First Year of Parenthood
Updated: Sep 19, 2018
If you're a new Mom, becoming a Mom, planning to be one or already a Mom and can relate, then this post is for you. As for us all Moms we go through different stages of our new chapter, and this was my experience, my observations, thoughts, and didn’t know as a first time Mother, so hope you will enjoy and find this post meaningful!
We are all surviving the first year of experiencing our new role as a "Parent". However, wouldn't it be helpful if someone just told us all the things we need to know before we become a Mom? It's tough! But in what areas? Becoming a Mom changed my entire life into different levels of ups and downs. It shook me and I’d wake up every morning thinking if this life that I am now in is Real. Every day I’d feel like my little baby boy only got delivered to me by the door and I am just suddenly titled to be his caregiver. Having a child means huge responsibility, setting your priorities straight and major sacrifices. Time will be delayed, you will be extra tired, your showers may take 2 seconds, your first meals may start during dinner time and so much more but that's just what comes with this beautiful package. I found out I was pregnant when I was travelling in a different country and I had so many plans for myself when I get back home but instead, God had bigger and better plans for me. There are so many things we have to let go, change, put on hold or give up for new things to grow into our lives, and this was mine.
When Kyvan was born, the minute I felt his teeny tiny body slide out of me and into my arms, right away I felt like my life changed. It was like discovering a new existence. The day I brought Kyvan home, my house felt different. From then on, zombie mode was turned on immediately, I didn’t even remember the last time I showered, ate, most of the times I didn’t even have time to take a shit and still today. Kyvan eats before me so I eat after I feed him. Laundry was overloaded for days, everything was just everywhere! I live with my sisters too and for weeks they barely ever saw my fiancé and I. Nor did we barely even seen them too. I was constantly in the room, of course, I get out as well but I was just extremely exhausted! For the first few months, I remember sleeping all day and actually waking up at 4:00 pm almost every day. My body was still healing and I just couldn’t do so much. Waking up every 2 hours through the night to feed Kyvan was what we had to adjust to. My fiancé and I took turns. Which were Day shifts and Night shifts. I did day shifts and he did night shifts, and then some days we switched shifts.
Sleep is soooo important. I never really took the time to think of how meaningful sleep is now that I am a mother. For a long time I didn't remember the last time I woke up and told myself, “Damn, I had a good sleep last night”. So as for right now, just SLEEP if you have the time! And SIT on the toilet as long as you can and take that EXTRA time in the shower! Maybe take a nice, warm, relaxing lavender bath. Which became my favourite. My sister introduced me to lavender bath salt\balms and now I'm completely in love! Lavenders help promote stress relief, relaxation, and sleep. I meditate in my baths when I have time to bathe for a long time lol and also I would turn on my diffuser and put in some of my favourite essential oils in my bathroom to make my baths more calming and relaxing. If I'm not able to get a day to myself, even 10 minutes in the bathroom with some peace and quiet, I'm satisfied already! The first few weeks, I haven’t even seen the outdoor light like I have literally been living in a cave. I remember the first day I stepped outside after being home for so long, the air smells so nice and seriously so fresh!
Now Kyvan is sleeping really good again throughout the night. He takes about 2-3 naps a day and he will go to bed at 11-11: 30 pm and wakes up around 10 am. All babies are different and their sleeping pattern changes so you will get sleep even if you don’t have any help.
And if your able to go out and get some fresh air, see some friends, do it. It’s so therapeutic and it's so nice to get away just for a couple of hours to refresh your mind and get your thoughts away for a bit because some days it can be absolutely draining. So pick up the phone, call some friends and go out!
YOUR BODY WILL CHANGE
Your body will go through a drastic change emotionally, mentally, and physically. Our hormones change and sometimes we may not even feel like ourselves anymore because of what our entire body is going through after giving birth. For 9 or 10 months, our body has been growing, expanding and increasing not only our weight but hair gets thicker too. Then a few months later your hair will start falling out like a machine. Texture and length may feel different. Some areas just feels bigger and flabbier, maybe even uglier and that was how I definitely felt. Your boobs will forever change. Everything just feels like its hanging, sagging and even gets smaller.
A part of your brain will die. The "Mommy Brain". I had a huge forgetful Mommy Brain but it's slowly getting back into place. This would start during pregnancy and will still remain around after the baby is born too. I would forget about the simplest things that I would never forget before. I felt like I couldn't speak properly like I can't find the words to say when I'm trying to have a conversation with someone and to this day I still somewhat have that problem. I became very clumsy too. My fiance had to take a double check on me and ask if I was ok.
The skin may change too. Stretch marks probably will never disappear if you don't take care of it properly during pregnancy. My stretch marks are still very noticeable as I wasn't able to put any cream on my belly it made me itchy and some cream made it worse, so I left it as it is. A new rash or scar can appear after pregnancy. Hair can get even healthier although you've probably lost a whole chunk!
You don't have to say goodbye to your old clothes because they will fit! I thought I had to donate some of my old clothes out but eventually, it will be right back on. But remember everyone's body is different. What helped me to lose weight fast besides of having a low appetite control right when Kyvan was born but as time went on my appetite went back to normal. I did a lot of cardio and I watched what I ate. I was not on a strict diet. At one point I won't eat past 8 pm and that didn't last too long because I wasn't too committed to that, so if I wanted to eat and live a little to enjoy life lol, I would really pay attention to my portion. Eating small amounts and really paying attention to your portion sizes are also very important in cutting weight. The more I ate the more I know I will have to burn. You just need to balance your meals and find what works out best for you. Instead of going straight into lifting heavy weights, I start off doing a lot of cardio first and from there I will increase my strengths.
