After being told that I couldn’t have children for two years, early 2014 I found out that I was pregnant. I was scared and nervous. I never really looked into learning much about motherhood or anything. So, of course, everyone (kind hearted or not) had to give me lots of advice. Some were helpful (like – Tylenol before shots), others not so much (like – put a little piece of soap in her butt – it will help her poop). There were a lot of pieces of advice that people kept telling me and there were some that I wished people had told me.
Needless to say, I survived my first year of motherhood. I survived blowouts, allergies, teething, crawling, walking and eating with a baby. I also figured out about balancing life, family, my writing, blogging and singing in my shower with very little (okay a lot) of trouble – it’s still a work in process. Some of the advice I followed worked; others I just pretended I was going to follow them but I didn’t.
No two mothers are the same, but I found some things work better for me than others. I will be the first to say that I am a little weird, (okay a lot!) I have never been an inside the box kind of person and I learn pretty quickly what works and what doesn’t work.
Here are a few things that I have learned through my first year of motherhood!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff but don’t skip it either. This is a little odd, so let me explain. The first one is pretty self-explanatory. Don’t sweat the small step – like the dishes in the sink, or the laundry in the bathroom. Don’t try to be perfect. Life in no way is perfect, why should you try to be perfect? The second part of that is about the little things your little one does; for example, my daughter discovered her tongue when she was about five months old and decided that she had to lick everyone. I’m not kidding. Anytime I held her, she licked my shirt, my arm, her hands, my face and anything nearby. I can tell you the date she found her tongue (Feb 26, 2015) but I really can’t tell you the last time I scrubbed the woodwork. 😉
- Stock up on Shout! This was one I really didn’t learn until my daughter started moving. Knees, wrist, bellies, butts and pretty much every inch of a child WILL get dirty; there are just different levels of dirty. Shout works amazingly in pretty much every time. Just keep two or three bottles on hand. It will save some clothes and save you a piece of mind.
- K.I.S.S. the laundry. A writing instructor taught me to K.I.S.S. anything I would write. Keep It Simple Stupid. I still apply this to a lot of things, but the biggest one I try to apply this too is laundry. It the never ending story as adults. I try to keep laundry as simple as possible. First off, I use the same detergent for everyone’s clothes. When I first brought my daughter home, everyone told me that I had to use the special baby detergent. Let me tell you; that lasted one load. I have sensitive skin and I have to use the free and clear stuff anyway so for me – it wasn’t difficult to figure out. Also, I sort things before they go in the way by room. That way I can just stick that little pile into that said room and handle it (at a later date).
- Be inspired by Pinterest but not addicted. This goes out to all the mothers out there that live off that site. I really like that site, but I know my limit. I am not a crafty person. I can do simple thinks like tie a knot. Yep, that’s about it. But since I am a writer, I find lots of information on there. But I spend at most ten minutes a day. I know of people spending hours on there and having hundreds of boards with hundreds of pins but at the end of the day, who has all that time to do them all? Your kids are growing up. Spend time with them now, not through Pinterest as you send them random pins about fixing their broken lives. They are not going to care about the napkins folded like the Empire state building at their second birthday. Let’s just remember the basic goals, keep the children alive and feed and taking showers. That is all we should worry about but at least, that is another topic for another day
- Your goals aren’t just about you anymore. This one tripped up. Before I had children, I couldn’t figure out why some parents waited until they had children to finish college or get better jobs. I always wondered why they didn’t do that before they had kids. Before my daughter, I thought that our life was okay. We paid our bills, had a roof over our heads, had food and chocolate on our table and we had a running car. What more do we need? Then I had my daughter. That is when I realized that I didn’t want her to follow in my footsteps.
- I wanted her to take the path next to me and go further than I could have ever dreamed possible. But how wonder she do that if she never saw me reach for anything? That’s when I realized that my goals weren’t just for me anymore. I wanted to achieve my goals for myself and for her. I wanted to show her that with hard work, she can achieve anything she puts her mind to. Overall, I want her to shoot for the moon!
Well, I am sure that I am going to learn a lot more about motherhood as I go on with this journey. These are just a few things I have learned in the last past year. Like I said before, no two mothers are the same and some advice might help, others not so much. Thank you for reading! Do you have some unconventional piece of advice that you would like to share? Tell me in the comments!
Until next time…
Steph Wenburg is a mom of a beautiful one-year-old, who likes to rearrange the house on a drop of a dime. Once she has put the house back together, Steph can be found here at stephwenburg.com where she talks about writing, motherhood and her current work in progress that is she is hoping to publish. Come, follow her down the rabbit hole.