Sicily just turned one a few weeks ago and since then I have been reflecting on the past year. Having a child has brought so much joy into my life. I couldn’t have asked God for a better blessing than to raise a child. It was a dream come true. Through the year I got frustrated, smiled, laughed, and cried. But I learned a lot in my first year as Mommy.
1. I Learned I Have No Patience
I thought my patience was pretty strong. I have taught preschoolers, toddlers, and elementary school kids. I have dealt with screaming tantrums to cussing preschoolers to preschoolers licking legs to full-blown outbursts of throwing chairs, easels, and tables. My friend, the kids that have the worst behavior issues are the ones I LOVE to work with, so I thought I had the patience of a saint. I guessed wrong. It’s something about your own child that your patience dwindles with them.
There were nights when I just wanted to lay her in the crib and go for a nice LONG, PEACEFUL walk. I couldn’t though because at the time I was a single mother. I would hand off the chores that I lost my patience with easily like feeding baby food to a squirming little girl. I just couldn’t do it!
Patience is something that I have vowed to work on more this year. I am actively thinking about my choices before dealing with a situation. Sicily is into throwing her food on the floor which annoys me to no end. I lose my patience very quickly when she does this. I’ve taken this experience and turned it into a learning opportunity for both of us. Before acting, I take a deep breathe and think about the right choice that would benefit both of us.
2. I Learned I’m Selfish
Before Sicily I took my free time for granted. I knew that my free time would decrease, but I figured I’d get my stuff done during nap times or when she is playing. I didn’t take into consideration that my daughter LOVES to fight sleep or wants me to sit on the floor with her while she plays. She is attached to my hip 24/7. I wasn’t expecting that! I miss my free time. I miss my nightly peaceful bubble bath. I’m learning how to not take these moments for granted though because I know in a few years I’ll have too much free time. She will want to play with friends or lock herself in her room.
3. I Learned I’m Not as OCD as I Thought
Growing up my family always annoyed me with moving things out-of-place. I was always referred to as the OCD one of the family. My house always had to be in order 100% of the time. I would spend every Sunday cleaning my house top to bottom and every nook and cranny. Since Sicily has come along, I clean when I get a chance. Laundry will sit in the basket for days waiting to be folded and put away. Toys will be strewn across all levels of my house and only get picked up once a week. I’m actually quite proud of myself for not letting these things bother me. I don’t have a dirty house by any means. I still keep in clean just not as clean as before.
4. I Learned I have Very Strong Opinions
I knew I wanted to homeschool, but my opinions on public school grew even more once I became a mom. I started looking at my students through my mommy eyes and realized that I couldn’t even be a part of the public school system anymore. You can read all about my very strong opinions in the three posts below. I’m really proud of myself for standing up for my beliefs. I never thought I had it in me. I took some huge risks because of those opinions.
How Your Dreams Can Become Your Reality
How to Turn Failure into a Learning Opportunity
Why I Chose to Homeschool
5. I Learned I Give Up Too Quickly
All throughout my pregnancy I was adamant on breastfeeding. It was the only option. I never even considered formula. Well the night before we came home from the hospital, my daughter screamed the whole night. The next night she did the same thing. I was home with her. It was just me and my mom. I realized that the poor baby was hungry because my milk hadn’t come in yet. I was too tired to think any more, so my mom told me to just give her some formula. We had a sample pack of formula, so I tried it.
A little side story here: We tried the formula, but had an interesting time doing so. The only bottles I had were from this breastfeeding kit that only held the bags. I had to mix the formula in a cup and pour it into a breastfeeding bag. Well then the nipples were too hard and she wasn’t getting any. We ended up feeding her formula with a syringe!
She slept like a log for the next 4 hours. I kept giving her formula, but nursed as well. I would pump every hour, but it was exhausting. I soon started to realize how much easier formula was, and my milk supply was not very good. I went against my intuitions, beliefs, and education on breastfeeding. I gave up when she was a month old and went to only formula feeding.
I think back on that quite often. I really miss the bonding time we had during nursing sessions. I wish I kept trying. I should have went to a lactation consultant for help, but I was too stubborn and tired. I have made a commitment to myself to try again if any other babies come along. I will ask for help and not give up as easily next time.
Being a mommy is one of the greatest challenges in my life. I embrace every day with an open mind. I enjoy being a mommy. I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.
What have you learned about yourself as a new mommy?
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