And yes, I know it’s only going to get harder. I know he’s not always going to be that cute and easy to forgive. I know someday he will talk back and say mean things to me and publicly humiliate me with a temper tantrum … and do other things I don’t even want to think about!
But goodness gracious… parenting is harder than I thought it would be! Maybe for some people, it’s a piece of cake! (If so, can you share that cake with me, please?!). But for an independent, free spirit such as myself, it has been an adjustment.
So as I prepare for my cute little guy turned 1 tomorrow!, I thought I would try to summarize what I have learned during the first year of parenting:
- Time is different when you have a child.
In our adult lives, typically, not that much changes in the course of a year. If we keep the same job and live in the same place for years on end, the only change we might have is meeting new people, trying new restaurants, going somewhere new on vacation, etc. In a given year, our lives may not change super drastically.
But with a child, a year brings about tremendous changes. It’s insane for me to think that 1 year ago tonight, my son was still inside of me! What?! Now he is a walking, talking (a few words!), hefty little boy!
And I know the changes over weeks and months and years will just continue to amaze us.
2. You learn to sacrifice your independence.
I am an independent person. I like going places at the whim of the moment and being as random as possible. Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize that with a baby, randomness is pretty much a curse word. You have to plan out everything with a child!
Their schedules are important. As a mom, you learn to put their needs and their schedules above your own. There are times that I would love to go hang out with friends or go for a run, and I would be cool with taking little dude with me, but I realize it’s almost his nap time, and that those ideas would sabotage that nap time and thereby derail the rest of our day!
Now, I’m not saying I don’t have a life anymore. I’m still able to have a rewarding job, and thankfully, I have a great husband who hangs out with little guy when Mommy needs some time out. But having a child has definitely changed the way I live after work hours!
3. A child is always watching you.
Luke is only turning 1, but I’ve noticed he’s already watching me. Soon, he will start mimicking me by repeating words or gestures. Which words and gestures of mine would be things I wouldn’t want him to repeat?
When you have a child, you have a little sponge who will quickly pick up on the things you do and repeat them, for better or for worse!
4. It’s a challenge to keep your priorities in order.
I had heard it said before having Luke that it would be difficult to keep my husband as a higher priority than my child(ren). Is that ever true! And to go a step further, it is also a big challenge to keep God as #1.
I’ll be honest, my “quiet times” in the mornings don’t look like they used to before I became a mom. Now, they are spent with Luke on my lap or with “Word Party” playing in the background while he toddles around and I try to get 10 minutes in the Bible and prayer. Or my quiet times are as I’m driving to work and singing worship songs. But God knows my heart. He sees that I am still trying to seek Him and put Him first.
Babies demand so much of your attention, whereas your spouse can pretty much survive on his own. But don’t forget to feed that marriage and put your spouse #2 under God on your priority list. He will (hopefully!) be a constant in your life even after your kids are raised and moved out of the house.
Make date nights a priority. Pray together. Read marriage books together. Have fun together. By doing these things, you will solidify a strong marriage now and in the future.
I hope you enjoyed this post! What challenges have you discovered since becoming a parent?