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It’s crazy to think that I’m now the very proud mama of a one-year-old baby.   On October 3rd, my little man made that massive milestone and Alfie and I celebrated the fact that we had made it through the first year marginally unscathed.  There have been some lows, but mainly highs over the past year as new parents and some of the challenges have been unreal, but somehow we managed to pull through the magnificent task of raising a little human for one whole year. 

When we brought Aiden home from the hospital when he was just over 24 hours old, the journey that we were about to embark on was a daunting prospect.  We had so much love for this tiny baby that we had been blessed with, but the reality was neither of us knew what the hell we were going to do with him.  I hadn’t really been around babies not alone look after one before AJ arrived so the thought of changing a nappy for the very first time seemed scary.  

Let’s just say we both as individuals have come a long way and learnt a great deal in 12 months.  Our little man is the happiest baby and through him my eyes have been opened to so much and he has taught me a lot about myself and the world in his short time on this earth. 

Time Is Precious

Seriously, this has to be the quickest year of my life!  It’s incredible to think that Aiden once was a tiny baby and now he’s charging around the room with his walker and getting himself into all kinds of mischief.   Realising how fast this year has gone has made me appreciate the time that we have and what is really important in life.  Abandoning the housework used to drive me crazy in the early days of mamahood, but now I’m so glad that I did because I will never get that time back. 

Accepting Help Doesn’t Mean You’re A Failure

You are literally thrown in the deep end when you have a baby and it’s such an overwhelming feeling even if you have one of the easiest and happiest baby’s to bless this earth.  I’m quite stubborn by nature and like to make sure it looks like I have everything under control even when it’s not (an area that I’m working on as part of my personal development project).  At first I turned down everyone’s kind offers of help but quickly realised without wanting to be a martyr that accepting help doesn’t make me a failure.  In fact, I think it’s a brave step and has definitely helped me and my little family thrive. 

It’s OK IF You Can’t Do It All 

I’m a list maker, I like to write everything down and I like to think of myself as a super organised human being.  Baby brain isn’t a myth it’s a fact of life the same way that having a baby completely shakes up your norm.  How such a tiny human being takes over your world still amazes me a year later. I struggled to come to terms that I couldn’t be as productive as I was before having Aiden, actually I found it really tough almost like it was showing a sign of weakness.  Slowly, I began to accept that I cannot do it all and that’s OK because I’m doing the best I can and that’s enough. 

Putting Yourself First Is A Necessity Not A Luxury

Looking after yourself has never been so important to be since becoming a mama.  Of course, I’ve been focused on looking after my health for a few years now, but practicing actions of kindness and taking some time out for myself has never felt more a necessity.  It’s so very easy to lose yourself in baby mayhem and to recapture a piece of you or reconnect yourself is essential for your sanity and well-being.  Whether it’s 2-minutes or 60-minutes I always try to make sure that I find some time to practice kindness towards myself.  I previously blogged about some simple ideas on how to practice self-love here, but this can also extend to actions like wearing your favourite lipstick, going for a walk or eating your favourite foods.  Things can come up that mean that my self-care practices slide, but I know that when I return to them I feel better for it. 

I Can’t Be A Typical Stay At Home Mum

I’m one of those annoying people who always has to be doing something and I know it may sound silly because you are always busy with a baby, but I think there is that need for me to have my own world that is just for me.  The past year has taught me that I can’t be a regular stay at home mum, which sounds like a selfish thing to say, however, I will never feel guilty for saying it.  I give credit and praise to any mother who dedicates their entire life to their children – it’s just not me.  I need to have something that is mine and totally unrelated to mamahood to feel and function like myself, so I’m forever grateful for blogging and freelancing as it gives me that creative space that I need. 

We are not Rivals

Who cares if your baby is  breast or formula fed, traditionally weaned or baby-led weaned, wears organic cotton, was born naturally or by c-section? Not me. Motherhood can be competitive and downright bitchy, some of the parenting Facebook groups that I’ve joined that are supposed to be supportive are shocking! People a can be quick to criticise if you are doing something that they think is the wrong way to raise a child. I totally appreciate that parenting is a highly sensitive topic, but seriously as long as the baby is healthy, happy and loved none of the rest matters.  

Life happens…get over it!

This all comes back to my OCD over-organised self and feeling totally screwed over when I can’t get things done, we don’t leave on time or my plans completely unravel. Yep, biggest wake-up call for me since having a beautiful little person to look after is that the simplest tasks can become difficult, not all the time I may add!  I’ve finally surrendered and accepted that life happens and stopped becoming such a stress head when things seem like they’re not going to plan.  Who care’s if we don’t get out the door in time, I haven’t managed to do the laundry or miss an appointment a slap round the face with some perspective has helped in this department!

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Aiden is doing so well at the moment.  He’s an absolute star and I couldn’t ask for a happier and loving little boy! He’s not quite walking yet, but he’s confidently cruising around the furniture and he did take a couple of nervous steps towards me the other day.  We got his feet measured the other week and my baby has massive feet.  Buying his first set of proper shoes is going to be so exciting, but we haven’t invested in any yet as he’s not quite walking. 

Night time can still be challenging and on some nights he’s been having extra feeds, meaning I feel drained the next day.  Having said that he is taking longer naps in the day, which means that I’m able to get more done while he’s sleeping because I hate working when he’s awake.  

Sleepless nights aside I couldn’t be happier, Aiden has enriched our lives beyond what we ever thought was possible and I know it sounds like a clichΓ©, but imagining life without him now feels impossible.  

What did you learn about your first year of parenthood?  What life changing event has taught you an invaluable lesson?