the first year: mama’s greatest journey
By Rachel, Panoramic Playground
When you are pregnant with your first baby, one of the most common pieces of advice you receive is to enjoy every moment of the first year because it all goes by so fast. You can’t help but think, “Well, duh. This is the most exciting thing to ever happen to me. Of course I’ll enjoy every precious second!”
And then here it comes: the marathon nursing sessions; the seemingly infinite diaper changes (and the occasional massive blowout that forces you to drop everything and immediately wash every item that is on, near, and around you and baby); the inexplicable crying spells (from both parent and child); and the endless rocking, walking, patting, singing, and everything else you can think of just to get that noisy little thing to sleep. Before you know it several months have gone by and you’ve spent most of them in an infant-induced stupor.
When you’re exhausted and in the middle of all of that craziness, it’s really hard to take that advice to heart, especially when the only thing you have the energy to savor is the twenty minutes of rest a day you manage to get. But despite all of the discomforts, the first year truly is the sweetest, most incredible time of your child’s life.
I feel like I raised a gaggle of children in that first year instead of just one. It’s almost as though with each new milestone, I had to give up the old baby to gain a new one. When I look back and see how much my baby has grown and changed, I can’t help but feel a little sad. My daughter, at 21 months old, is such a different creature than what she was at a year old, or nine months old, or six months old. Sometimes I look back at the pictures and videos and find my heart heavy with regret that I’ll never see that baby again.
Thankfully, I have the pleasure of watching her grow into the amazing little person she is becoming. It gives me comfort to know that no matter how much she changes, the love between us never does. It just grows as each new personality unfolds.
I love the cherub-cheeked newborn who greeted me in our first meeting.
I love the delightful three-month-old who cooed and babbled contentedly and looked at the world with such wonder.
I love the observant six-month-old who studied everything with a look of concentration that was more perfect than any I’d ever seen.
I love the joyous nine-month-old who laughed all the time and learned something new every day.
I love the curious one-year-old who had fun with anything and seemed endlessly cheerful and serene.
And now I am loving the almost-two-year-old with boundless energy who teaches me something new every day.
With so many changes and developments throughout infancy, it’s no wonder that a parent’s love only grows. And with it, Mommy grows too – in patience, endurance, and joy. Now that I’ve got a second little one on the way, I vow to do my best to savor the moments – the good and the bad – because babyhood truly is the most beautiful and fleeting time of a mother’s life.
Bio: Rachel is a new blogger who has had a love of writing since she was a little girl. She also loves finding adventures in everyday life with her husband Clint and daughter Hannah, and the three are anxiously anticipating the arrival of Baby Boy, who should join them sometime in November. You can read more about their journey at Panoramic Playground.
Dear friends, these are my favorite lines from Rachel: “I feel like I raised a gaggle of children in that first year instead of just one. It’s almost as though with each new milestone, I had to give up the old baby to gain a new one.” How true (and hilarious) is that?? (Thank you for your lovely and perceptive post Rachel!) Enjoying the moment can be a struggle for any mom, but particularly new moms. What helps you to slow down and savor the little things?
raising my very own gaggle of children,