“Ain´t no hood like motherhood,” they say. I couldn´t agree more.
Before having a baby I was ready for this to be the hardest chapter of my life. I had heard from multiple sources that the first year of being a mom is absolutely amazing, but also a blur and a time that can pretty much be written off regarding other goals and areas of life.
I didn´t like that mentality from the get-go and didn´t want that to be my reality, but I thought “Maybe I am just ignorant. Or too optimistic. Or I just don´t know what I don´t know and it will actually be like that.”
Truth be told this year has been “the most” of everything. The most tiring and fearful, yet the most blissful and beautiful 12 months. Don´t get me wrong- there have been plenty of lowest valleys and challenges, but right now I feel more capable, more efficient, and more empathic I´ve ever felt before. All thanks to becoming a momma. Hands down the best year of my life!
So let´s get to it- everything about sleeping, nursing, introducing solid foods, maintaining a relationship with a significant other, with friends, and most importantly with ourselves.
Just like in any other post, I stress, that I am just sharing our experience. This might not be your reality or vice versa. And that’s okay.
“Are you getting any sleep?”
This is often the question most asked from an infant´s mom. It´s a very justified and understandable question since the baby´s livelihood is dependent on you and that doesn´t stop at night.
The first two nights that we were at the hospital I was pretty much up all the time since I was so afraid that I am going to miss the three-hour feeding period. I wasn´t tired though, just running on adrenaline. In my mind I was thinking- “Oh well… these sleepless nights, here we go….they were all right after all.”
Fortunately, after those two I haven´t had any sleepless nights. There were some nights that were too short for sure, but non where I had less than 4 hours of sleep. So I always wonder when women tell about the sleepless nights, how is it quantified:D Does it mean no sleep whatsoever or is it under 5 hours? Under 3? Any other number? Anyway…. in my metric-system I haven´t had any sleepless nights.
My goal from early on was to help Camilla form a routine. Not because it´s a “by the book” way of parenting, but because I personally am huge on schedule. I love having a plan and sticking to it as much as possible. I operate the best and feel the most peace when I am on schedule. So doing that with Camilla was the most natural way for me to cope with the new addition to life.
For the moms who before having a child operated on a more “flowing” type of schedule, then that´s probably the way to go for them with a baby too. I don´t think when it comes to motherhood there are too many right or wrong ways (excluding some of the obvious ones that might put the baby´s welfare at risk). So I feel having a specific routine versus not having is not a place for us, mommas, to judge each other or to strongly convert the other over.
I just knew that the more specific routines we have, the better it´ll be for all of us in our family.
I wanted to get Camilla into the habit of going to sleep early, so I could have some me-time, get some work/projects done in the evening, or time for me and Nick just to be a husband and a wife. Camilla has been going to sleep every day pretty much from her first months between 19-19.30. Our evenings are the same to this day (a year later)- around 6 pm dinner; 6.30 pm bathtime and evening routines; 7 pm feeding and 7.30 sleep. I´ve been committed to that routine and it has really both helped me and I think Camilla too since her body has got used to it. When she switched from 3 naps to 2 naps, then for a while she went to sleep at 7, which was extra nice. Between 10-11 months some days, it´s been closer to 8. But still… fairly early, I´d say. She hasn´t been a super early riser (with some periods that were exeptions). At the beginning it was closer to 8, now (around 1 year mark), she wakes up mostly around 7.
Of course, there have been some days where for some reason (whether our own activity or her behavior) she has gone to bed later, but those are rather rare exceptions. There was a period around a year where she was sick and then she stayed up much longer. That week or two was definitely much more exhausting.
Something that helped me help her form a routine was tracking her sleep cycles, feedings, etc. In the beginning, I used the Huckleberry app to enter everything, later I just knew the times already how long she is capable of staying up and when she should head to sleep.
