Well friends, the day is finally here. The day all moms anticipate with each passing monthly milestone. The day their sweet little baby is no longer a certain “month” old, but actually a YEAR! This isn’t just a special day for the baby, it’s also a celebration of motherhood for us; a day that we realize just how crazy this ride is, but that we wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the entire world. A day we remember looking into our child’s eyes for the very first time, and feeling our hearts bursting with more love than ever thought possible. A day our lives changed forever. I often think back on the day Jade was born, and wonder what our life was even like before her. I don’t want to remember!
A child is such a beautiful gift from God. It amazes me that He gives us these gifts, and trusts us to raise them in the way they should go. US! He gives us a precious little life; and we are to sustain, nourish, support, protect, and love them with all we have to give.
With every passing month this past year, I’ve learned SO much about being a momma. This isn’t stuff you can learn in a book; it’s trial and error, and praying you’re doing everything right. So, I share with you 5 things I’ve learned in my first “mom-year.” (And, some seriously cute pictures of Jade over this past year!)
1. Live in the moment; enjoy it ALL while it lasts.
After Jade was born, I had a real problem of saying, “I can’t wait until Jade is __ old so she can do __!” I kept looking forward to all the things she’d be doing or able to do when she was older, instead of just being in the moment. I just wished she was older so we could play together, and she could sit up on her own, and laugh and giggle. But, those first few months go by SO. FAST. I know it sounds horrible, but I really don’t remember much about those days because we were exhausted. I wish I had savored every single moment with Jade when she was that little even more because she will never be that little again! So, it only took me a year, but I won’t ever again be wishing Jade was older. Every moment and stage is precious, no matter how tired you are. So momma’s, live in the NOW with your kiddos. Remember and cherish these days now, even the hard ones; they will be gone before you know it, and another year will have come and gone.
Babies change. A lot. They grow and mature and develop their own little personalities. I remember being told in the beginning, “just when you think you’ve got it figured out; they’ll change it up.” And boy, that is so true. I’ve learned not to get TOO comfortable with things, because they don’t last. For example, I really don’t miss the phase Jade went through around 3-4 months when she decided she hated getting out of the bathtub. I’m pretty sure if people were over during bathtime, they would have thought my child was being tortured. She loved the bath part, but as soon as we took her out , dried her off, and got her dressed; she screamed bloody murder. We tried everything, but we never could figure out why she’d get so upset. I would literally dread bath night all day long, because I hated seeing my baby cry so hard. But, after about a month, she just stopped and was totally fine. It was just a phase! We have nap phases too, where she’ll nap great for a few weeks, and then decide she hates naps and hardly sleep. So, if you’re baby is struggling with something, just remember it’s a phase and won’t be that way forever!
3. I’m still “me,” but not the same “me.”
One thing I’ve definitely learned this past year is that while I’m still “me,” I’m not the same “me” that I was 1 year ago. My personality hasn’t changed at all but my attitude on life has. I’m not sure why, but I’m so much more confident in myself than I used to be. I don’t really care what people think of me if I run to the store in my sweats and no makeup. Guess what? That’s totally not my priority anymore! My life has changed having Jade in it, and I can no longer be selfish. I’m now a momma, and my number one priority is my daughter.
Being a parent isn’t rocket science. You don’t have to go to school and get a degree in “parenting” (although maybe some should!). But it does take prayer. A LOT of prayer. I can’t tell you how many times this past year I’ve just broken down and lifted everything up in prayer. There are times as a parent that you feel completely helpless, and there’s nothing you can do BUT pray. Those are the hardest moments to go through, but God always comes through for us. God always has a reason and a purpose for everything, and that’s what helps get me through some days. Common sense is also needed; often. There are SO many how-to parenting books out there. I’ve read several of them myself, but in the end, only YOU really know your baby, and only YOU can decide what they need and what’s best for them. Sometimes we don’t need these books telling us how we should parent, because not only is every child different, but most of the time we just need to use our head. I’m not knocking how-to books, I’m just saying you are their parent; YOU know what they need. God gives us instincts for a reason! So, use your head, and pray. Often!
We all know that God loves us. We are told as babies and as we grow older. It’s pretty common knowledge, even if you’re not a believer. So, no, I haven’t just learned that God loves us. I’ve learned just how MUCH God loves us! I love David so incredibly much; but after having Jade, I never knew I could love someone THAT much. This little itty bitty person. When I look at her, all I can think of is how much I want to give her everything. I also think of how I will protect her with my life. There is nothing I won’t do for her, and no matter what she does or who she becomes later on in life, there is nothing she can do that will make me stop loving her. She has my unconditional love forever. THAT. THAT is how much God loves us!! How much He loves ME! He wants to protect us, and give us the desires of our hearts. He loves us unconditionally. Even though we sin, there is NOTHING we can do that will make Him love us any less. I truly never understood how deep His love is for us until Jade came into my life. It leaves me in awe of our God; and all that He is.
I’m so thankful for Jade, and that I get to be her momma. Everything she does brings me joy (okay, maybe not when she’s having a screaming fit!), and I love her with my whole heart. This year went by so fast and I imagine every year from here on out gets exponentially faster. I want to treasure every moment with her, and give her the life I know she deserves. Jade, I love you more than words can say. You are our world! Happy 1st birthday, my sweet baby girl!
I link up at these fun parties!