I’m a new mom. I went from thinking I wouldn’t be able to have children, to suddenly learning I was pregnant, to receiving treatment to prevent losing the baby, to thinking “Can I do this”?

I celebrated my first official Mother’s Day this year and I’m ecstatic! Also thankful! My little girl will be turning one year old in June and this year has been a roller-coaster of emotions and learning experiences.

So, what did I learn as a Rookie Mom?

It’s ok to cry. And I’m not talking about the baby. I found myself tearing up, or almost bawling, when my kid wouldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t figure out WHY. Not to mention when I couldn’t get the hang of the whole breastfeeding thing. Or when I just wanted some shut eye!! Cry. It’s not easy being a Mom!

Breastfeeding sometimes doesn’t come naturally. In my case, it took patience and a lot of support. It was frustrating when it seemed my baby wasn’t eating enough. In the beginning it hurt, like hell, when she latched on. I almost gave up, but I didn’t. Ten months later, even if not full-time anymore, I’m still breastfeeding my little girl. Go me!

You will lose your temper. But, CONTROL IT. You’ll get mad sometimes, or frustrated. Breathe. If you need to, step out of the room for a few minutes, compose yourself, and go right back in. Whenever I felt myself getting a bit irritated, I would ask my husband to watch the baby, while I got myself together. I didn’t want my little girl to sense my mood. She’s a baby, she doesn’t know any better. She can’t exactly tell me what’s wrong or what she needs.

Going out will become a small project, requiring planning. Before, I could be out of the house in 15 minutes if I needed to. Now? It’s a whole new ballgame. Baby needs to be fed, bathed, changed, dressed. Diaper Bag needs to be restocked. Can’t forget to bring Mr. Turtle or all hell will break lose without her favorite toy. And…

She will poop as soon as you prepare to walk out the door. Oh, yes. Babies have excellent timing! For her first checkup at her pediatrician’s, I dressed her in the cutest outfit. It was her first outing, just a couple of weeks old. I put her in her crib while I finished getting ready. When I went to pick her up, poop. Poop everywhere. Outfit ruined. Now, I dress her last and check her diaper before I do.

Everything is edible, at least for her. It’s an almost 100 % guarantee that anything she gets her little hands on, will end up in her mouth. Example: My baby ate a piece of paper towel, yep. Exercise extreme caution. Watch your baby like a hawk!

Baby will test you. My offspring figured out when she was about 7 months old, that if she dropped her toy, I would pick it up. One day, after the fifth time picking it up and handing it back to her, I left it on the floor. Now, we have the added “I’m not doing anything” look, where she will stand in her crib, her hand dangling over the railing, about to drop the toy. All while looking at you while you repeat “don’t drop it”, and down goes Mr. Turtle (‘member him?).

Don’t say the “F” word, she will repeat it. My girl doesn’t talk yet, she babbles and has unintelligible conversations, which I encourage and pretend to understand. But she is repeating small words, like “wow”, and things like that. Which serve as a reminder to keep myself in check. I’m already worried she’ll start saying “boobie”, since I’m always asking her when she’s fussy if “baby wants the boobie?”.

Don’t lose yourself. Being a Mom, especially a new one, is overwhelming and it seems as though your whole world revolves around your child and, if it applies, your partner. But you need to remember something: you are still YOU. So, organize, plan, ask for help if you need to, but, take some time for yourself. Go to the movies. Get your hair done. Go out with your partner, with friends. Want to go to school / back to school? Go. Figure out how. Can’t now? No biggie. Put it on your to-do-list for when you can. Being a Mom doesn’t mean losing who you are, your dreams, desires or aspirations. Being a Mom it’s just a bonus.

“With great power, comes great responsibility”. You are now responsible for another human being. Wow! No pressure there! Raise and lead by example. You are your baby’s first role model. “Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it”. (Proverbs 22:6) Even if you’re not religious, this piece of advice tends to be true. Of course, how or what our children will be as adults is not certain, but it’s our “job” to do the best we can.

I could keep going, but that would require a whole series on the subject. This Mom “thing” is quite the adventure and I’m thankful everyday for my little miracle baby. I’m still learning the ropes, but I have a whole lifetime to do so. A lifetime filled with love, tears, laughter, memories, and many blessings.

We are Moms. Isn’t it awesome?!