We all hear it the moment we see that positive test and announce our pregnancies, “Your life will be forever changed!” I can honestly say that is the whole-hearted truth. Once you have children, your whole life will change. Mostly for the best, and ok, maybe some for the worst (aka the lack of sleep the first 3 months is VERY life changing and not in a good way!) The first year of being a mama has changed my life dramatically. My first year was a little different than most (if your interested you can read about my deployment experience), but I think we can still all relate to these reasons why the first year of having a new child is the most beautiful, crazy, and can be some of the most difficult times of our lives.
10 Ways The First Year of Being a Mama Has Changed My Life:
1. I experience a love like one I have never experienced before.
Everyone is different. Some women feel the strong connection to their child the moment they see the positive pregnancy test. Some women feel the connection when they first notice their “baby bump” ever so slightly growing as the days pass on. Others might feel that connection during the birth of their child and some even months after the birth. It’s really all different for each and every mom. Having a child is the most emotional experience that someone can go through during their lifetime, as far as I’m concerned. I personally felt a connection with my child the day he was born. Of course, throughout the pregnancy I was extremely excited and felt emotion towards him, but I think it all really got REAL the day he officially entered this world. The love you feel for your child is a love that is so real and so deep it cannot be explained or put into words. I know anyone else out there that is a parent would totally agree. This has to be the most purest form of love that exists within this realm of the universe.
2. I found a new sense of confidence
Let me tell you, the first month or two after having a baby are the most difficult months. You come home without an instruction manual and have no idea what your doing in any sense. You pretty much “just wing it” every second of every day and go with your instincts. I learned very quickly that I needed to be confident in my decisions. I’ve always been a very indecisive person and struggled to “go with my gut” but I think having Liam has definitely changed that for me. I have total confidence in myself and when I make a decision I stick with it!
3. I have more structure in my life
Some people could see this as a bad thing, but for me it was a positive thing! I have never had a strong structure in my daily schedule. Before having Liam I was balancing a full-time retail schedule while also attending school full-time to obtain my Bachelor’s degree. I was great at time management, but not so great at setting a specific schedule like eating dinner at a certain time, going to bed at a certain time, keeping our house clean or doing chores on a schedule, etc. Now, we have a great schedule we follow almost every single day! I love knowing when we will be able to sit down for a family dinner and also knowing what time I will be getting up the next morning. It makes it very easy to plan other events around mine and Liam’s schedule.
4. I have bigger goals and plans
As in the words of Drake, “I gotta make it, I better make it, If i’m not there then you know I’m dedicated.” “I got a thing for two now.” I think that sums it up perfectly. I have to make it. I better make it. I will make it. I will work to provide the best life possible that I can provide for my son. He gives me a motivation that I have never felt before. I refuse to give him anything other than the best life. He deserves all the love and everything his heart could ever desire. He will never go without. He will never have a need not satisfied.
5. I don’t sweat the small stuff
Before having Liam I was almost a perfectionist in every area of my life. I would get extremely upset if things didn’t go the way I had planned or I if I didn’t succeed in every goal I set for myself. I was extremely hard on myself at times. Now, I have learned that NO ONE is truly perfect and NO ONE will ever be truly perfect, including my children. I think this is one lesson that is learned over time, but having Liam definitely pushed it into overdrive for me. I learned he might get sick from time to time. What can I do? Absolutely nothing! He might start walking at 9 months or he might start walking at 12 months or even later. What could I do? Absolutely nothing! He might drink 2 ounces or he might drink 2 – 8 ounce bottles. What could I do? Absolutely nothing! I learned that there are certain situations I cannot control and its best to just not sweat the small stuff and just let it be otherwise you will drive yourself insane. Just let it be!
6. I began to live frugally
Having a baby is expensive. Actually, really expensive. And it just keeps getting more and more expensive as they age. I never really put a lot of thought into how much having a baby really costs until I sat down and figured it up! Let me tell you, it’s a lot. Before having Liam I did not budget our money that great. I spent money on designer handbags, weekly spray tans, and hundreds of dollars of high-end cosmetic products that I didn’t even need. We ate out at nice restaurants multiple times a week and didn’t even think twice. Now, I budget our money every week and see exactly where it is going. Of course, I still buy things every now and then but its made me realize how much stuff I was buying that I didn’t even need. I have tons of clothes and handbags with tags still on them, never worn. I have tons of cosmetic products and skincare products under my bathroom sink that have never even been opened. I can’t believe how wasteful I was before. I feel like now our money is going to more productive things like our savings accounts and investment opportunities.
7. I learned to respect my body
I used to hate my body. Absolutely hate it. I was never skinny enough. I was never “fit” enough. I hated being so pale. I hated my thighs. I hated my arms. The list went on and on. After having Liam, I realized how much my body does for me day in and day out. I couldn’t believe that I had actually created life. Another living and breathing human! Our bodies should be respected every single day. They allow us to be here on this earth and to magically bring others into it as well. Do I still have some days I wish I were more in shape? Sure. But I am not as hard as myself as I used to be. As long as I am healthy, I’m perfectly happy with my body.
8. I learned that true joy doesn’t come from materialistic things
The joy you get from hearing your child laugh will never compare to the joy you get from some new materialistic item. I no longer want the newest handbag, car, or cell phone. My happiness no longer thrives on the want and need of materialistic things. All I need is my family, and that is what makes me truly happy.
9. I discovered an inner-strength I never knew I had
Let me say one thing, MOMS ARE STRONG. The strongest people I know. A mom does anything and everything you could think of, day in and day out. You truly do not and will not understand what a mom does, unless you are one. There are a million things that we do that go un-noticed but do we complain? Nope. We do the same things day in and day out because of the love for our children and family. I honestly never knew the strength I had until I had to deal with a horrible stomach virus, RSV, and multiple other sicknesses, multiple hospital visits, spending all night cleaning up, all while being sick myself. I remember not eating for 3 days straight after taking Liam to the hospital because of the Norovirus (if you haven’t experienced this, i pray you don’t!) These were extremely hard times. Yet, moms do this every day. We push through and conquer. We have no other choice. Once you become a mom, you really understand how strong you are in every aspect in life. You can literally do anything. You might not want to do it, or even think you can’t do it. But you do it!
10. I learned to focus on the important things and important people in my life
Who comes first in my life? My husband and my child. Always. No matter what the situation. Always. Always. Always.
Family is everything.
Thanks for reading!
Below I’ve linked some similar maternity dresses for maternity pictures for any expecting mamas out there! Amazon has plenty of great options if your looking for something formal for your maternity pictures.