Happy birthday to your baby, they are turning 1! A huge milestone! However you’re celebrating the first birthday of your baby, don’t forget to also celebrate yourself, because oh what a year you’ve had.
Whenever I wish a friend’s baby a happy first birthday, I also make sure to say, “And happy one year of motherhood to you!” because that first year of motherhood is a challenging, beautiful, and transformational year for mom. So, of course, we want to say happy birthday to the adorable little ones growing one year older, but let’s take a big moment to celebrate mom too.
Here’s to You Mom, on a Year of Motherhood
Before that first year of motherhood even begins, your life has changed. Whether it was being pregnant, adopting, using a gestational carrier, or however you grew your family, the time leading up to meeting your baby had to have had a few (or many) bumps, discomforts, and deeply-felt emotions along the way.
Then, one day you’re thrown into the deep end of motherhood. There is absolutely no way you could have prepared for that first day. No matter how much you used to babysit, how many books you read, or how many new parenting classes you attended, nothing prepares you for the way your world is about to be rocked.
However you’re celebrating the first birthday of your baby, don’t forget to also celebrate yourself, because oh what a year you’ve had.
In this first year, you learned to appreciate your changing body in a new way, thanking it for all it has done. You battled exhaustion, because no new mom gets the necessary eight hours of sleep, especially not eight hours in a row. You lived through your hormones jumping all over the map. You probably cried … a lot. You learned how to take care of a tiny being who depended on you.
You figured out how to feed your child. Perhaps you breastfed, pumped, used formula, or did a combination of all three. Whatever you did, you made the right choice for yourself and for your baby. You gave them the nourishment they needed.
You changed more dirty diapers than you ever thought possible. You gagged at the first site of a blowout, then became totally immune to them—just another day in the nursery.
You smelled like sour milk for weeks at a time, spit-up on more times than you care to remember.
You learned what your baby’s cries meant and figured out how to soothe them. You also got lost in baby giggles and the sweetest gummy smiles imaginable.
You navigated the shifting relationships with your partner, your family members, your friends. You learned relationships can change, grow, and evolve.
You learned to ask for help. As much as you maybe wanted to do it all, you came to understand you didn’t need to do it all. All moms need and deserve help.
You tried to balance things in your life, whether deciding to be a stay-at-home mom, working while taking care of your child, or finding a childcare situation that worked best for your family.
You perhaps dealt with baby blues, maybe anxiety, and maybe postpartum depression. Maybe you constantly questioned whether you were doing the right thing for your baby (yes, you are)! You learned to trust your gut. You learned to acknowledge yourself in the situation and you did what you needed to be your best self, for you and for your baby.
You created a bond with your baby. When this little stranger entered your family, you had no idea the immense love you’d feel for them, more and more each day.
Looking back on the year, it might all seem like a blur. There were so many changes and tiny moments that made up the past 365 days of being a mom—likely filled with highs, lows, and everything in between—especially during this craziest of years.
And now here you are, you’re celebrating one year of motherhood. You’ve learned, you’ve grown, you’re the perfect mom for your baby. No matter how you got here, you did it. So celebrate your little one, and celebrate yourself. Cheers to you, mama.
Read More: Why I’m Not Rushing the Milestones