WORRYING ALL THE TIME
I can’t fall asleep if I don’t look at Kyvan one last time before I go to bed, just to make sure he is sleeping in a comfortable position if he’s got a blanket covered on him or see if he may be too hot. I will automatically wake up to see if he’s still breathing. Being a Mom you will be in constant worry. Whether it’s their pooh and what colour it is, how many times they poohed in a day, are they eating enough or too less? what’s this rash on their neck? They’re sleeping too long are they OK? Are they crying too much or too less? ... etc!
When your baby becomes ill. It's hard when all your life you only knew how you felt when you're sick. When your baby is ill, it's like you have to study and see through them to know what is wrong with them. But it's not always easy to. The 24\7 nurse health line is so helpful. I call them for answers whenever I feel like Kyvan is going through something serious but not to the extreme where I need to call the ambulance or rush him to the emergency. I find the nurse on call helpful they tell you exactly what you need to know and they do answer all of your questions for you. They'll even tell you if you do need to take your child to the emergency.
Then comes along to introducing solid foods. I gave Kyvan cereal mix with the formula to try and see if he understood swallowing. As he's a little older now, I give him more solids rather than just puree food. Some days they'll eat and drink more than other days or less than other days. When they're at this stage of food, choking is bound to happen. I've had Kyvan choke on his own saliva, not even on food yet when he was almost 3 months old. He stopped breathing for a few seconds and his face went blank. After a few minutes, he came back to normal and started crying his eyes out. As first-time parents, you don't know what to expect. When your in a situation like this call the ambulance or the 24\7 nurse health line for help. It's always nice to get a peace of mind so you do what you feel is best for you.
There will be days you’ll cry out of nowhere and maybe some days you will feel like closing the door and shut everyone out for a few days. Some days you might just want to run and scream too. And feeling like that is completely normal. A baby crying can be so stressful and difficult to handle. You did all you can and baby is still crying! What do you do!? As time goes on you will get used to of the routine and you will know what to do in the back of your head and handle things like a piece of cake. At first I thought all babies cry for different reasons, but usually, they all cry for the same reasons.
Moms pay so much attention to their baby that at times they forget to worry about themselves. But is there even any time to worry about "You"? With my experience, ask for help and advice! Don't bottle stress inside and definitely, definitely super important, take a breather! To get through the days is to be "Patient". Being angry or frustrated makes things worse as there will be one of those days. Stress can stick on to you like an illness and you might not even realize it, so do take the time to find some time for YOU. We need that balance in our lives. It's easy to lose our dimensions of wellness going through this huge milestone.
YOU WILL NEVER BE THE SAME PERSON YOU WERE BEFORE
So what exactly does this mean? Being pregnant for 9-10 months was already a different lifestyle you went through but how about when the baby is born? When you become a Mom you will have different priorities. You may have some friendships that changed to worse or better, and you will also make new friends. Going out with your non-mom friends may change, you can't do or not interested in some things they do anymore, you have to leave early because your babysitter finished his or her shift, or you're just so tired that you want to call it a night. Some people may not understand what you're going through until they become parents themselves. YOU will definitely change. Your perspective of life will change. Your goals may change. Your interests, motivations and desires, and whatever else you feel different will change.
Before I had Kyvan, I had so much freedom and I had all the time in my hands no matter how busy I was at work. I can take off to anywhere I needed and wanted to be without having to worry about anyone. I could get to places on time and not having to worry I might be running late. Staying at home 24\7 with my son I barely had any time. Constant attention was on my son, getting to know each other, watching him grow day by day, discovering and shaping this little human being was what changed me. Of course, he's not going to grow up into the person I entirely shaped him to be, maybe a little bit but every soul on this earth will grow into their own identity. You were and always will be in control of your own life, now you'll be in control of your little one's life as well.
Do you change for the worse or better? That will be all on you. For sure your body appearance will forever change in some way. Some women bounce right back, some take longer, or some just never goes back. All women have their own insecurities and for sure the main one is our physical appearance and when we don't feel like we look good we start to lose confidence and feel like we are not good enough. The best way to fix this problem is exercising. If you don't like to exercise find other alternatives. The key to get where you want to be is to just start. It may sound easier said than done but once you get in there it will start feeling like a lifestyle and you will see results. Exercising; sweating off like a beast will not only give you the body you desire, but a calm and clear mindset type of lifestyle you'd want to live in.
Most of the times you won't even hear your name being called anymore. That being said, you'll have a new name, which is Mom.
Conversations won't be about you anymore, it will definitely be about your little one.
& A NOTE TO FUTURE MOMS
Don’t let yourself go. Remember who you were before, you are still beautiful inside and out. Say goodbye to your "freedom" life because those days are over. I'm not saying you won't have freedom anymore, you will but this time freedom feels different as a Mother! No matter where you are without your child, he or she will always be in the back of your head. This is your new beginning now and no matter what changes you've went through, don't give up. Your body has changed dramatically over the past long months but don't lose sight in who you were. You may not be the same person but remember why you are here today, you were meant to be where you are for a reason. During this phase, we may lose ourselves and not know who we are anymore. Your body has changed dramatically inside and out of constantly working 24 hours with all that energy consumed out of you, but that doesn't mean you'll have to say goodbye to what makes you look and feel good.
And don't be afraid of becoming a Mom or not sure how to be a "Good" Mom. Everyone has their own way of parenting and you raise your child the way you want! Even if some people are to ask you WHY you do that in any certain ways, don't worry about it cause that's just how you roll. You will be a GREAT MOTHER. Your child will show you a whole new side of you and a whole new world in ways that you probably have never even thought or imagined of. Surviving the first year of parenthood is a damn heck of a ride because it's all about learning, bonding and definitely challenging, but it's so worth it in every corner! Just know that God truly knows you needed this bundle of joy more than ever, so enjoy the moment!