What I’ve learned being a parent

By 965koit on October 23, 2019

While I prepare for Lilly’s 1st birthday, I’ve been reflecting on the past year and how my life has changed.

When I was pregnant, people told me how much my life was going to change. Some told me I would never sleep again, others told me that being a mother would come naturally to me and that I needed to sleep when the baby slept.

I’m here to tell you that all of those statements are parenting myths, and here is why.

I would never sleep again

Kristen and Lilly by the ocean. (Photo Credit: Nick Steele)

Yes, the first two months are hard because the tiny baby is hungry so you need to feed them every couple of hours, but I got lucky with Lilly. She’s always been a good sleeper, and when that started to change, I sleep trained her. If you’re unfamiliar with it, check out this chart. I swear it saved my life! Before I would hold her all day and let her fall asleep in my arms. Using this chart, I regained some of my life and got the blood flowing through my arms again.

Being a mother comes naturally

Kristen feeding Lilly (Photo Credit: Nick Steele)

Sorry, but no. Nothing comes naturally the first time. You might have great motherly instincts, but I googled more things than I care to share. I called the after-hours doctor hotline for EVERYTHING. I took Lilly to see her pediatrician every time she sniffled. I called my mom several times a day. Being a mom for a childless millennial did not come naturally for me, but you WILL eventually find your mommy groove.  You come to learn your baby and you start to settle in. But don’t assure your pregnant friend that they “will know what to do”, trust me, they probably don’t and that’s perfectly okay.

Sleep when the baby sleeps

Nick sleeping with Lilly (Photo Credit: Kristen Flowers)

Should I also cook when the baby cooks? Or wash the clothes when the baby washes clothes? Come on! Stuff still has to get done, Karen! In all seriousness, it would be amazing if a mom could sleep whenever the baby sleeps, but even with help around the house, it’s so hard to get it all done. Don’t feel bad if you can’t get to it all. If you can sleep, then sleep. If you want to eat take out while watching Netflix in those precious few baby-free moments, then do it. But sometimes sleeping when the baby sleeps is not an option. If you start to get overwhelmed, just remember that this is just a busy season in your life. Things will change as the baby gets older, so just enjoy the moments you have now.

Here’s the thing no one told me that I had to figure out on my own.

Their smile makes it all worth it

Lilly laughing. (Photo Credit: Kristen Flowers)

When Lilly gets excited about something or gives a huge, cheesy smile when she sees me it makes my heart want to burst. If I could bottle up her joy and keep it with me at all times, I would. Her giggle makes me laugh so hard and watching her do simple things makes me so proud of her. I never knew that all I would want to do all day is kiss her sweet face, but it’s all I want to do. She makes my heart so full and I’m so lucky to have her.

What myths about parenting did you find out? Let me know in the Facebook comments.

Listen to me on Nick and Kristen in the Morning show M-F from 5:30-10 am. Click here to listen.


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