Dear Mama of a Soon-To-Be 1-Year-Old,
Girl, I feel your pain. I really do. I am in the same boat. That same emotional boat. Are you going through CryFest 2014 like me when you look at newborn photos?
I just want you to know that you aren't alone. I just want to make sure that you know you are normal for feeling this way. Or, maybe I want to know that it's normal to feel this way!
Anyway, you know you are a first-time mama with a soon-to-be 1-year-old when...
1. You look at the clock when it's nearing bedtime and you get excited knowing you will get some rest! The days are exhausting, following your little torpedo of a crawler around or chasing your toddling baby around the house, right? And as soon as they go down, there you are. You sit with your iPhone looking at pictures of said baby, because you miss him or her already.
2. The idea of your kid actually speaking to you is just too much to handle.
3. You stopped calling your baby a newborn just a few months ago.
4. When you walk by the baby section at The Gap and enter the Boy/Girl section, it's emotional. Really emotional.
5. You have to stop yourself from approaching little newborns and stroking their pudgy faces. This behavior is more than OK when you know the baby, but the issue is when you want to do this with EVERY baby you see these days ON THE STREET.
6. If you plan on having more kids, you wonder to yourself how you can love another baby like you love your first. You ask your friends how they do it. Even though everyone says your heart can handle more love, you still aren't sure if you believe that it's possible. You love this kid SO MUCH.
7. When your baby graduates and moves on to a bigger diaper size, you consider holding on to the last one as a memento. You know this is a problem and you are OK with it. It's just a diaper... right?
8. You've Instagrammed and/or Facebooked the hell out of your baby lately and because you don't want to appear too over-the-top, you send additional takes of the same photos to your mommy besties and spouse. People will never know the restraint you have in posting everything you would want to share about your little guy/gal.
9. You bawled your eyes out when you saw this video. Damn you, Pampers Japan! So much that when you go to birthday parties for 1- year-olds, you also hug the parents and say, "Happy first birthday."
10. You are confused as hell on the next stage of feeding and milk offerings that's supposed to happen. You didn't know so many forms of milk existed.
11. You've decided to learn how to approach future tantrums by analyzing the sh*t out of any live preview you can get these days from kids kicking and screaming in restaurants a grocery stores. You wanna play it cool when it happens; you really don't want to lose your sh*t too.
12. For the upcoming birthday, you consider having a full-out Pinterest-inspired party... either that, or stay home, order takeout and hang a banner that says, "We survived the first year." Both options are great, by the way.
13. You have come to accept that you are THAT mom, the mom who over-posts stuff about their kid on social media. You hated that mom before and now, you are her... only worse.
14. You feel guilty about how you spent this year. Whether you were working full-time, working part-time, working from home or staying at home, the guilt just can't go away.
15. You can't help but give advice to new moms. Not because you know better, but because you know that someone threw you a rope when you needed it. You absolutely know that it takes a village to raise children in the world we live in.
16. You think back and (hopefully) laugh on how many times you ate your words about all the things you swore you wouldn't do that you actually do do now. Same goes with how you wouldn't turn into your mother. Oops.
17. You wish you had a deal with Father Time and you would give ANYTHING to freeze these last few days and have them play out in slow motion.
18. You have drowned your hard mommy days with wine. More than you care to talk about.
19. You look at your body and you know its different now, but c'mon, say it with me, "We can grow people!"
20. Still, after all this time, you have to run back into the house whenever you take the baby anywhere because you forgot to pack something. After all this time, you still run late. You have yet to go on a vacation where you didn't have to go to the store for the baby.
21. Two words: baby feet. You're obsessed with your little one's appendages. You can't believe how adorable and yummy they are, am I right?
22. Your memory of your delivery and labor is less traumatizing day after day because the love of this little person made it all worth it.
23. Going to Target, sans baby, is somewhat of a mommy aphrodisiac. It's the same deal when your spouse lets you sleep in while he watches the baby. Who knew?
24. You are thankful for all the moms you know, and proud to be one. You are sorry for the assumptions you had made about motherhood, and know there is so much more word-eating coming at you.
25. You know you'll cry, I mean ugly cry, when "Happy Birthday" is sung at your child's first birthday party.
Good luck to you, mama -- my waterproof mascara and I wish you the most special day!