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St. James Plaindealer - St. James, MN
  • A Life-Changing Year

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  • Another year has come and gone--can you believe it! If you are anything like me you have no idea how a whole year could have possibly just managed to sneak by you that fast. It's hard to believe how much can happen in just one short year. I had a friend say to me at the beginning of 2013, "I hope you have a great year! So much can change and happen in just a year."
    I wasn't very convinced. It seemed to me that each year usually contained the same type of agenda. Holidays, birthdays, weddings, family vacations, and maybe a few spontaneous adventures sprinkled in there. Most of us also come upon milestones, which make all of our hard work feel so much better. High school graduation, state competitions for volleyball and basketball, college graduation, confirmation and getting my drivers license are just a few of the milestones I was lucky enough to have before I turned 22.  But, each year in and out, I had never had something so earth-shatteringly life changing like I did in 2013.
    In this one year, not only did I move to a brand new town (end of 2012 to be exact) and get a brand new puppy (for Valentines Day), but I was so overwhelmingly surprised to find out I was expecting my first child.
    I had always dreamt of this moment, but when it actually happened it felt so surreal. You are flooded with a ton of emotions and from that moment on your life is changed forever.
    Being a first-time mom you really have no clue what you are getting into until you feel like you've been carrying a bag of flour around the living room for five hours in the middle of the night, and realize you haven't left the house for seven days.
    So, being I just started this crazy journey of parenthood, I thought I would share a few of the things that have gotten me through the first eight weeks with my brand new baby.
    First off, you're going to realize very quickly how much time you do not have for yourself. This includes time for getting ready, eating, brushing your teeth, and yes, even going to the bathroom. You have to use each second of time that baby is sleeping very wisely.
    My solution to solving this "getting ready" issue? Chopping my hair off--or as people like to call it--getting the "mom cut." Believe me, I never thought I'd fall victim to this one, having shoulder length or longer hair most of my life, but when you only manage to throw your hair up in a disheveled and mangled pony tail everyday--short hair starts to seem like the perfect solution.
    Second, don't take every mom's advise. Every woman who has a child is going to think she has all of the secrets and answers to any problem you are going to run across--and she feels it's her calling to let you know every situation her child A, B or C has been through. So smile, and thank them for the advise, but don't always feel like you have to use it. You're a new mom, not an alien. Figuring out how to take care of your child comes more naturally than you'd think and most of the time motherly instincts kick in.
    Page 2 of 2 - Last, but certainly not least, sleep when the baby is sleeping! I can't stress this one enough. After coming home from the hospital, I was determined to be this rock star mom. I thought I could always be showered and ready, have a spotless house, laundry done and a perfect little baby--sorry to tell you, but it doesn't work that way. I lasted for about five days of attacking this grueling schedule. Waking up at five a.m. to do the house work and get ready so by the time my son woke up everything would be done. This way, I could just focus on him all day without having to worry about dirty dishes or the mess our dog had made in the basement. I ended up running myself down so much and getting so sick, a short trip to WalMart felt like a marathon. So don't feel like you have to try to be Mrs. Housewife of the year. The most important thing is making sure you take care of yourself and your baby. That means trying to catch up on your sleep whenever the baby is sleeping-no matter how many other things you "feel" like you need to get done.
    Becoming a new mom is definitely a life-changing experience. There are days where you wonder how in the world you are going to accomplish everything on that to-do list and think there's no way you can be spread any thinner. But having a baby has been the best gift I have ever received and 2013 will always be the year that changed my life forever.
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