For 11 months she slept in our bed. Since I was breastfeeding it just made sense to me. Most of the time she woke up three, at the beginning maybe four times during the night. The first time around 11 pm, when I went to bed and after that a few more times. Before we transitioned her into her own bed she had never slept through the night fully. I breastfed her pretty much through the sleep and it was so convenient having her next to me. The first 6 months she was super calm when she slept, didn´t twirl too much, and affected our sleep. Nick really never had to wake up during the night and that way it just worked for us. Co-sleeping was one of those things I said I would never do when I became a mom but came out I really enjoyed it. Until…
Starting around 9,5 months though she got so active and when she woke up in the night she was just climbing allll over me. Then she fell asleep with her head or legs across me or literally being fully on me. Until then I hadn´t really complained about sleep deprivation but there were a couple of weeks during that time where I felt like a zombie. Most mornings since her birth I was the one who got up with Camilla in the morning, but all of a sudden I started to ask more from Nick to do that since I was SO tired. I knew it was time to make some changes.
I decided to ween her from breastmilk and with that also to get her to her own bed. The few first nights she still ended up back between us after waking up for the first time, but slowly she started getting used to it. Around 11 months were the first few nights where she slept through the night and that was awesome!
Her bed is still in our room, but it´s tucked away next to the wall and away from our bed. I haven´t been brave enough to put her in her own room. Or I don´t know if brave is even the right word to use. I really haven´t wanted to. I like having her close.
Thankfully she´s been a very healthy baby, but when she was 13 months old she was sick for the first time and that shook up the sleeping situation a little bit again. She had got into a good routine sleeping in her own bed, but then I saw how she needed even more love and affection and I took her to our bed again. So we were back to the old situation and to be honest it was hard for me to switch again from that because I genuinely love sleeping with her:D And I sleep well like that. It even sounds weird to say, because it´s the opposite of what I thought before having her.
During that period Nick moved to sleep on the couch, because Camilla slept sometimes horizontally taking up half of his side. Now (at 14 months) we´ve been trying to make the move back. Some days it works, some days it doesn´t . Even if she starts off in her own bed, she often finishes in ours. I guess it´s mostly my own comfortzone that has been keeping it that way. It´s not ideal, but it is what it is for now.
Anyway, long story short- whatever works for you sleep-wise works for you and I don´t think anyone should feel bad nor judged for one way or the other.
Between the first and seventh month when she was doing mostly 3 naps a day. During the first one she was mostly with Nick and I was on coaching calls. Often times they took a nap together. They are little nap-buddies:) The second nap she slept in my arms and the third one we were walking. The first 3 months her lunch nap was often from 1-4 pm, so I ended up walking or sitting in a park, doing emails, etc. Sometimes she slept on the terrace too, but I felt like I constantly had to check on her, so it was mentally easier for me to go out on a walk. Even through the cold winter:D She very very rarely slept in her bed during the day. When she wasn´t sleeping in the stroller she was sleeping in my arms and that was absolutely exhausting at the beginning since there was no mental break. She just woke up right away when I started putting her down. Nor did she fall asleep laying in bed. She also didn’t fall asleep independently, we always had to rock her to sleep. Sleeping in my arms on a bouncing ball didn´t really change, I just learned to make the most of it. So while she napped I answered messages, did emails, listened to my coaching client´s recordings, etc. To this day she doesn´t fall asleep independently, but needs rocking or patting.
What broke the bouncing ball routine at six months was our trip to Dubai, where for a month she did all the naps in the stroller or on a bed. Coming back from there she got used to sleeping in her bed. Maybe she was ready for that earlier, but we just got into a habit and were afraid to change it.
When she switched from thee to two naps she slept one with Nick and the second one I sometimes walked, sometimes put her to bed. As much as I wanted to walk with her and get some steps in, those 1,5-2 hours at home with her sleeping are sometimes just too precious:D
Around the year mark she still does two naps most days (first from 9.30-11; second 14.00-15.30), but some days only one nap. Now I go out with her to the playground before sleep and put her down in the bed. Usually, I have a clear agenda for that period whether it´s filled with work or home chores, and try to make that time count.
