Mama Advice: The Emotional First Year

So my little one has turned a year old.

I'm both in awe that it's passed and also feel like it took a million years to hit this milestone.

For some reason, I am thinking maybe I can calm down a little bit now. SIDS isn't such a concern anymore, I'm not washing bottles every friggin' night, or having the breastfeeding v formula debate constantly. Although the mommy wars are so freakin' real, let me tell ya. But I'm slowly finding more and more moms like me- even if it's in books and podcasts and blogs. It's still nice that I'm not the only one. I'm not that great a mom, really, but I thought there might be a few nuggets of wisdom to share. Even if it's just for me if I have another kid later :)

Don't worry if you aren't super into it in the beginning.
The newborn stage is hard! You're basically taking care of flubber. Sometimes it's cute, sometimes it's just flubber. Things get way more interesting around 4-6 months once they get some personality. And yes, technically they have personality before then...but that's when it really comes out. This can make things more difficult, but at least interesting.

Your may not be able to stay exactly the same. 
You may not be able to just juggle that "mom" role into the rest of the things you do normally. I am so struggling with my identity right now. It's so hard. I don't regret my kid, but I feel like I am being second guessed every second of every day. Turns out, "Brittany," the somewhat smart and snarky organized woman is not exactly a good mom. Or more accurately, I don't know how to "mom" the same way I lived as a...non-mom. I don't know how to do all the things. I am breaking down more than I ever have before. Some people act like that's a sign that something is significantly wrong with me. Others say it's totally normal. I'm trying really hard to figure out how to bridge the woman I was with the mom I want to be and the woman I am- because yes, some things have fundamentally changed about ME as a person along with my new role as a mom. It's ok. You don't have to be the same as before, or the same as the mom beside you. You can tread water for as long as you can let someone else hold that baby while you rest with a lifesaver for a while.

Not necessarily even so you can have a break. My kid has spent 2 weekends away, and 60% of the time was spent going "What the hell do I do now?" Literally could not think. My brain isn't great at processing life with a kid, but it's complete shit at processing life without her now. No, the reason to let people- especially your parents and family members- watch your baby is...they remember how hard it is! Sometimes I feel like I can't tell my mom it's hard to have a baby, because she has the rose tinted glasses of the past on. Not her fault, I waited until I was in my late 20s to have a kid. It's been a while, I get it, but I swear people forget. They forget the chasing around, the pulling away from everything, the whining when something as simple as EATING ALL THE FOOD ON YOUR PLATE causes a melt down. Let them borrow the kid, and then when they talk about how tired they are or how it takes an extra 30 minutes to get out of the house glare at them and go "Um yeah I know, that's why I'm a hot mess 90% of the time. Welcome to my life."

Tell other moms that they are doing a good job.
They need it, and they will be more likely to tell you the same. Literally every mom you meet, tell her she's doing great.

While I wish it wasn't so...our society does not treat moms and dads the same. 
I thought my marriage was pretty egalitarian, but this baby has completely demolished that idea in some ways. And it's truly not my husband's fault, or mine...we are doing the best we can. But this society is just not built for it right now. Our work is just not letting this happen, and that blows. Just...I probably heard this, but ignored it, and that plus this current election has just really forced me to burden is so different, and there are some ways he just can't help. Maybe this isn't true for you! I hope not. But...there's a real good chance, and it's not your fault or his. Raise our kids to be better coworkers and bosses. That's what we can do.

I feel like I complain about being a mom on here a lot. It's not terrible!

I mean, sometimes it's really terrible. But it's also cool. It's just a challenge for me. I don't think I'm going to hurt my baby or ruin her in any way (although sometimes it feels like other people do). I do not regret having a child in any way!

I just have never done something in my life that is this hard. It's important, and worthy, and I would not trade it. It's just hard! And it's hard because I care and because I'm trying. I love my kid to pieces, and I want to be good enough for her and be all the things she deserves. It's such a big feeling that I can't talk about it. It just is.

And it's getting better, I'm slowly learning how I "mom." It's nice.

But...I wish someone had said "Yeah- you are doing a hard thing right now. It is hard. I know it is hard, I respect that fact, I am here with you and recognizing that hard." 

So when I talk about how hard it is and how I'm struggling- it's because I want other moms to know that you are not alone. I felt alone. I felt like a freak for not enjoying every single second. But I'm not. I'm just a freakin' mama.

Congrats mama, you are rocking it


  1. I'm sorry the first year was so tough for you. When you talk about it, it really sounds like you have more than your fair share of judgy people in your life and it makes me want to tell them off for you. I think my struggles have been a little different. Less feeling judged by other people and more just struggling to figure out how to do things and how to be a good mom and feeling like I'm not doing enough. Also the work-from-home with a baby thing has been insanely difficult the last couple weeks and it's had me in tears more than a few times. Confession: I don't like spending my entire day with a baby. I struggle to talk to him all day long and I get frustrated when he gets bored and wants to do something new every 10-15 minutes. Somewhere around 1 month I was wistfully thinking about stay-at-home-moming, but now I've done a full 180 and I'm ready to start researching daycare but I feel trapped because my business income is so inconsistent so how can I justify that expense when I don't even know if I'll always be able to afford my own half?

    Anyway, all that's to say I struggle too, and we all have our own things, and it IS hard, and you're killing it. We both are and our kids will grow up to be awesome people, because we care.

  2. Being a mom is hard!!! We all have things that we have to change from our former non-Mom lives and I do feel you are right and lot of people forget or don't know how hard and tiring it can be. I am loving this 4-6 month stage so much more than the first few sleepless months. Those are a blur to me now!