One year ago today, our sweetest baby girl came into our lives! Joslynne brings so much joy to each day. I have loved watching her grow and develop a personality!
This past year, being a Mom has changed every area of our lives, and we wouldn't change it for a thing! There are so many great experienced mamas out there who give amazing advice, but nothing could have quite prepared me like going through life with this sweet baby. I am no expert or experienced Mom, but in honor of our little girl's birthday, I wanted to share a few things that I've learned this first year of being her mama that no one could have prepared me for!
Babies Aren't All the Same
I expected to get little sleep at night as a new Mom, but I thought all babies nap a certain amount every day. Not this little one! She has never been a napper. She takes 20-30 minute snoozes! At first I was frustrated, and felt like we would never get a routine. But, then we learned that even though she doesn't nap consistently, she is very flexible and easy going. So, now we go about our day and Josy naps when she needs to whenever and wherever we are. I am glad we didn't try to force structured naps and just bring her along on our life's adventures!
You Can Do More Than You Think
What Unconditional Love Means
It has been humbling to realize just how selfish in love I really am. I think we all like to consider ourselves as fairly loving and serving to others, but when a little one has no ability to love you back, thank you, or do anything in return, it teaches you what unconditional love really means. Its loving someone not because of what he or she does for you or how he or she loves you. You just love. It has been such a great reminder that that is how God loved us, before we could do anything to serve or love Him.
Stormy Days Don't Last Forever
There have been weeks that just seem so stormy for poor Joslynne. She is sad, tired, clingy, gets hurt every other second. It has been encouraging that as she develops, and gets accustomed to each new ability she has, it gets better! However, just about when we have a stage down, she begins a new one! ;)
It has caused me to enjoy the fun parts of each stage while being patient as we navigate through new things together. I am learning that everyone is right when they say "You're gonna miss this" about a hard season.
I have also learned that its ok to be honest about the hard days, that doesn't mean I don't love my child or being her mom. Honesty helps to relieve guilt of having a rough day!
Listen to Your Instincts
During Joslynne's first month she started getting fussy, and for some reason I had a feeling I should cut dairy out of my diet. I didn't know why that was my first solution, but sure enough she started having blood in her stool and other indicators that she couldn't digest dairy! I know we aren't always right as parents, but I learned not to ignore my instincts, but to give what I think a try.
Remembering to Take Care of Yourself Helps You be a Better Mama
I have learned that finding alone time helps me be ready to be the best Mama I can. When I have taken a few minutes to do what I need, I can focus on Josy, and have the energy and clarity I need to meet her needs. When I have ignored myself like the time I got heat exhaustion because I forgot to drink all day at the beach, I not only don't have what I need, but she also suffers from me being out of commission. :)
Oh How I Need Jesus
Another thing I cannot ignore as busy as I am as a Mom is my relationship with the Lord. I went through a time of frustration and a roller coaster of emotions, and talkiing with Wes one day, we realized that my relationship with God was suffering by me just trying to fit God in as a side note as a busy Mama. How can I live my life serving the Lord and teaching a little one about Him, if I don't take focused time with Him!
Listen to Advice But Do What's Best For Your Family
We love getting advice and hearing how others handle different situations, but have learned to remember that everyone has a different child and situation. We have learned to listen and take advice, but not get overwhelmed by differing opinions. In the end we know our child, we can make the right decision. for her.
Its Ok To Mix Different Types of Parenting
I fall somewhere in between natural mama and ain't nobody got time for that survival mama. And, that's ok. :) I have learned to do the things that are important to me for my baby, and not to worry about the rest.
You Can Have an Identity Outside of Mama
Josy is the center of our lives, and we love that, but I have also loved discovering that I still very much have an identity as a wife, friend, and artist. Wes has been so great to encourage me to have goals and passions outside of motherhood. Like taking care of myself, I feel like that makes me a better mama too. ;)
Nothing Compares to This Love
The biggest thing I've learned this past year is that having a child in our lives is indescribable. Joslynne is so amazing and wonderful, she takes our breath away. I can't tell you about this love in words. She is just the most remarkable creation, all we can do is praise God for this sweet blessing!
Happy 1st Birthday my sweet Joslynne Olivia! I can't wait to keep watching you grow. You made me a mama, and I never deserved to be so rich!