I’m in denial about Rylan’s next big milestones. Having his first birthday. Walking. Weaning. Emotionally I am not ready for a single one.
Since we made his 12 month doctor’s appointment, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the past nine months. The high’s, low’s and inevitable lessons learned along the way.
For all of my mom friends out there, whether your kids are nine days old or going on 19, I know you join me in the constant internal questioning routine. What should I have done differently? Where can we improve?
If and when we expand our family again, there are many things I will try to do exactly the same (even though every baby is wildly different…I get it). On Becoming Baby Wise continues to be the best method for our family. With a few modifications in the early weeks, I am committed to the philosophy.
I am proud that Rylan is so adaptable and independent, traits we focused on from the start. I am proud to still be breast feeding and pumping but have no regrets that we also began fortifying his bottles early on to help with weight gain. I am proud that I pushed to start with food other than rice cereal and vividly remember his first timid bites of organic avocado at age four months. His food journey has been incredibly fun since that day. I am proud that I have been away from Rylan multiple times, trusting his days and nights to either Mike or grandparents.
I am proud of us.
However, I do look back on the past nine months with many “I wish I’d known” feelings too.
I wish I’d known…
- To block out the doctors, nurses and all the noise when Rylan was first born to really REALLY hear, take in and catalog in my brain that first cry. The memory is such a blur.
- To take more naps instead of giving in to the laundry piles and urge to shower. Being clean is great, but sleep deprivation is no joke.
- To hold onto Rylan longer rather than feeling like I needed to get him down in a crib for a nap or bedtime. I was obsessed with “the schedule” and I missed opportunities to simply let him lay on my chest, enjoying the miracle of our tiny bundle.
- To not obsess over one bad feed, but instead focus on the entire day or heck, just the week overall. Everyone told me that but as a new mom I simply could not process the advice. Each bad feed gave me knots of worry about his weight gain.
- To put vanity aside and take more day-in-the-life pictures WITH Rylan during maternity leave especially. This one absolutely kills me. I get a lump in my throat typing out this “wish.” We have countless photos of Rylan but not enough of us as a family in survival mode–bags under our eyes, wild sleepless hair, stained clothes and all.
- To start a house cleaner savings fund BEFORE the baby is born. In hindsight I wish I would have hidden money away from every paycheck the moment we found out Sprout was on the way. We have a cleaner we use every three to four weeks, but I would be a more relaxed person if we could afford her biweekly (and in a fantasy world, every Friday).
I have a few friends who are expecting so I hope these reflections are helpful. If you only take one to heart, make it the one about pictures. Take dozens of you and that little nugget from day one. They don’t have to go in a frame or on Facebook. But trust me, you can never get the early days back.
Moms, what do you wish you’d known the first time around?