Last thing about napping…
I am officially the worst napper in the world. I´ve never really been able to sleep during the day, but I was pretty sure it´ll change at least a bit when I was pregnant. Noup. Didn´t happen. Zero naps. Then I figured it must change when I´ll have a baby. Eeeem… unfortunately not. Two naps. PER YEAR!
I took one nap during the first week when we brought Camilla home and the second one on the 27th of January. Yes, I remember that day so well, because I was excited and proud I managed to get some extra rest. This is nothing I am proud of or that I promote over-doing things. I truly wish I would be able to take more naps. Nick is a master napper and he has tried to give me tips and tricks:D I´m often very jealous of that skill:D Trust me- by now I´ve tried anything and everything, but I am just incapable of sleeping any other time than during the night. Case closed. I guess I just have to live with that and do my best to protect my night’s sleep.
Overall I´d say that looking back now at 14 months the sleep journey doesn´t seem that bad. It has definitely required changing habits and adjusting, but hey…. that should be the expectation of becoming a parent. I guess just like most things, coping with a baby´s sleep seems more doable in hindsight than in the moment.
I knew I wanted to do my best to breastfeed. I would never ever judge someone´s decision about it for their child, I just knew that it would be my number one choice. Once again- I had read and heard some horror stories about breastfeeding and unfortunately, that is sometimes the reality. Fortunately, my reality was that on the third day the milk came and since then Camilla started gaining weight at a good rate. Fortunately, I didn´t have to supplement that.
The main thing I was worried about when it comes to nursing and the first months, were the gas pains. I´ve had some friends who didn´t have them at all and some whose experience with them was terrible. Fortunately, we belonged to the first group. Camilla didn´t really have many gas pains when she was an infant. I kept on asking my best friends- “Well, what if she has them and I don´t understand.” Their answer was always- “If she had them, you would know!” I can´t say that had much to do with anything we intentionally did right, for example, I didn´t necessarily change the way I ate, so seems we just got lucky with it.
I really loved the entire experience of breastfeeding and wouldn´t change anything in that process. Since I planned my schedule around her, I was never away from her for longer than the feeding breaks. So during the first 9 months, she got a bottle (with pumped breastmilk) only a few times.
I wanted to breastfeed for up to a year, but around 10,5 months felt that some other emotions other than joy started adding to the breastfeeding experience. She bit me a few times and as mentioned before in the nights got a little too active, so I wanted to find a new alternative.
Since she had never got formula nor bottle really, I was very afraid of the weening process. Around 10,5 months I started decreasing the number of times during the day I breastfeed and supplemented those feedings with actual food. I realized that she had no issues eating solids, it had just been easier for me not to deal with cooking and, cleaning, but to just pop out the boob:D She still got breastmilk before bed and in the night.
For a week I started decreasing breastfeeding bit-by-bit, I decided to go all-in and cut the nightly feedings too. I replaced those with a bottle and formula. I know some women ween without the bottle too, but that seemed too extreme to me. To my surprise, Camilla didn´t mind the bottle nor the formula milk at all. I got even a bit emotional, seeing that her livelihood, which was so dependent on me, was fairly easily replaceable. Oh, that momma´s heart…
I understood that just like everything else, it was much bigger and scarier in my head than in reality.
After maybe a week or so of nightly bottles she started sleeping through the night and I didn´t give milk for her anymore. Now she only drinks milk in the evening before bed. Rarely before the lunch nap. Some evenings from a cup, some evenings from a bottle. Just whatever is clean and closer:D I know only using a cup probably would be better, so that´s the direction we go now.
There are different strategies for how to ween from breast, but the graduate way worked well for us. It wasn´t somehow traumatic and seemed natural both for me and Camilla.
I wasn´t expecting that finishing breastfeeding will affect my body and the way I felt so much. First of all, I gained right away a few kilos. I am tall and lean and another person probably would not have noticed anything, but I just felt different. Breastfeeding sure is quite a workout and I had formed habits where I just ate too much. Now I had to take a closer look at how and what I ate and how I protected working out. I was also pretty nauseous for a few weeks after. My cycle started again after 1,5 months of finishing breastfeeding.
