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,

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


  • Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos
    7 November 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I just adore this post Rachel! Thanks again for contributing during my “mat leave” from the Memos. And thanks for the always-timely reminder to savor the moment. I need that too! 🙂

  • Rachel J.
    8 November 2011 at 9:26 am

    Adriel, thank you so much for hosting me as a guest on your blog. I love reading the memos, and it’s an honor to be a part of your site. And thank you for all the beautiful reminders you give us in your motherhood journey. I can’t wait to hear about what life with two has been like these past few weeks!

    • Adriel @ The Mommyhood Memos
      9 November 2011 at 5:15 pm

      It’s such a pleasure Rachel!

      And yeah, I can’t wait to be writing again. We’ve had family and visitors in town (staying with us) for seven weeks now! Once life settles back to normal a bit, I hope to be back into it. I miss writing a lot actually!! And yes, life with two littles is awesome. Hard at times (but that’s just life, right?) and yet so much fun!!

  • Alicia
    8 November 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Thank you Rachel for a beautiful post. My son just turned one last week so this really hits home for me. It’s so hard to believe how fast the time has gone. I have tried to savor each stage he’s gone through this past year, and I have absolutely loved watching him grow and learn.

    And thanks, Adriel for hosting some really great guests. I’m excited to have some new blogs to be following!


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