Forget the baby milestones - everyone knows them. First smile, first solid food, rolling over, teeth, mum secretly saying mamamama in the hopes that “mama” will be the first word (we see you), you know the drill. More importantly, you know you’ll spend the entire year, phone in hand, ready to capture every moment. But what about your milestones? You know, the milestones for new parents. Who can say they genuinely celebrated their first uninterrupted shower with the ticker tape parade it deserved? Let’s change that.
So, to inspire your new journey into the big, scary world of parenting, we’ve put together a list of highs and lows of the first year. Because you don’t really know what you don’t know. You know?
Making Your Way Home
You’ve prepped for weeks, had the newborn coming home outfit all ready to go, and yet, that first step outside with your new baby can feel totally overwhelming. Feeling all the feelings like fatigue, relief, stress, excitement, anxiety, all at once is totally normal! It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but that first trip home is an important one. Whether you’re bringing baby home to a house full of loved ones, or a cosy little space of their own, take a minute as you cross the threshold and breathe. Baby steps.
What Am I Doing?
Even the most confident parents - new and not so new - reach a point where they feel totally and utterly lost. But don’t fret, because that moment when you feel like you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing is a rite of passage we all go through. Whether it happens during a marathon crying session, or an awkward moment fiddling with settings on the pram, rest easy in the knowledge that you’re not alone.
Forget Me Not
That first time you leave the house without your baby is a real eye-opener. First, you’re excited about the freedom. No pram! No nappy bag! Look at you with all your freedom! Then, boom. It hits. You feel weird. Like you’ve forgotten something. Except you haven’t forgotten anything - this is just how things feel now. As a mum, we very quickly adapt to the routine of having a baby permanently attached to ourselves, so when you finally do get some time to yourself, that’s another adjustment you need to make. It’s weird, but it gets easier. Try not to spend the whole time you’re away looking at photos of them though, okay?
Laughing Instead of Crying
There’s going to be a point when everything falls apart. Your home will feel like chaos as you find yourself unable to navigate even the most simple chores, wearing drool covered leggings (no judgement here) and armed with only two hours of sleep just as your little one spills their lunch all over themselves and your sofa. You’ll want nothing more than to give up and cry (and you might cry, for a bit). One day, you will laugh instead of crying. A bit maniacally perhaps, but laughter nonetheless. Boom, milestone.
Queen of the House
To balance out the moments of fret, there will be a few shining moments of glory that will leave you feeling unstoppable. Like the first time you head out without popping back to grab something you forgot, or even needing to double-check your belongings because everything is under control. It’s at this point you’ll start to feel less inclined to seek out parenting help and might even feel a bit better equipped to start sharing your own advice. You’ve got this.
The Right Path
While those initial feelings of uncertainty that come with being a first-time parent never totally disappear, there comes a point when you realise you’re actually doing okay as a parent. You kinda have things under control. You’re even feeling like you’re doing well with your little one (gasp). Cherish this moment, and be kind to yourself. Toddlerhood is just around the corner...