All in all my nursing experience was amazing. I truly think it´s an incredible bonding activity between the mom and the baby and it was definitely bittersweet to end it. It´s crazy though how fast it´s forgotten. When I see someone breastfeeding a baby I kind of remember the feeling, but very vaguely. Yet another thing a women´s body just naturally manages to deal with.
I started introducing pureed foods to Camilla around 5 months. Some might say it´s a little early, but it wasn´t that she had full-on meals. She just tasted some vegetables half a spoonful at a time. The first foods we started with were pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, potato, cucumber. I did some of the purees myself and since we were Salvest Põnn´s ambassadors we used their purees too. Honestly- that was one of the other things that before becoming a mom I said- “I´ll be cooking EVERY single meal for my daughter.” The reality was that especially in the summer when we were on the go, the smoothies and tube-purees came in so handy. AND they actually taste much better than for some reason I expected.
Between 6-9 months Camilla mostly ate purees. I had read about finger food and baby-led weaning and I really loved the concept. I was just so scared of it at first. The choking sound that babies sometimes do when they are getting introduced to eating with their fingers, is just terrifying. I looked at a bunch of videos on what to do when choking happens in order to just feel that whenever it would get to that point I´d feel competent to react. Fortunately, I haven´t needed to use the knowledge from those in practice.
Around 9 months Camilla started getting over the puree phase. Especially the salty ones. She wanted to take everything with her fingers and quite frankly cleaning the mess that comes from a baby eating a puree with her fingers wasn´t something I wanted to do multiple times a day.
Little Ms. “always hungry” just like momma
So we started moving towards baby-led eating. The main foods at the beginning were steamed vegetables ( carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower). Then step-by-step I added banana pancakes, macaronies, chicken minced meat, soups, salmon, egg muffins, etc. Around 11-12 months she started eating similar dinners than we do. I just make her portion without salt.
Camilla has always been a good eater and again- I don´t know that there has been something very specific that I´ve done in order to contribute to that. I just have tried to make sure she has the opportunity to try new things and can decide for herself what her favorites are. I have tried to keep experimenting and not get stuck in only a few specific meals. I´ve heard from multiple friends, that at some point the pickiness might change, but until that… I am enjoying this period.
Relationship with myself
When I was pregnant I saw this one quote, that said- “You were somebody before you were a mom. And that person needs to be taken care of too.”
That, for some reason, hit me really hard and was something I often reminded myself of. Clearly- when you have a human being to take care of whose life literally depends on you, that little human´s needs come first. With that being said- I went into motherhood with a clear decision, that although it will be absolutely life-changing and a huge part of who I am now, it can´t be the only thing that defines me.
I was actually pretty scared of “losing myself in motherhood.”
I was 28 years also when Camilla was born. I´d built my career for 10 years, had great momentum, and just really loved where I was professionally. I´ve always been a hard worker and that´s something I take pride in and is a strong part of my identity. For me the idea of putting all of that fully aside was scary.
Being an entrepreneur and your own employer has a lot of pros, but a ton of cons too. I can´t just drop a pin and say- “Okay, see ya in a year and a half. ” Well, I mean… I could, but that wasn´t something I wanted to do.
I am a sales and leadership coach and I absolutely love what I do. Helping people achieve their goals in life is one of my missions in this world. So Camilla was born on the 6th of September and I had my first coaching call on the 17th of September. Some might say, it´s crazy. That´s okay.
In addition to coaching calls, I´ve done more social media projects than before and that has been a fun and engaging learning process for me.
I think when it comes to balancing work and motherhood there is no right or wrong answer. Nor is it someone else´s place to judge the opposite of what they have chosen. Some women choose to be stay-at-home moms and that´s amazing. Some women choose to go to work right away and that´s amazing. Some women return after 1,5 years, some figure out their own business and that´s all amazing. All take intentional work, effort, and mental adjustment. I think this is a place, where we- women, just need to be more supportive and understanding of different choices.
