Surviving year one; A guide to the first year as a mom.

In 2015, I became a mom. Maisie was not planned, but that does not mean she was not wanted - she was already so loved before she was even born.

Maisie Kathleen entered our lives quickly and safely on December 30th 2015 and immediately I knew she was going to change my life, for the better. I was only 19 when I had her which in itself made me doubt everything. Am I too young to be a mom? Am I too selfish? - Just a few of the thoughts that circulated my head on a daily basis. But you know what; there is never going to be a time in any woman's life where she isn't doubting herself about something. On a daily basis, I doubt myself about the way I look. If Maisie cries, I doubt my parenting skills - it's part of who we are and I learnt to accept that about a week before I was due to give birth. 

I won't lie to you, I was absolutely pooping myself about becoming a parent. It's like when you go on a really high and exhilarating roller coaster - you're unbelievably excited to go on it but you're absolutely terrified at the same time. I couldn't wait to become a mom but I could at the same time.

The days drew closer to becoming a parent and my due date soon came and went; ahhh, wonderful, a little more time to mentally prepare myself. Then, 4 days later, Maisie entered our lives. She was tiny, red and loud but absolutely gorgeous. I've only ever felt a complete and overwhelming love in an instant once before in my life and that was when I met Maisie's Dad, Dave but the moment the nurses laid Maisie on my chest, I felt as though my heart could burst. I've never been so proud of anything in my whole entire life. 9 Months of fear, excitement, dread and sometimes pain all lead up to this incredible moment. I can tell you for an absolute fact, you will never understand the love you have for your children until the moment you meet them. You can imagine how much you will love them but you will never understand the feeling.

The first few days with a newborn were tough, I can't sugar coat that for you. Learning the needs of something you have never even handled before in your life is tough. Trying to decipher what each cry means is like trying to crack the code of life. I tried to make the first few days after having Maisie the best I could. At 2 days old, we took Maisie shopping. I managed to squeeze my old jeans back on and zip them up (WOOHOO). I felt like a brand new woman. I suppose I was a brand new Woman - I wasn't just Beckie anymore, I was Beckie - Maisie's Mom.

Days soon turned to weeks and Maisie got bigger and bigger before my eyes. One word of advice to any new parent is ignore everything people try to tell you. People will always criticise your parenting no matter what..."When my children were babies, I never did that...". "Here, let me do it, I've done this before...". No, this is your baby, you cannot learn if someone does everything for you. Having a baby taught me not to be scared to say no. There is no such thing as holding your own child too much or cuddling them too much. You enjoy being the parent you want to be - you're doing a great job, trust me. 

Before I knew it, Maisie was crawling and saying Mama and Dada and Ta and I just couldn't keep up. You really don't have a tiny baby for very long.

In December 2016, we celebrated Maisie's first christmas and her first birthday. To see your child turn 1 is incredibly bittersweet. A year has passed by in an instant which is so sad but your child is beautiful, healthy, intelligent and they make you more proud as each day passes. 

I didn't want to write this post to explain the life of my child, I wanted to write it as a little 'advice' to parents in the early stages, expectant parents or just someone who wants children in the future. This is me saying, enjoy everything. The little burps, the first giggles, the hiccups in their sleep - cherish every moment because its not long before they're flinging their yoghurt at you because it's hilarious. Enjoy every second. Allow yourself to make mistakes - you're only human. I said to myself when I was pregnant - 'No Tv, I'm never going to sit Maisie in front of the tv' Ha, Maisie will happily sit and watch cloud babies or Sofia the first which allows Mommy to cook dinner or vacuum the floor; thank god for crap cartoons!!! I also said Maisie would only ever eat organic food, no crap but she loves a bit of everything; she loves her veg but she also likes mini pizza and lasagne - she most certainly isn't fussy.

Anyway, enough of the rambling. I just wanted to say. Don't be scared. Being a parent is amazing, probably the best thing I have ever ever done in my life. It's hard, I cannot lie but every single day is rewarding in its own way. Every parent is different and that's good. I'm not a perfect parent but you know what? I'm happy, Maisie is happy and that's all that matters.



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