1. Those first few weeks and months are hard. REALLY hard. But looking back a year later, it seems like such a tiny blip on the radar.

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In the moment it’s intense, and it can be scary when you’ve got your hands full with this teeny little human who knows absolutely nothing that’s going on (and neither do you). But honestly, most of those moments are fleeting, and (most of) the ones I remember are just amazing.

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2. Nap times are sacred. It wasn’t until a became a parent when I truly realized just how important nap time is. BC (before children), when friends of ours would need to adjust times or plans due to a baby of child’s nap time, I would think it was silly. I mean, if the baby doesn’t sleep then, they’ll sleep later and just be a little tired, right? Wrong. Oh, so wrong. And if a child falls asleep on you? You stay put.

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3. Sometimes it’s easier to just stay home. Jay and I always said we wouldn’t be one of “those” parents that skips out on plans or doesn’t go out as often just because we had a baby. Sure, no biggie, right? Just bring the baby along! Boy, were we naïve. Granted, I’m sure some babies are easier than others, and it’s not that Lucas was/is necessarily a difficult baby, because I’d say he’s far from it. But he’s still a baby, who wants what he wants, when he wants it. And sometimes, we just weren’t prepared to deal with that out in public. Maybe it’ll get easier whenever baby #2 comes around?!

4. Washing bottles and pump parts sucks. That’s all there is to say there.

5. I’ve never been the best at being on time…and having a baby didn’t help that. It never failed: just when you think you’re finally ready to go, it happens. A spit up, a diaper blow out, an “I need to eat NOW cry.” And in those first couple months when Lucas was eating every 2-3 hours? Forget it. I still remember my first time going out solo with Lucas and it felt like I should have earned a medal. Jay and I were once three hours late to a meet up with friends. Hey, it happens. Don’t sweat it!

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6. A smile, a laugh, a hug, or a kiss from your baby can change your mood in an instant. There have been a number of days where I’ve just felt wiped. Whether it was a long day with a fussy baby in those early weeks, or just a long day at work. But as soon as Lucas would give me that little gummy grin, or now, look up at me with those big brown eyes with his arms open wide, I melt. And immediately, I’m reminded of what’s truly important.

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7. There are so. many. diapers. And just when you think you’ve experienced the absolute worst…the next one happens.

8. There’s always going to be someone who disagrees with you and/or your style of parenting…and that’s okay. I struggled with this at first, though. Hearing someone else’s thoughts sometimes made me feel like I was doing something “wrong,” and often made me second guess whatever it was I was doing (swaddling, letting him cry going to sleep, being “too scheduled” with sleep). But Jay and I finally realized that they were only opinions from others and, ultimately, we know our baby best. So if we felt comfortable making the decision beforehand, we felt okay sticking with our gut. And in the end, nothing has come back to bite us!

9. It’s good to want to give your baby the absolute best…but it’s also okay to just be able to give YOUR best. I don’t know how much that makes sense typing it out, but it’s just something that’s been in my mind this past year. Sure, I’d love to get him that top of the line car seat out there on the market, snuggle him up in organic, cashmere blankets, and feed him all organic meals every day. But the truth is, I just can’t. We research and we do the best that we can do. When we can afford to buy the organic fruits and veggies, we do. But sometimes we don’t. And we’re okay with that.

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10. It’s okay to admit you’re not supermom. My home has been presentably clean maybe half a dozen times in this past year. Maybe. There’s almost always dishes in the sink or laundry piled up. I’ll give Lucas a couple extra minutes to watch TV or feed him another handful of puffs just so I can get done whatever it is/was I was working on. I can’t do it all, and I’ve never claimed I could. I’ve certainly learned about priorities though, that’s for sure!

11. Trying to balance all of your roles can be tough. For this past year, my role of mom has come first. And with so much focus being on that little boy of mine, there’s been many times where I forget that I still need to balance being a wife, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, and homemaker. Now that Lucas has turned a year and is able to be a bit more independent, I really want to work on re-balancing all of those roles once again. Jay and I also need and want to take the time to focus on our relationship as husband and wife and regain that connection of ours. We’ve both admittedly been so sucked in to the “new parent” role, that we’ve kind of forgotten about the importance of “us.”

Lucas 1st-3(photo credit Cara Olsen Photography)

12. You will learn a love like you’ve never experienced before. Before Lucas arrived, I knew I’d love him. Obviously! But once he was here, and as the days and months (and year!) have gone on, I honestly feel like my heart could just burst with the amount of love I feel for him. It’s almost kind of scary, at times, to experience such an intense feeling like that…I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. But my love for this little boy is undeniably deep, and I would do anything and give everything for him.

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(photo credit Cara Olsen Photography)

For the moms and the dads out there…what else would you add to your list of things you’ve learned from your first year of parenting?

{ 25 comments }

WIAW: After Dinner Drinks at Softball

August 20, 2014
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Ok, seriously. Is it bedtime yet? Man have I been tired so far this week! I feel like I’d be tempted to blame it on jetlag from traveling over the weekend, but does three hours really make that much of a difference? Instead, I think I’m better off blaming it on my late night softball […]

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IDEA World Fitness Convention – Day 2

August 19, 2014
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Alright, let’s start back where we left off with the IDEA World Fitness Convention! I crashed hard Thursday night, that’s for sure. On Friday morning, I got up fairly early, showered, and ordered room service because, well, why not? Let me tell you, if I could have oatmeal made like this for me on the […]

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The IDEA World Fitness Convention – Day 1

August 18, 2014
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I am happy to report that my trip to the IDEA World Fitness Convention in Anaheim California, albeit a short one, was a success! Smooth travel, fun events, and time spent catching up with old blog friends all made the time away that much more enjoyable. Before I go any further though, I need to […]

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The (Almost) Finished Bathroom Remodel!

August 14, 2014
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Well guys, I’m off to California today! My flight is set to leave nice and early at 6:30am this morning, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some smooth travel. If you’ve been reading STSL for a few years now, then you may remember a few different travel fiascos I’ve encountered while traveling for blog […]

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Lucas: 12 Months

August 13, 2014
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Typically, I just post Lucas’s updates on the Baby Tooth page, but seeing as we’ve reached quite a milestone, I decided to post to it here. I never thought the day would come where I’d get to say that I’m the proud mama of a one year old. But, here we are, and my little […]

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Two Dinner Ideas for Busy Nights

August 13, 2014

*********** Pretty sure I’ve mentioned this once or twice (or a thousand times) this past year, but it should be no secret…meals in this house have changed quite a bit. Since having Lucas, Jay and I have found that our desire and ability to spend a good amount of time on any given meal just […]

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Weekend Highlights {8/11}

August 11, 2014
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I seriously don’t think that the weather could have gotten any nicer this weekend. We spent as much time as humanly possible that we could outdoors, either in the pool, by the pool, or in the yard having picnic lunches. Saturday afternoon we spent a good part of our afternoon hanging out in the backyard […]

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Fun Facts Friday {8/8}

August 8, 2014

1. I know I already posted this morning, but I like my Fun Facts Friday posts too much so I’m posting again. They’re my favorite because I can actually write the way I think (going off on a gazillion tangents) but, because they’re numbered, it’s okay. 2. Today my office is headed to Saratoga Race […]

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That Time I Went Glamping

August 8, 2014
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Time really does fly. It’s sort of surreal, actually. I still can’t believe it’s been three months since my fabulous glamping trip to the Paws Up Resort in Montana with Skinny Cow. Seriously, if I could “glamp” like that all the time, I’d be doing it every single weekend. Especially if it included a well-stocked cabin […]

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