My workload hasn´t been big at all, but it has been enough to keep me sharp and to fulfill me in a different way than being a mom. One thiI think it´s healthy to have something else other than the baby to focus on too. Even if it´s a hobby.
Being a mom will forever be my favorite role, but I know I am a better mom when that´s not all I am. And Camilla deserves the best mom I can be. Still… it´s a tough place- trying to maintain some of the previous habits while getting used to this whole new being. There have been better and there have been worse days of operating around this, but I just try day-by-day.
Here are a couple of other things that I really tried to take time for in order to be in a good place with myself.
- Working out
Before Camilla was born I went to the gym 4-5 times a week and had hard-core workouts. It was quite a transition to not do that anymore. When she was an infant I walked every day 10-15 kilometers and I did short 10-20 minute home workouts a week starting when she was 2,5-3 months old. When Camilla was around 11 months we got a running stroller and that was something that gave a refresher again.
Now that she is a little older the walks have got much shorter, so taking time to intentionally work out is something I want to be better at. Just for the sake, that when I feel good in my body, I am happier. It hasn´t been easy to take time for working out. Especially the older she has got the easier it is to rationalize using the sleep times for working or something else other than working out. I just try not to be super tough on myself.
I am far from the shape I was before having her, but I also don’t feel bad for that. Nick for example prayed that I wouldn´t lose the pregnancy kilos:D
2. Beauty routines
Another thing that I decided going into motherhood is that being a mom is not a reason to not put in the effort with how I look anymore. That doesn´t mean that I wear glam make-up every day or think through what clothes I put on every day, but it means, that I want to take care of myself.
So once a month I have lashes and nails; once every other month pedicure; once a quarter a facial and hair-cut; and now I got my eyebrows permanently tinted too.
I don´t care at all whether someone thinks it´s a little or a lot, but that makes me feel good and that´s all that matters:)
Friends play an extremely important role in my life and it´s a top priority for me to reach out, show up, to be intentional with spending time with them. I definitely can´t say that during this first year as a mom I saw my good friends less than I did before.
When Camilla was younger I had a lot of strolling dates with my girlfriends:) I told them the time I will be walking and they joined me. Mila was asleep, so I could be focused on the conversation. We got our steps in and were able to catch up. Win-win-win.
When Camilla got a little older we started having some more playdates going to a park with a friend or doing some sort of activity. Also, since she has gone to bed pretty early since birth we were able to have some friends over in the evenings.
If it´s actually important to me, I know I´ll find a way!
To sum up the relationship with myself I know for a fact that if I protect the things that keep me in a good relationship with myself I am a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, a better colleague. I am never perfect in any of those or great every single day. My cup isn´t always full, sometimes just running on last drops. But I try…. i truly try hard.
Being a mom and managing a household is tiring and often overwhelming.
When I was selling children´s books in America and sat down with thousands and thousands of families I said every time in the selling cycle- ” Being a mom is more than a full-time job, right?:)” Although I saw moms agreeing every single time, in my young brain I was actually often thinking- ” I mean how hard can it be to be at home all day?”
Well…. now I know. Very hard sometimes:D And being a mom is definitely a full-time job. There is always something to do. Cook, clean, do the laundry, put the baby to bed, change them, play with them, go on walks, etc. When I didn´t have a kid, those things seemed so easy. Now being in it, those things can get pretty exhausting. That´s what mommas do though. THEY MAKE THINGS HAPPEN!
Throughout this first year, I´ve tried to avoid saying- “I don´t have time for this or that. I´m a mom now.”
I overall don´t believe that there is such thing as “no time.” I think it´s just a matter of priorities. I´ve said more NO this year than ever before and I absolutely love it. I don´t say NO from the perspective of “I don´t have time for this, ” but from the perspective of “This doesn´t fit my priorities right now.” I´ve chosen to have a kid and she is not the reason I can´t do something. Vice versa- she is an important reason why I do things now.
