Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Motherhood: One year of Life and a Lifetime of lessons

Sharing Lessons from My First Year of Motherhood

To say that Motherhood changes you would be an understatement. From the moment you 
know you are carrying a baby, you have a new heightened awareness. 

You become cautious and you think deeply about everything. You research what you
should eat, you think twice about where you stand, you notice who's around you, where you walk, what you think…. everything. 
 by Katie Fife Photography

From the outside, you look like the same person (more or less), but inside you are forever 
changed. Now there is someone who's well-being you consider first and foremost, always and probably

It's a special bond and it's a big change. For a woman, there are so many moments during the
first year, when you feel yourself shifting. At times there's a struggle of trying to hold on to how 
things were, other times it's easy to embrace and to go with the flow. 

 by Katie Fife Photography

As I approach one year of life with my babe, I'm celebrating a milestone for her and a milestone 
for me too. 

There are countless BIG lessons I've learned in this one incredible, transformative year. 
So I thought I'd pick some and share them here.

Be present

This was the first most noticeable lesson. Being present and aware is helpful to ensure your
child is safe and that you're following their cues for sleep/hunger of course but it also helps 
you slow down and enjoy your baby. 

Baby wants to sleep on you all day? Embrace it. They are only this little once. Everything 
else can and should wait during this magical time when your little one needs you more than ever. 

 by Katie Fife Photography

Takeaway: This entire year has felt like our sense of time shifted, just following her lead-
but slowing down means I'll always remember the little faces she made when she was a 
newborn or how she taught herself to crawl and that is truly priceless.

Let go 

This year has taught me to let go. Let go of the dishes piling in the sink. Let go of the desire 
to "do everything". 

You can't actually do everything, by the way - at least not at the same time. And that has to be ok.
As moms and women, I think we need to make that ok for each other. And if you're a man 
reading this, please make it ok for the women in your life. 

Learning to accept that I can't take care of my baby's needs, look after myself, 
cook every meal or maintain a certain level of tidiness all at once, was a shift in perspective. 

Takeaway: I learned to prioritize - 1) baby 2) me 3) healthy meals for my family and 
everything else I decided I'd get to when I got to it, or I had to let go.

 by Katie Fife Photography

You are your own (and your child's) biggest advocate

You have to look out for yourself and your family. That might mean making difficult choices. 
It might mean you can't be everywhere and it might mean you have to have some difficult 

No one really knows how much you have on your plate when they ask something of you, 
so it's really up to you to decide whether you can or cannot oblige. Learning to say yes 
only when I really can has been crucial.

Takeaway: When you have less time, sleep and energy to work with, you just have to 

make a conscious decision to only take on what you can manage. 

Protect yourself and your headspace

This was a huge year of growth. I had to learn to stand up for myself in big and small ways. 
When you are dedicating yourself to be a caretaker and constantly pouring from your cup, 
you have to be sure that those around you are there to help recharge you. 

This year, I had to learn to be fiercely protective of my heart, my mind and my time. We all 
only have so much energy so it's important to have positivity around you - especially during
this first critical year when you're getting your bearings.

Takeaway: If the interactions aren't peaceful, don't give you positive vibes or press your 
recharge button, stepping away is probably in your best interest.

 by Katie Fife Photography

Embrace your village 

As someone who has always been self-sufficient, it took a change in mindset to take the help 
I was offered and to use the services that are available. They exist 
because there is a need for them! 

Things like grocery delivery, drive through coffee, housekeeping and meal prep services can
really save you a lot of time and energy when your baby is going through a growth spurt, 
teething or whatever else. 

Takeaway: If you can outsource some of your to do list, do it.

Everything is always in Flux

In the first year of a baby's life (and probably beyond but I'm not there yet), everything is 
always changing.

There's changes in their sleep patterns, feeding patterns, developmental changes and 
behavioural changes. Knowing that these changes were coming and learning to accept them when they hit was a big lesson.

It helped me stay calm and mindful when we had to re-strategize and change our approach. 

Takeaway: In the first year, don't get married to any of the baby's tendencies or habits (good or bad). They are likely going to shift soon enough as they continue to grow and develop.

 by Katie Fife Photography
No doubt this entire year has been full of growth, learning and change. It's been challenging, beautiful and full of emotion. My heart has never been so full of love and I've truly never felt stronger in my life.

To my sweet daughter, (maybe you will read this one day)
Thank you for these and many more priceless lessons that you have taught me in such a short time. My favourite lesson of all, is how to love unconditionally. You made that one so easy.


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