with ways to not let myself go and forget about me as a human. I needed to ask for help when I wanted to have a moment to myself. I needed to take care of my own needs and not get lost in motherhood. It was scheduling time to work out again, to shower, to eat, to get dressed up. It was about taking a moment to self reflect and meditate to be happy. If I wasn’t happy how was I supposed to be a good mom?

The first year

This first year was also about being a different kind of wife. Not only did my son need me, so did my husband. He was adapting to life as a dad and as the husband I needed. His responsibilities changed. He had the weight of being the sole income provider of our household. But aside from putting-in long hours at the office, he had to come home and help with the chores, bathe the baby, change diapers and hold our son so I could have a decent meal and shower. It was a tough year of trying to catch as much sleep as possible and accepting that our date nights were now about trying to stay awake as we watched a show on Netflix. It was a year of checking in on each other’s needs and supporting one another.

So as my baby turns 1, I celebrate and applaud myself. I am doing a wonderful job and I am proud of the woman and mother I am becoming. I survived my first year as a mom.

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