The main thing that has helped me is that I write EVERYTHING down. Starting from when and where I have to upload some social media collaborations, do coaching calls, emails to when I go to a friend’s place, get my nails done, drive to mom´s or Camilla´s exercise class, order something, send someone something, workout, etc. I use Outlook because that’s what I have always used and honestly- I literally couldn’t imagine my life without that. Although I have a great memory, I try to rely as little on it as possible, so that the calendar would to the thinking for me.
The only three people who have watched Camilla are me, Nick and my mom. When I am on coaching calls, Nick is with Camilla and when I have my monthly beauty stuff then my mom watches Camilla. We have had some discussions with a couple of babysitters, but haven´t pulled the trigger yet. We don´t have a specific plan with a daycare or a sitter yet, so we´ĺl see what the future brings.
I think it´s naive to think that adding another person to a family doesn´t change the dynamics between the partners. Camilla’s arrival definitely has challenged our relationship with Nick.
The first half of the year was a bliss. We were a better team than ever- we supported each other in our new roles while keeping our old parts of identity; we made the most out of small moments we had between just the two of us; we made sure to extra affirm and encourage each other.
I think it was largely because I was just so, so, so happy that Camilla joined us. We had prayed and waited for her for a while and it was a dream come true. Her infant age was pretty easy and everything went naturally and smoothly. We both truly love being parents.
In the second part of the year, especially in the summertime things somehow got tougher. Camilla was more active; Nick started a new program; I had more projects on my plate. The summer evenings were bright and long and the sleep schedule I had been protecting before so well went out of the roof. I was often tired and you know how being sleep-fatigued affects everything. It´s easy to be snappy and short-wired. Especially with the people closest to us.
This was a period where our intimacy was affected also because I had to give so much attention and affection to Camilla, that at the end of the day I didn´t have much left to give.
I think to some point it´s understandable and even expected, but from some point, it´s also a habit. We both got into a routine where instead of giving each other attention in the evenings we worked on our own projects and that made the emotional distance even bigger.
Things are better now, but not perfect by any means. Nick, fortunately, always gets me to talk and to get everything out that´s boiling inside of me.
I feel that “being a parent” often puts “being a significant other “on the backburner. We´ve definitely learned through the hard way that this role needs persistent effort, time, and willingness to evolve, to grow, to be good to the other. That´s the beautiful, yet hard thing about marriage. You get to try again and again every day.
Why I share this is that I definitely don´t want to convey a visual, that we have a perfect marriage or we are perfect parents. We are two imperfect people- strong, independent, passionate, opinionated, hard-headed Capricorns, who are figuring life together out as we go. Just trying to do our best, but not at our very best every day.
If there´s one specific thing though that has helped us to maintain our connection is date nights. When we got married we promised that we´ll always keep on dating each other. Those are evenings I always look forward to, when we get to dress up and do something fun together. We try not to talk too much about baby stuff and focus on ourselves and our connection.
Development and comparison
There is a fine line between competing and comparison. A fine line between comparison and inspiration. My whole life positive competing (in sports, in sales) has pushed me to give my maximum. Yet, I am at my worst when pleasantly challenging competing turns into comparison. I´ve struggled with that a lot and worked very intentionally and hard to root that out of my life. I want to compete with my best self. I want to be inspired by people who in some areas are where I aspire to be. I don´t want the comparison to steal my joy. Yet… I sometimes find myself there.
Especially when I became a mom…
Before Camilla was born I told myself, that I won´t be that mom who constantly “puts their child on the line with others.” Still, I feel that to some extent that starts right away when they are born. It´s a normal part of the development to look when they start turning, crawling, walking, when they get teeth or first words. But when we let that affect our inner peace, then that´s a hard place to be.
Camilla has been a calm child and all of her development has been on time or later. As much as I remind myself all the time that everything happens when it happens, when you see others at the same age doing something, it still makes you think.
