Becoming a mother has been simultaneously the most joyous and most challenging thing I have done to date. Having always worked in a high stress environment, I can honestly say those jobs don’t have a patch on the first few days as a parent.
All of a sudden (well there has been a build up during pregnancy) your life is changed forever. Your little one comes to join you, is fully dependent on you and in control of everything. For a decent period of time everything you do will need to be planned around him/her, often sabotaged at the last minute due to baby vomiting over you just before leaving.
The experience so far has been invaluable, reinforcing some key life lessons…
You will Pay for Procrastination
The thing you probably did all the time before becoming a parent (and probably still do to some extent today). The difference now is that it’s more likely to cost you big time. You can’t guarantee you’ll have that time to catch up on what you should have done. Just as you go for it, baby knows and then that all hell breaks loose.
Being Organised is No Longer Optional
Now I considered myself organised before Baby Maximiser came along, however he soon taught me I needed organisation levels of a billion to do simple things like going out. The changing bag must follow you every time you venture out packed with baby items to cover all eventualities, such as exploding nappy on your first lunch out with baby in tow. Going out on a whim just won’t cut it anymore.
Being in the Present is a Must
If you’re anything like me, you find it easy to spend your time chasing one point or another without taking a moment to appreciate how great things are currently. Three months have flown by since I’ve had Baby Maximiser. I look at his journey in photos, from hospital to now, he is a different baby altogether. I most definitely wanted to fast forward through the waking up every two seconds at night in the early days. However, he’s changed so quickly. I need to make the most of this period and enjoy each day. Once he’s up and moving he’ll want me to hold and hug him less.
Live Your Dreams
As parents we want the absolute best for our child, encouraging them to dream big, aim high, etc. Rather than saying “do as I say, not as I do” be the ultimate example to them by pursuing something that you’ve always wanted to. Although some dreams may an expiry date (e.g. being in the next top pop group) others don’t. Get out that bucket list and make some of those items a reality!
You May Function Well on Less Sleep
Don’t mistake this point for meaning sleep isn’t important, it really is. This is more about telling yourself that you NEED those 8 or 9 hours in bed. I considered myself an 8 hour sleep person before becoming a parent. I’m now surprised at what I achieve on 5 or 6 hours sleep. That’s 2-3 extra hours per day to enjoy quality time with Baby Maximiser, run errands, do stuff at home or even work on new ways to make/save money. There’s nothing wrong with odd lie in, especially in those times where you have nothing left to give. Just don’t make your life one big lie in!
Make Time to Look After Yourself
As your time gets more constrained it’s very easy to neglect yourself and focus on everything else that needs to be done. If you’re not looking after yourself odds are you will get to a point where you stop doing all those things well. Take a break with a nice massage, mani/pedi, sports/fitness session or it could be as simple as giving yourself a creative outlet such as starting a blog. Whatever it is be sure that it is something you enjoy!
Being on top of your Finances is even Important
We hear it all the time that kids are expensive! How expensive is a debate topic and I have heard that they are as expensive as you want them to be. Whatever your thoughts are I think we can agree that there is additional expense associated with a child. Messy finances will definitely not help what is already a huge adjustment for first time parents. Get that budget in place, automate regular payments and savings to take the pressure off your to do list!
What life lessons has becoming a parent taught you? Share your personal tips and lessons in the comments. If starting a blog sounds like the creative outlet for you be sure to read Want to Start a Blog? Avoid these 5 Mistakes, will save you some valuable time.
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