seven-parenting-lessons-first-yearMy daughter turned one a week and a half ago. I can’t quite decide if it’s gone fast or slow – you know that quote “the days are long, but the years are short”? I think that pretty much sums it up! parenting lessons

A lot of the year has been a bit of a blur (I blame the lack of sleep) but I have learnt a few things along the way:

  1. You’ll love your baby more than you ever thought possible

This one might sound obvious. Of course, I expected I would love my baby girl. I was not at all prepared though for just how much. It’s indescribable. I would literally do anything for her. Anything. It’s an incredible feeling.

  1. You’ll lose yourself for a while, but that’s okay

For me, this was especially tough and another thing I hadn’t really thought through. My situation is perhaps a little more difficult than many others – I don’t have any family close by and my husband works nights. These things combined mean I’m essentially a single parent a lot of the time, without much support.

Something had to give, especially when my daughter was a newborn, and unfortunately that meant everything that makes me, me, fell by the wayside for a while – work, friends, this blog, gym time, Spanish practice etc etc. It’s only now that she’s 1 I feel a bit like myself again.

  1. You’ll understand why sleep deprivation is a form of torture

Oh my, I miss sleep! Even though my daughter now sleeps through the night, I don’t sleep like I used to. I still wake up at least twice a night and she’s an early riser (who considers 6:30am a sleep in!). Clearly being an early bird or night owl isn’t in your genes, because she is nothing like her parents in this regard.

  1. It will make you softer and harder at the same time

I’m now one of those people who cry at sad stories on the news. I never did that. But at the same time, I’m far less likely to put up with crap than I previously was. If I think someone isn’t giving my child the attention or time she deserves then I don’t have any time for them.

  1. You’ll learn to play again

As an overachiever, it’s hard for me to relax. I feel like I always have to be doing something. But for a child, there is nothing more important than unpacking their blocks, playing with a ball or reading a book. Having a child has taught me to slow down and be more present.

  1. The smallest moments are the biggest

Continuing on from the above point, I’ve also learnt that these moments where I’m focused on playing, rather than my to do list, are some of the most enjoyable in my day, and every bit as important as other tasks.

  1. Just when you’re getting used to something, it all changes

If having a kid has taught me anything, it’s that I know nothing! There’s so much to learn and just when you think you finally have control of things something changes – your child gets sick, decides naps are evil, starts crawling etc. The only constant is change, but that’s what makes things interesting!

What has parenting taught you? If you’d like to share your lessons please leave me a comment below

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