When your little one turns one, a few things will happen. You’ll look at the photos you took a year ago and wonder how your baby was ever that tiny, you’ll spend ages planning a party he/she definitely won’t remember, and you’ll think about how far you’ve come.
We asked our readers to candidly share the lessons they learned in their little one’s first year. From finally learning how to go with the flow to developing a newfound appreciation for coffee and wine, this is what they said. (Oh, and you might want to get the tissues ready!)
It’s okay not to be okay. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and support when you need it—none of us are superwomen.
To trust my instincts. I know my baby best and should have more faith in that.
That the housework can wait—missing moments with my family definitely isn’t worth a tidy home!
This is the hardest, most challenging thing I have ever done, but I’m loving every second of it.
To relax—it’s more important to enjoy things than constantly worrying about whether you’re doing them right.
Nothing is impossible!
Make plans, but don’t beat yourself up when you don’t stick to them.
Stop attempting to do everything on your own, build that support network and call on them when you need it.
Stay calm and try and enjoy, these early years pass by so quickly.
I can actually survive on a lot less sleep than I ever thought.
Not to compare myself to other moms—being a mother is not a competition.
To enjoy all of it and that you never know when the "last" time will be; the last time you hold their bottle because now your baby is independent enough to do it on their own. The last time they nap on you before they get too big. The last time they stay lying on the mat before they learn to crawl (and never stay where you left them ever again!)
To keep a baby bag ready by the door so you don’t forget those all-important baby wipes.
That I didn’t know what love was until I held my baby for the first time.
To buy that bottle of wine (we’ve all been there).
That baby poo stains.
Not to sweat the small stuff.
That my little one will hit milestones in his own time, whether that’s before or after his peers.
That I could make a sandwich with one hand, whilst holding a baby in the other.
Not everything will go your way. Motherhood is the most challenging and emotional experience.
To go with the flow. There’s no one size fits all approach for raising a child—you need to find what works best for you.
That I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be.
My makeup routine involves a lot more concealer these days.
That almost everyone you meet will have an opinion, but at the end of the day, you need to trust your gut.
That all new moms will spend most of their time thinking "Am I doing this right?"—support each other!
How to be patient.
It’s nothing like the books of experts said it would be.
That the stroller will never go smoothly into the trunk like it does on the adverts.
This post was written by Jane McGuire. For more, check out our sister site Mother and Baby.