This past year has been amazing and hard.
When people ask Eric and I how we know we were ready for kids, we tell them we felt 100% ready even though we didn’t have quite enough money, a big house, or really anything stereotypically set for starting a family. We just simply wanted a baby and was prepared to do whatever it took to make that dream a reality.
That’s how you know. When you would do anything for a baby despite your economical status and despite where you are in your journey.
We fell hard in love with the idea, and were ridiculously blessed to fall pregnant just a few weeks after trying. We still take take that for granted and I try to remind myself each day how lucky we are. It’s easy to take things for granted when life seems to speed by in the blink of an eye. It’s my word for this year, so I am really trying to give thanks whenever I can.
I learned a lot about myself this first year of parenthood.
In short, I learned that people’s opinions don’t matter at all. That in the end, it’s solely up to you to make your best effort decision.
I learned that labels don’t have to be your entire identity. You’re allowed to change, grow, and expand/pullback. (Yes, I’m still vegan. I do my best to live a began lifestyle but I am nowhere near perfect at it). While I plan to raise Freddy vegan, I also plan on educating him and letting him make choices without casting judgement on people. He will have his beliefs and I will support and respect them even if they don’t match mine. My husband isn’t vegan and we live cohesively and respectfully with each other because a lifestyle is a personal decision and individual journey. More about that topic later.
I’ve learned that toxic people do not have to have a place in your life and that sometimes the people you need are right in from of you. Try to see them, embrace them, and thank them. Try to soften your relationships with people who don’t fulfill any of your needs.
I’ve learned that fairness isn’t always better and isn’t really possible to achieve anyways.
I’ve learned that being able to say you’re sorry is an incredible superpower that we are all capable of doing but in fact, not many people choose to do.
I’ve learned not to judge others for their decisions, but to consider how it may effect my well-being. Always show respect by being kind, but back away if it turns into toxic exposure.
I’ve learned that becoming more aware of my actions and the words I say/use are probably the best life hack, but is also the most daunting and hardest to do.
It’s about the journey, not the destination.
I’ve learned that breathing doesn’t only help in childbirth, but in every day life. Seriously, taking moments to breathe` brings oxygen to the brain and helps stress management.
I’ve learned that real unconditional love comes from choices you make in response to another person when shit gets hard. Having compassion and assuming something positive of the other person without expectations gets you closer to showing them real love without conditions.
There’s a time and place to put yourself first, but in this life, you become very lonely very fast when it’s all that you do. Ego is a destroyer of real, openminded and openhearted relationships. (Eric and I started going to therapy as a way to spend some time together and enhance our relationship. It was the most incredible decision and we studied the Gottman Method with Your Reproductive Journey).
I’ve learned not to be afraid to ask for help. Seriously, real help. Whether it’s asking Eric to take the baby at 3 in the morning or asking a friend to watch Freddy last minute so I can go to therapy (major shoutout to my girl Amanda!).
Be open-minded with your village. Your village will change and grow and blossom. Continue meeting new mamas, continue meeting new friends. Don’t be afraid to make that extra effort and don’t expect anything in return.
Gosh, I could probably go on and on with things I’ve learned this past year. Having a child is like unlocking one of the seven wonders of the world and gaining access to a brand new universe. I tend to get influenced through social media and I’ve decided to really take a step back from seeking inspo through social media apps. If not carefully monitored, they can be insanely detrimental. Comparing yourself to others robs us on happiness and confidence, you know?
Anyways, these things aren’t just lessons to share with fellow parents. I wish I could have learned this stuff before Freddy but it took me having him to finally open my mind’s eye. This life is a beautiful place and you matter so so much. Take a moment to thank yourself for the wonderful job you’re doing being alive. It’s so incredibly hard, being human. Our littlest humans go through those same struggles and just because we’re “grown” doesn’t make it any easier on us. We’re all part of a sacred harmony and are students together. We just have to be willing to be taught be what’s around us. We’re all beautiful flowers with something incredible to offer the Earth.
Now that I’ve gone all hippie on ya, I want to take a moment to tell you how grateful I am to have you in my life. Thank you for reading this, following my journey and supporting me. I’m excited to see where this life takes us as one giant family.
Peace and love,