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     We made it! One year down! And let me tell you…I am exhausted! We had Jonah’s first birthday party yesterday! It didn’t go as I had imagined (the rain drove our outside party in) but, in my mind, first birthday parties are more for the parents than the child. I mean, kids won’t remember anything about it-only from the pictures they are shown. I think it’s a good reason to come together and celebrate that we kept a human-being alive for one year! And he’s happy and healthy-that deserves a slap on the back right?

     So much has happened this year. From leaving the hospital as optimistic, yet nervous new parents, to now, where we have a firmer grasp on parenthood, but I still feel like I don’t know what I’m doing some days. As I look back, I start to think about all I have learned:

1. Motherhood is hard

Let’s be honest for a second. I never really got it until I actually had a child. Earlier, I would roll my eyes whenever I heard people talking about how hard parenthood is. Parenting couldn’t be that hard, could it? I was so wrong!

     Someone depends on me 24/7 FOR EVERYTHING! There are no breaks, and no sick days. Sometimes, I wish for someone just to take him for a few hours just so I can watched a television show or read a book.

         Sleep is a distant memory. I knew going into motherhood that I wouldn’t be getting the eight hours a night that I usually require, but I hadn’t imagined the toll it would take. I go through the day like a sleep deprived zombie, and somehow am able to get things accomplished (not always as much as I would like, but most days feeding and playing with Jonah and getting to work on time is all anyone can ask of me. I’m slowly beginning to be ok with a disheveled house). I’ll admit I’m a bit grumpier in the mornings (at least until I get that first cup of coffee).

I’m not complaining (ok maybe I am…a little), but make sure you take the time to tell the mothers in your life that they are doing a great job! Those words mean more than you think.

2. Marriage Is Different

     I love seeing my husband interacting with Jonah. Watching them together makes my heart happy! Jonah just adores his dad, and lights up whenever he comes into the room.

But our marriage has changed with our new roles. With working opposite shifts, we don’t spend much time with each other. And when we do have time together, there is a little one who demands our attention. I love the fact that I have a teammate in raising Jonah, but I still need one on one time with my hubby.

I feel like our communication could be so much better if we took time out of our weeks to just get together and talk! This is something we definitely need to work on!

If I were to offer any words of wisdom to new parents, it would be to not let your marriages suffer because of kids! Go on date night! Make each other laugh!  Seriously, it’s so important!

3. Keep Friendship alive

      Most of my friends are not mothers. Because of this, I have to try a little harder to keep my friendships going. It’s important for me to have people to talk to, even if it’s a little harder to relate to each other. I like to remind them just because I had a child, doesn’t mean I shriveled up and died.

     Going out with my friends at least once a month helps to break up the monotony of every day life, and reminds me of who I am. I’m afraid of my identity being swallowed up by motherhood, and I need to be reminded occasionally that I am more than “just a mom”.

Finding a few “mommy” friends wouldn’t be a bad idea either. Being able to go through a period of life with someone who understands would make it a bit easier. Now to convince someone to have a baby…although I’m sure there are easier ways to go about finding other “mom friends”.

4. Unconditional Love

     Despite some downfalls, motherhood is actually wonderful. I have never loved a single person as much as I love my little guy. Every giggle and new trick is enough to keep me going! I love watching him explore the world! I can’t wait to show him everything!

So here we go into our second year! I can’t wait to see what is ahead!