Reagan’s 9 Months + 9 Things I’ve Learned As A Mom

I can’t believe my sweet baby girl is 9 months already! Where has the time gone?! Thinking back to this time last year, I had just finished the school year teaching 4th grade, packed up our apartment (well, the movers did) and Brandon, the pups and me all spent 2 weeks at my parents house waiting for the big move to California. All the while I was 6 months pregnant. Crazy! With Reagan turning 9 months old, I thought I would share 9 things I have learned from motherhood thus far. I am NO expert and every situation is different, but I think it’s always neat learning from other moms and their experiences! So here goes…

1.Having your first baby is so exciting and scary all at the same time. If you’re anything like me, you try to be as prepared as possible. Reading, researching, asking friends/family {who have kids} what to expect. I found getting advice from close family or friends was the best help {for me}. BUT the minute I held Reagan, I instantly felt a connection that I have never felt before. And all the advice, research, reading was put aside. I knew as her mom I would need to listen to my instincts and do what is best for her. That’s not to say I never look for advice or read certain articles, I just know at the end of the day, I know whats best for Reagan and I try to always stick to that!

2. Take advantage when your babe is a newbie to try and get the rest you need. Especially the first month when you bring your little one home. I know everyone says, “once you have kids, forget about sleeping again” and to some degree its true, but looking back I should have taken more advantage of rest while Reagan did just sleep, eat and poop all day haha. I miss the days when she laid on my chest and we napped together. Some days I would give anything to have that again. I can only imagine how much more I will want that as she gets older!

3. Have friends/family bring you food!!! I think this was THE best when we first brought Reagan home. I didn’t even know it was a thing or how useful it was until each night came and Brandon and I didn’t have to worry about what to cook for dinner! Plus, it gives people a chance to stop by and see you and the new baby. My friend put together a spread sheet and e-mailed it to all our friends so they could pick a day/time to stop by with food and meet Reagan. I had certain times marked on the list when I would want someone to come over. This way it wasn’t an all day, every day kinda thing. And I got notified when it was someones day to come over. This gave me time to be prepared and something to look forward to! I’ve read a couple articles where moms have mixed feelings about this and I think that’s OK. Every new mom or a mom to 5 has their own feelings towards this. Whatever works for you is best!

4. Have grace with yourself. At times this whole “mom thing” can be very overwhelming. Always remember to give yourself a pat on the back and know YOU ARE doing the best job! I have to consistently remind myself of this daily. There’s only so much I can do at a time and some days I can’t be super mom and have it all together. And that is A-OK. I know when I put Reagan down at night, she is loved, taken care of and has everything she needs. Tomorrow is a new day to try again!

5. Find something fun for you and your little one to do together. I signed us up for Gymboree Play and Learn when Reagan was 6 months old. And it has been an awesome outlet for me. It allows me to look forward to something that day and connect with other moms Reagan’s age. Even if you can’t do Gymboree, check out your local library. They will have story time you can attend. Or if you work during the week, on the weekends try going to the park or take a walk as a family. Just something that gets you out of the house with a new surrounding.

6. Have date night with your spouse! I know if you work all week all you want to do is spend your free time with your little but it is so healthy to re-connect with your spouse. Just the two of you. Remember, once your little ones leave the house one day- all you’ll have left is your spouse 😉

7. Do what comes naturally for you. Don’t compare yourself to other moms or what they are doing. I quickly learned that if I don’t naturally enjoy doing something for Reagan, then I only find myself frustrated and upset. For instance, I don’t  enjoy cooking. It’s not something that I’ve ever really liked or felt creative enough to do. Now, I do it because we need to eat but once Reagan was at the age where she could start eating solids I immediately felt the “mom guilt” when I went to buy the store bought Gerber food. I thought, “I’m a stay-at-home mom. I should have plenty of time to make her food.” But just because I do stay at home, doesn’t mean I have all the time in the world. Honestly, I’m lucky if I have the time to try a new meal for Brandon and I, let a lone make gourmet meals for Reagan. Don’t get me wrong, If I thoroughly enjoyed it and got excited about it, I’d do it in a heart beat. But for me, I enjoy the experience of watching her eat much more. She’s just now learning to eat on her own and loveeesss it. I think she really likes the independence of feeding herself. She still doesn’t have teeth yet so I’m very surprised with how well she actually does eat! Her favorite food so far is sweet potatoes!

8. Take time for yourself.  As a new mom, I have learned the importance of taking time for ME. Whether that’s treating myself to a face mask at night, going for a run {which I don’t do often} buying a new piece of clothing, going to the store by myself, hanging out with a girlfriend…whatever it is, do something for you to re-charge your “mom batteries.” And try not to feel guilty about it! I need to be the best version of myself so I can be the best mom for Reagan. Being home all day with Reagan is such a blessing for me. It’s my dream job {for now}. But boy does it get tough. My days and weeks are mostly the same. So Monday-Sunday its the same routine, same schedule and it gets to a point when I crave and need time for me. Just recently, Reagan and I were in Florida and my dear friend treated us to a spa day. It was the first day in 8 months where I didn’t wake up with Reagan or spend some part of the day with her. Actually, I take that back…I made it to my parents house just in time to give her a bottle and put her to bed. I enjoyed the day very much, but of coarse I felt the “mom guilt” and checked in on her several times during the day. It was a much needed day and made me realize even more how important ME time is!

9. Have a community. I think it’s vital for moms to have a community of girlfriends they can talk through “mom struggles” with. Sometimes you need that mom/girlfriend you can express your inner thoughts with about being a mom and a wife. There are so many good things when it comes to being a mom but we also have our breaking points and to have someone you can confide in who just gets it 100% is so important! There’s nothing wrong with feeling sad or even annoyed and feel like your failing that day. So having your go to person who gets it and  listens, is very helpful.  I’m an open person and for me to feel better about stuff, I need to talk through it with someone who understands. I always feel recharged and a little better about myself as a mom and knowing I’m not alone in this club!

I hope these 9 tips helped you in some way. Please share any you have found helpful or have learned with being a momma!

with love, Danielle

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