365 Days

In Gabe’s first 365 days, he accomplished a lot!  Here’s his list of milestones:

Held his head up — 3 weeks

First smile — 5 weeks

Slept 5 hours straight — 7 weeks

Real tears — 8 weeks

First laugh — 9 weeks

Started doing “bedtime” more or less — 10 weeks

Started chewing on his hands — 10 weeks

Babbling — 11 weeks

Grandma saw him roll over (belly to back) — 12 weeks

We saw him roll over (belly to back) — 14 weeks

Laughs easily — 14 weeks

Wiggled himself 90 degrees — 18 weeks

Sucked his thumb  — 18 weeks

Tripod sit (hands supporting in front) — 4 months & 2 weeks

Sitting up for real — 5 months

First tooth — 5 months & 3 weeks

First solid food (avacado) — 6 months & 2 weeks

Getting to a sit without help  — 7 months

Crawling — 7 months and 1 week

Pulling to a stand — 7 months and 2 weeks

Crawling up stairs — 8 months

Rolled over (back to belly) — 8 months (finally!)

Clapping  — 8 months

Cruising — 8 months

Standing up not holding onto anything — 9 months

First step — 10 months

Drinks from a straw — 10 months

Drinks independently from a sippy cup — 10 months

Started throwing everything — 11 months

Waving — 11 months

Actually cares about eating solids and eats a decent amount — 11 months & 2 weeks

Walking like a drunken sailor — 12 months and some change 😉

Wow!  Although my baby has clearly changed an incredible amount in 365 days, what rivals his multitude of changes are my own.  My milestones, my achievements, my lessons, my struggles, my growth.  And while my baby is wonderful and unbelievably adorable, I’d really rather tell you about my development as a mother than his development as a baby.  He’s always stealing my thunder, you know…

Started going to La Leche League meetings and thereby building my mother community — 2 weeks

Ditched the Boppy — 5 weeks

Managed a night waking all by myself — 6ish weeks

Figured out a hair dryer is baby magic — 8 weeks

Woke up for the day and actually felt like I could handle the day — 10 weeks

Learned how to shower with an awake baby and no other adults there to help — 3ish months

Went back to work a little (on call for the birth center 5-7 days a month) — 3 months

Figured out that I could walk around while nursing Gabe — 5ish months

Learned how to change Gabe’s diaper while simultaneously nursing him in the pitch black of the night — 7ish months

Created a playgroup of other moms with babies/young toddlers — 7 months.  We don’t get together as often as we’d all like, but we support each other via Facebook and I’m hopeful in 2014 our schedules will jive better.

Mastered the art of getting Gabe onto my back (for babywearing) without help — 8 months.  (Thanks for the tutorial, Meghan!)

Found more mothering support in Facebook groups “St. Louis Babywearing” and “Natural Mamas” where I can get a plethora of perspectives almost immediately — 9ish months

Went back to work a little more (started subbing as a school nurse 1-2X a week, in addition to attending births at the birth center) — 10 months

Lost all my pregnancy weight and a little extra, nearly 50lbs — 10 months

Gave up on forcing night-weaning and finally felt at peace about it — 11 months.  Ironically, Gabe and I have both been sleeping better since then (for the most part).  I have some night weaning ideas I may try over the next few months, but I don’t feel like they HAVE TO work, and there’s a lot of freedom in that.  He’s not going to go to college still nursing at 1AM and someday I will miss these days.  Even so, I decided I’m only doing “straightforward night nursing” — I go in there, nurse him as long as he wants, and put him back in his crib.  The end.  Sometimes he cries for a few minutes.  This is ok.

Realizing that, for my own sanity, I have to stop being such a control freak — 12 months.  I try to control everything Gabe does: what he eats, how much he sleeps, how many bumps he gets on his head, etc.  In reality I have so little control over him.  And every time he refuses vegetables, or takes a terrible nap, or gets a goose egg on his forehead, my temptation is to conclude: I’m a bad mother.  I’m know I’m not a bad mother, but I do often feel like one.  It really sucks.  It robs me of the joy of motherhood.  It makes me terrified of having another baby (I can’t handle one baby, how could I handle two?  Twice the work in half the time?!).  It’s not fair.  I shouldn’t have to walk around feeling like such a failure when I’m fairly certain I’m not one.  So I have to learn to let go.  How to do that I have absolutely no idea. But I hear acknowledging you have a problem is the first step.

Gabe will be 13 months tomorrow and crazily we’re already a month into his second — and my second  — 365 days.  It’s now 2014 and my husband and I (and Gabe by extension) have decided to go gluten-free on a hunch that neither of us really process it very well.  (Goodbye Dewey’s; I’ll miss you dreadfully).  My newborn became a baby and my baby has now become a literally toddling toddler.  I became a mother and an accomplished multi-tasker and a creative improvisationist (i.e., a bathroom sink is as good as any exersaucer).  Here’s to a new year of firsts, of accomplishments, of “whoops-ies,” of chaos.  Besides ditching gluten, I just decided in this moment to add a resolution: Seek the joy of motherhood.  Silence the devil.  Believe I am a good mother.  Choose fun instead of worry.  Care a little less about actually performing like a good mother, and just kiss my baby more and believe that love covers over a multitude of sins.  After all, Gabe has forgiven me for every single mistake I’ve made.  He lights up every single time he sees me.  He thinks I hang the moon.  Surely I’m doing something right.

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2 thoughts on “365 Days

  1. Beautiful! You ARE a good mother, and a lovely person. On my fridge is a magnet that says this: I choose this day to realize that the successes we’ve had up until now have been divinely inspired, and that the mistakes we’ve made are not capable of undoing the work of the God of the universe.” Great words to remember every day! Hope we get to see each other more often in 2014 : )

    • Thanks Alyssa! It’s great to have affirmation from a mom I admire 🙂 I love that quote; thank you for sharing! Yes, let’s see each other more in 2014!

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