One of the first signs of development is a smile. Some babies smile already when they come out of the womb, some start doing that much later. Camilla belonged to the second category. She gave us a first intentional smile at the end of two months. By that time I had been so worried about it, that I had already gone to a pediatrician, to an eye-doctor and even to a brain check. Can you imagine that…..?
I made it all the way to a brain scan… with a 2-month-old.
Just because she wasn´t smiling.
That´s the level of worry I had at the beginning.
Over the months I got better at managing it, but I´d still say it has been the biggest learning point for me as a mom. Doing my best, but letting go of things that are not under my control.
I made peace with comparison in the summer when Camilla was around 10-11 months. I was just so fed up with being worried if everything is fine and finally decided, that enough is enough. It was so relieving. After that, I still think about it, but it doesn´t concern me anymore.
For example, Camilla started walking two weeks after her first birthday. The old me would have been so stressed about her not walking yet, but the current me had no rush with it. Now she is cruising everywhere and the constant worry would have just been for nothing.
Every kid (and mom) has their own strengths and weaknesses and comparing those from a negative aspect is one of the worst things we can do to ourselves and the kiddos. An important reminder to myself again too.
Emotions and lessons
I´ve felt more emotions through this year than ever before.
As I write all of this, it might seem that “we´ve just had it easy so far.” That´s really not the case. Being a mom, especially a first-time mom in the first year is stressful and challenging at times, but I truly think it comes down to our attitude around it all. I´ve shared this before, that I don´t tolerate at all “victim mentality” and whining, complaining for the sake of just doing it. Not overall in life nor specifically when it comes to motherhood. My challenges are not Camilla´s burden to bear.
I am definitely not perfect at being positive, cool, calm, collected at all times and I sure do have my meltdowns as well, but I make sure to bounce back fast and do whatever I need to, to get into a positive attitude. Truly- that´s one of the very few things that is entirely under my control.
I´ know that I am much more compassionate and understanding now. I have learnt that patience is still not my strengths and something I need to work on:D I´ve learnt that I am capable of loving harder and deeper than I ever thought I could.
One category I must emphasize when it comes to motherhood is having a strong, supportive network around you. I´ve shared already about Nic´´k´s involvement and how supportive he has been with everything. Also, my mom´s help has been absolutely crucial.
Within this year I have developed some new friendships with moms with similar age kids and honestly- having them has been a game-changer on so many levels. First of all, it´s someone to bounce ideas with, share information or worries/joys with, to do stuff together and to just be there for each other. Second, it´s someone who is going through a similar life phase and can resonate with you the way your significant other, your mom, or some other friend, who is not yet a mom, couldn’t. So, new or expecting momma, is you are reading this… if you take one thing away from all of it, then it would be this. Have some good, close mom-friends around you.
I highly recommend taking a good look at the people you are connected with on a daily basis and just making sure they are helping you to be the version of yourself that you want to be. Not vice versa. Of course, being a momma is at times tiring and hard and just venting to someone is necessary. Yet, at the same time knowing that the person on the other side will listen to you, but then motivate and challenge you to keep on going, is the right type of friend to have next to you.
Kertu, Diana- you´ve been the jewels of my year.
Camilla´s little besties
All in all I can say that becoming a mom is truly the most amazing thing I´ve ever experienced. I get teary-eyed even writing this, because I am so grateful for this opportunity and will never forget the days when all I wished was what I now have. My own daughter.
There have been countless challenging situations, but one I know for sure. I wouldn´t change it for the world.
Although pregnancies, deliveries, and babies can vary very, very much, I can honestly say (and hopefully give some encouragement with it), that I have loved all three phases. My main prayer is that I get to experience this more in my life.
Also- all the parenting cliches are true after all:D Time truly goes so fast. You never really understand some of the things until you are a parent yourself. And you can never love anything more than your own child.
Lastly, as always- fellow mommas, I have all the respect in the world for you. Let´s keep on rocking;)