What I Learned the First Year of Parenting

What I Learned the First Year of Parenting

Last week it happened. Mr. Oliver Hayes turned one. His birthday weekend has came and gone… it is such a blur.

Over the next month, expect a whole lot of sentimental posts as I reflect on the past year of this family. I may be a slight mess. You would expect this normally from a mom that is getting ready to have a one year old, but I was so consumed with finishing a few projects at work and getting the house ready to host folks for his party, I did not reflect enough for my soul. I know parenting is different for most. You can read a ton of blog posts, books, and articles on what you should do and what you shouldn’t do. Living all of this is totally a different story. So here’s my account of what we learned during our first year:

Labor was not that bad. There are parts, but the actual pushing was not it for me.

Breastfeeding is laboring. It is a commitment and you have to believe in yourself.

A baby needs very little, not a registry full of items.

Swaddles are amazing.

So are pacifiers, and in hindsight, we would have given one to Ollie a bit sooner.

The first three weeks of parenting is a complete blur.

Do not be ashamed of loading your baby up in the car so that they will go to sleep.

Walks around the neighborhood are also the best for this.

Always have an extra, extra change of clothes, especially during the “blowout” phases.

You will laugh a lot.

You will feel overwhelmed.

You will cry.

All of this is okay.

Start a bedtime routine on day one and stick to it.

Don’t get too wrapped up in percentiles and developmental milestones.

Trust your gut on food, weight, milk, and the rest. You honestly do know best.

Summer babes do not need shoes. Figure out shoes when it gets cold outside, but don’t worry about them before then.

Take advantage of cuddle time.

If you have a local Children’s Hospital, go there first. Don’t mess with the regional one down the street (you’ll just get transferred).

Baby giggles are the best.

You will end up baby-proofing your life, not just your house.

Nothing is better than the snuggles.

Soak up every moment. The days can sometimes be long, but the year is so fast.