My daughter turned one last month. Who knew a first birthday could be so emotional! I felt like I had pregnancy hormones all over again as I reminisced about her first year of life.
First birthdays are, rightly, about celebrating the first year of a child’s life. We celebrated Lilly’s birthday with a picnic at a local park with our immediate family. Nothing fancy, just a little get-together. I’m not into first birthday parties, but that is a whole topic in itself.
As I reminisced on Lilly’s first year – how fast it went (seriously, it feels like she was only born 5 minutes ago) and how much she has grown in every possible sense – my thoughts kept coming back to the ways in which I have also changed in the last year. My journey of personal growth and development has been immense and, in all honesty, unexpected. Everyone says that motherhood changes you, but I, perhaps naively, didn’t expect the change to be so all-encompassing.
My pregnancy was an emotional roller coaster. Shock, joy, fear of the unknown, excitement, worry. It was never the parenting aspect that worried me, but the ‘who would I become’ part. I couldn’t imagine how life would look when we had a child to care for. I had no doubts that I would love and care for our child, but I was worried that I would no longer be ‘me’ and, in all honesty, that I wouldn’t be happy when my days became a blur of breastfeeding, nappy changes and washing.
But, here I am. One year on and happier, more enlightened, fulfilled and relaxed than I’ve ever been in my life. I absolutely adore motherhood. Every single part of it. Even the nappy changes and early rises (4:30AM today! I am still amazed at how much I can accomplish on broken sleep!).
In celebration of my first anniversary as a mum, here are five things I have learned from my first year of motherhood.
Motherhood brings an indescribable love and joy. I know it’s a cliche, but it’s true. I often look at Lilly and feel so grateful (#blessed – can you read my sarcasm?) that I have been able to experience this profound love. Although the journey of motherhood is all-encompassing, it is empowering and life-changing. I am proud that I have found my own way and that I am experiencing motherhood as I want to experience it.
What have you learned about yourself through motherhood? Were you surprised by the lessons that motherhood has taught you?