Lessons We Learn in Our First Year of Motherhood That Are Still True Today
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.
NEXT: Dry those tears with a laugh, and check out these hilarious stories of motherhood from celebrities.
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Ben Affleck Mom
He shared a hilarious story about his mom Christine Anne Boldt's reaction after he took her to the Oscars!
"At the Oscars, they do a weird thing where they put big name placards of [where people will sit], and so it’ll say ‘Jack Nicholson’ or it’ll say like ‘Ryan Gosling.’ And my mom was obsessed by that, and went around taking pictures of all the [seats]. I was like, you know that’s not the real Jack Nicholson right?’” he said.
Kate Hudson Goldie Hawn
Kate's mother Goldie Hawn loved to do pirouettes all the time — even when she went with her daughter to school!
"I remember when my mom would do hot lunch at school, with the pizza and the singing. You know, she pirouettes everywhere. It's the best — she's still pirouetting everywhere. But when you're a kid and your parents are wild like that, you [cringe]," she said.
Jennifer Lawrence Mom
When Jennifer got nominated for an Academy award, her mother Karen tried to vote for her in the funniest way!
“Recently I just got accepted into the Academy, which was really exciting for me, and then I got a call from my mother when I was in England, she goes, ‘I did something hilarious.’ And I was like ‘What?’ And she was like ‘I voted!’ And I was like, ‘voted for what?’ [She said] ‘The Oscars!!’ She was like the ballot came here and I voted!”
“She thought I was gonna say ‘I’m gonna get kicked out of the Academy!’ But she did it wrong and I think she mailed it back to herself,” Jennifer said.
Ryan Gosling Mother Oscars
He had quite the story to share about his mom, Donna Gosling, after they attended an awards show together!
“She thought beehives were gonna be all the rage, and if you didn’t have a beehive you’d be embarrassed. And it turned out to be the opposite, it was a natural hair vibe. And my mom sat in front of Rachel Weisz, and [my mom’s] hair was so high [that Rachel couldn’t see]. My mom kept sinking in her chair. I didn’t know what to do and I wanted her to have a nice night…"
"I didn’t know Meryl Streep, but she was sitting next to me, [so I asked her] ‘would you mind just telling my mom you like her hair?’ And she was like, ‘I got this.’ And then she goes, ‘You know, I wish… I was going to do a beehive… And my mom was like, raising the roof all night,’” Ryan said.
Denzel Washington Mom
He shared this funny story to demonstrate how his mother Lennis always kept him grounded.
"I remember coming home one time and feeling full of myself and talking, 'Did you imagine all this? I mean, I'm a star.' And [my mom]'s, like, 'Please. First of all, you don't know how many people been praying for you and for how long?' Then she told me to get the bucket and the squeegee and clean the windows," he said.
Skylar Astin Mom
The actor almost always has a smile on his face, and it's all because of his mom, Meryl Lipstein!
"When I was two I was always frowning, just always scowling. I wouldn't smile for pictures and in a Jewish family there is a lot of big family pictures," he said. "One time, my mom told me this story about this guy named John, and John would never smile. John would walk around all day and people would try to tell him a joke and he would just scowl back at them."
"One day he was watching his favorite cartoon and there was a funny joke and he went to laugh and his face was stuck and he couldn't move it. He could never smile again," Skylar explained. "Every time I was, for no good reason, being unhappy, she would just say 'John' and I would light up like a Christmas tree. Now I smile all the time, because I'm terrified."
Tracee Ross Mom
Tracee Ellis Ross
Though she grew up with a rich and famous mother, Diana Ross, she was always reminded that she had to work for her success.
"We had a lot, and as much as I knew that everybody didn’t live that way, she didn’t raise us with a sense of entitlement... She used to say things like, 'Oh no, no, no, I worked for all of this. This is mine and I’m not leaving any of it to you. I’m going to spend it, so you’d better get a job, little girl,'" Tracee said while laughing.
Leonardo Dicaprio Mom
His mom, Irmelin Indenbirken, went to great lengths to make sure he pursued his dreams!
"I wouldn’t be doing any of this if it weren’t for [my mom], both my parents. She supported this little kid who said, 'I want to be an actor,' at 12 years old, which is ridiculous, and she drove me to all these auditions... She’s the only reason I’m able to do what I do," Leo said.
Matthew Mcconaughey Mom
Matthew's mom, Mary Kathlene McCabe, never tolerated tantrums or bad moods in the morning!
"When we were raised, [when] we got out of bed in the morning, we'd come out for breakfast in the morning and be in a crappy mood. She'd just grab us and run us back to the bed and say, 'Don't you come back to my breakfast table where I cooked you breakfast and see the dust on the table instead of the rose in the vase, buddy,'" he said.
Roy Wood Jr
Roy Wood Jr.
When he was little, his mom, Joyce Dugan Wood, once forgot to put out his Christmas presents — and she came up with the cutest lie to comfort him!
“Most years, my mom worked a seasonal job gift wrapping at local department stores. The late hours wore on her, and one year, she overslept and forgot to put out my Christmas gifts. She came downstairs to find her 8-year-old child crying his brains out. Thinking fast, my mother told me to go back to sleep because ‘Santa might not have finished making his rounds.’ Two hours later, I came back downstairs to a living room full of gifts and a note on top that read, ‘Sorry Kid, Traffic. Love, Santa’," he said.
Renee Elise Goldsberry Mom
Renee Elise Goldsberry
Her mom suddenly got rid of all her favorite cereals and stocked up on healthy foods!
"There was a phase where my mother decided sugar cereal is bad. So like all the frosted flakes, all the good stuff was gone. And she brought in, like, fruit and fiber," Renee said of her mom, Betty Sanders.
Hillary Clinton Mom
She shared the most inspiring story about how her mom, Dorothy Howell Rodham, encouraged her to stand up for herself.
“After we moved to Park Ridge, my mother noticed that I was reluctant to go outside to play. Sometimes I came in crying, complaining that the girl across the street was always pushing me around. I was only four years old, but my mother was afraid that if I gave in to my fears, it would set a pattern for the rest of my life. One day, I came running into the house. She stopped me. ‘Go back out there,’ she ordered, ‘and if Suzy hits you, you have my permission to hit her back. You have to stand up for yourself. There’s no room in this house for cowards.’ She later told me she watched from behind the dining room curtain as I squared my shoulders and marched across the street. I returned a few minutes later, glowing with victory," she said.