Featured Journal

One Year Down

Written by Chaaron

At this time last year, I was laying in my hospital bed holding my day old baby boy.

Here are a few things that I’d tell my brand-new-mom self if I had the chance:

  • Breast feeding is not as easy as they make it sound in the class. It’s difficult, painful, time consuming, but ultimately worth it. You’ll make it 10.5 months. You should be so proud of yourself. If you are blessed with another baby in the future, you now know a few tricks that will make things easier and you won’t play tough when you show signs of mastitis. Mastitis is the worst. Mastitis three times in six weeks is unbearable. Promise yourself you won’t do that again.
  • You will be more tired than you ever imagined you could be in the beginning. Somehow you will still function. You may not shower and it’s a good day if you brush your teeth, but you’re doing just fine by your son.
  • Just when you think you you’re starting to get a hang of this mothering thing, you’ll head back to work. Starting back to work is terrible but leaving him at daycare the first time is worse. One of the smartest decisions you made was to start back to work on a Thursday. Also, pumping at work is hard, but you’ll get the hang of it. Stick with it. Also, feel confident in your decision. You are your best self when you can balance work and motherhood. That balance is hard to find, but cherish your professional time and run out the door at 5pm so you can soak up every moment with your little guy before bed.
  • You will take him with you everywhere and people will think you’re crazy. Do it anyway. You’ll look back and realize that babies are significantly more portable at six weeks than they are at eight months. Sure, you were a little nuts for taking him to a Major League Baseball game at six days old, but what a great story, right?
  • Packing away the newborn and 0-3 month clothes will cause many more tears than you thought possible. It doesn’t really get better when you pack away 3-6, 6-9, 9-12, etc.
  • You will count down the days to some milestones and wish away others. You will eagerly await that first smile and beg those first steps to hold off for a few more days so you can laugh at that silly little crawl for just a while longer.
  • You have always prided yourself on not being very emotional, but that has quickly disappeared. Tears come quickly and frequently. I read somewhere that this is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of life. Believe it.
  • The “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Bushel and a Peck” have amazing fit-reducing properties. Sing it out, lady. Your baby knows nothing of perfect pitch and that you don’t have it.

There are so many more things that I’d tell myself, but mostly I’d say, you’re enough. You’ll doubt every decision, but you’re doing your best and that’s what’s best. You’ll look back at a year gone by and wonder how it went so fast. As you chase your toddler and try to keep EV.ERY.THING. out of his mouth, you’ll feel a bit of longing for those sweet days when he’d sleep on your chest for hours. But then he’ll give you a high-five and a funny four-tooth grin, and you’ll remember THIS age is your favorite. Just like every age before.

About the author

Chaaron

Chaaron is a Nebraska native who lives in Alexandria, VA with her husband, RP, her son, Dash and her daughter, Pippa. By day, she’s a program manager with a public charity in DC and by night, she is happily occupied with living room dance parties and dodging errant duplo pieces. She’s terrible at updating her blog, but you can find her little slice of the internet at senseandnonsenseblog.com.

10 Comments

  • I love this post I feel like I can totally relate. Who knew you can literally survive with no sleep. I had a little premie and we are struggling with breastfeeding I feel the same way everyone makes you feel like it will happen and she will take to it. Although I can’t wait for her to get big I am going to enjoy every moment while she is tiny!

    • It sounds so cliche to tell someone to cherish every minute. And, as a new mother, you certainly don’t cherish blowout diapers, lanolin stains on your shirts and hour (+) long crying spells, but you’ll be amazed at the amnesia you experience when they pass that stage and all you can remember is smelling their head while they sleep on your chest.

  • Your words came at a beautiful time for us. As I sit here with my 1 month old baby sleeping in her Boba Wrap on my chest, I savor every second thinking about how this time is so fleeting. You’ve made me consider a few things too…maternity leave ends August 12th…might reconsider going back to work on a Monday…and now I’m wondering if I’ve brushed my teeth today… 🙂

  • Chaaron, Just wanted you to know that I stumbled up on this on my way to work the other morning and absolutely LOVED it. I was crying on the train and didn’t care. Then read it to Scott when I got home and cried again! Oh, the mommy emotions! It’s so beautifully written and everything completely resonated with me as I navigate through my sons first year of life. This is such a sweet, rewarding, challenging, and memorable time in our lives and you really captured so many of my feelings about being a mom. Thanks so much for putting yourself out there and sharing this post!

    • Lindsey, thank you so much for your sweet words. They made me cry! We are so blessed to be on this journey as moms! It’s so much harder and so much sweeter than I ever imagined. I love seeing all of your adventures. Keep taking Camden everywhere with you. You’ll be so glad that you did!