My baby turns 1 in just a few short day! Time has literally flown, as it seems now. To be honest, there were days when I just couldn’t wait for the minutes to creep by. Boy oh boy, what an adventure it has been!
I thought being pregnant was tough…now I laugh at my naivety. Motherhood is another game altogether. The ups and downs are so dramatic, you wonder why no only really gave you a clue. And how come not one person seems to have mentioned the fact that you can kiss your sleep goodbye the day you give birth?! I don’t think I have slept a straight 4 hours in these 12 months!
Don’t get me wrong, as you may have heard and read at other places, there is simply no comparison of a mother-baby bond. You can lay down your life for this little person and take a life too if need be. A small smile or one trusting look can turn you from a raging bull into a melting mush. And the feels…ahh, you just cannot imagine or even express the depth of feelings you gain, once you have a baby of your own.
So what are some of the major insights I have from the first 12 months of my little one’s life?
1. You Had No Idea What Love Actually Is
Seriously, you don’t. It is only when you are introduced to that little being you gave birth to (or adopted) and bring home, do you really realize what loving is. A love that exceeds everything, time, space and matter. A love that expects nothing other than a watery smile in the middle of the night, or a sudden hug after an exhausting day.
This love will shock you with its force, bound you with its strength and completely captivate you with its beauty. You will be a changed person, inside and out!
2. Fatigue is Your New Best Friend
I found this to be the most difficult thing to deal with, the sleepless nights. Never in my life had I ever had trouble sleeping and staying asleep before. Just the idea of being woken up the minute you actually slept, is downright painful. But hey, these are the ‘joys’ of motherhood. Feeling like you’re a dead man walking in the first few months of your baby’s life, is going to become pretty normal to you.
To this day, and my girl is turning 1 in a few days, I have not slept 4 hours straight since she arrived. I’ll admit, I miss the deep sleep. You know what the worst part is? Even when she does, by some fluke manage to sleep 3 straight hours, I wake up worrying why she isn’t waking up!
3. That Little Person is an Individual
This perhaps, is the most difficult thing to come to terms with. The little larva that you bring to life, nourish day in night out and protect with your life and soul, has a mind of their own. And that too from the very start. They will not act the way you want to, but they will expect you to understand and sympathize with that.
Thank the Gods that they are healthy and let them be. Yes you are rearing them with your blood and tears, but let them acquire their own personality. I’ve struggled and realized it’s futile. So I correct where I can and let the nature take its course elsewhere.
4. You Cannot Win Every Battle
No matter how competitive a person you may be, or how successful you’ve been in your professional life, with a baby in your life, there are going to be battles that you lose often. The sooner you accept this, the better for your peace of mind. There will be people who tell you so many conflicting things that you may feel like a failure at times, but know this always, your baby love you for whatever you are doing. For them, you are the world.
From your husband, to the mother-in-law, your aunt to the neighbor nobody, people will tell you how wrong you are or how what you may be doing is not enough. But in the end, it will be. I’m learning to let go. I know not everything will turn out the way I want it to, nor will people or for that matter my own child, conform to the way I think and act. So I let go. If it hurts, I cry and I move on. This way, I can choose where I need to fight harder.
5. Worry Now Has an Abode in Your Heart
It’s a constant, and no, it doesn’t leave. Worrying comes with parenthood. It is inescapable and unavoidable. The minute your little one is born you start worrying. Is he breathing normally? Why isn’t she crying? Are they perfectly health? Let me see the now! The worries and fears are endless. Your imagination can run amok with the worst possible scenarios and you will want to make sure that they are healthy, happy and sound of mind.
My little girl is only 1 and I can already see how she is becoming a person of her own, wanting to do things her way. She looks back at me when she gets to the corner of the bed, but there will come a day when she will travel to the ends of the world and I will be sitting home worrying about whether or not she is safe and had enough to eat. Motherhood and worry go hand in hand.
6. You Start Truly Respecting Your Own Parents
There was a time, not very long ago when I got irritated with the constant worries of my parents. Have you reached home? Did you take the medicine on time? Are you eating enough? Did you pack that item of clothing? These were only a very few of the questions my mom would ask me from time to time, and I’d mostly answer in either irritation or condescending manner. Now I know why she did that. Now I realize why even 5 minutes of being late got my dad anxious.
Only when you become a parent, do you truly understand what it is they feel, think and imagine. These are the only two people in the world who love you unconditionally and without expecting anything other than an occasional phone call in return. I now always make sure I assuage their worries and fear because I know, she will worry me the same way.
These are only some, albeit very important, things that the 1 year of my baby’s life has taught me. How much do you agree? What have your experiences been like?