Baby Lucie turned 10 months on June 24. She’s starting to look and act more like a toddler every passing day. She’s got a thick head of hair, a full-fledged personality (attitude included) and a little head that’s chock full of knowledge just waiting to come out. She can already say a few words – recent ones include doggie, kitty, ball, up, and “but-a-doo” (that’s “butterfly”).
She’s taught us so much already. Since I have been thinking so much lately about how much our lives have changed in such a short time, I thought I’d pass along a few nuggets of wisdom from a first-time momma who is very much still learning.
- Children are pretty resilient. When we first had her, the level of worry was through the roof. “How are we going to screw this up?” was always at the top of our minds. Every time we changed her onesie or gave her a sponge bath, we thought we were going to break her fragile little arms. But somehow, ten months later, she is healthy and thriving.
- The daycare kids are alright. I get a lot of sad “I fell bad for you” looks when I tell people I have my baby in daycare. And God forbid, it’s not even the super expensive “prep school” variety. It’s a Kindercare. And guess what? I went to one when I was little too. I turned out fine, and she will too. In fact, she enjoys it and seems to be learning a lot.
- It’s not a competition. Have you ever noticed how moms on message boards are so quick to jump down each other’s throat when they feel another mom is doing wrong? I think it’s a shame. The fact is, there’s really not a “right way” when it comes to parenting. And it’s always best not to get in debates. When unsolicited advice comes around (which it will), just smile and nod, and keep doing it whatever way works for you.Baby milestones aren’t a competition, either. Lucie is still not crawling, and I often get pity looks from other moms. The truth is, I can’t do anything to speed it up and I’m happy to enjoy the cuddle time before she’s monkeying out of my arms and getting into every little thing.
- Messes can be dealt with on weekends. I can’t tell you how stressed I got when she was a newborn. With every misplaced dish, bottle or sock, my blood pressure would rise until I finally blew up on someone (my husband). Eventually I learned to look past the messes by reminding myself that we work full-time aside from being parents, and everyone needs at least some time to relax. Now we do our cleaning ritual on Saturday mornings until the mess starts rearing its ugly head a few hours later.
- Choose your battles. Something I have been particularly bad at, especially when it comes to the state of the house or other petty things that stress me out. Most of the time, it’s really not worth an argument or an evening of coldness.