The days are long but the years are short.
It’s absolutely wild to think that one year has flown by. Everyone says that when you have children, time is so fleeting, and it is so true. Time is a parent’s greatest gift and biggest thief. You shut the door on so many tiny chapters that make up their childhood, only to open a million more that give you small glimpses at the person they’re growing into. And while I honestly proclaim that every new milestone and month is my favorite, a part of me will always miss the one I leave behind.
It feels like yesterday that he was born. Three weeks earlier than he was supposed to arrive, this blue-eyed, strawberry-blonde-haired, 6-pound human changed our lives forever. Every little cliche they say is true. Life is so much sweeter being Jude’s parents and I can not think of what life was without him!
Before I go on about parenting, I’ll share a little on our celebration. We wanted to do something super small but meaningful… and admittedly, we really wanted to celebrate the fact that we made it one whole year as parents with everyone still in-tact. 😉
One year is a big birthday, but it typically is more about the adults than the baby since they obviously can’t remember. A big party isn’t our thing, so we decided to have a few close friends and my parents at our house to celebrate. We had our favorite BBQ food catered, cake, and ended the night playing a board game. It was perfect!
I do love any excuse to decorate, so I created a DIY balloon garland, which came out so much better than I thought! The entire thing cost me less than $50 and I started off with this kit from Amazon. I kept all the white balloons and went to Party City to find different shades of blue/greens to use as well (the JUDE balloons were also a last-minute purchase from Party City). There was no method to the sizing of the balloons – I blew them up in various sizes and attached them to the garland by pulling the ends of the balloon through the little slits. It took me less than two hours!
And how cute is the cake from Alliance Bakery that Aunt Heidy got? Jude was born to Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles, so it was very fitting.
For me, one of the most shocking things about parenthood was the impact it had on our marriage. My husband and I are pretty solid communicators, but everyone says that the first year of parenting can be rough on any marriage. We definitely have had our moments this past year, but I will say that having Jude has only brought us closer together. We never argue about who is going to do what for Jude and neither of us ever complain when we hop out of bed to check on him if he starts to cry. Part of this I attribute to the fact that we waited a bit to have children. Although there’s never a right time, we knew there’s very little room to be selfish when you have little ones depending on you, so there were many things we wanted to do before we started this journey (I wrote about this in the past here). We both trust each other’s judgment when it comes to making decisions relating to Jude and we never, ever fault each other for making parenting mistakes. Trust me, we are not perfect and just like any other relationship, marriage is something you work on every day, but we really work together as partners when it comes to parenting.
One change I am excited about is packing up my pump. I swear I am going to forever hear the sound of that motor stuck in my head! It’s such a time commitment but I am very proud to have made it a year. In the beginning, I set three goals for myself – a three-month goal, a more realistic six-month goal, and an ultimate goal of nine months. Shockingly, I made it to a year. Around nine months I started cutting back (I had a freezer stash that allowed me to do so) and I also used formula. One thing that helped me make it that long was that I never put pressure on myself. I had zero guilt for those times that I used formula because it was easier, or I forgot to unfreeze milk, or I had too many glasses of wine and had to dump. It’s so nice to be able to leave the house without packing my pump, and I laugh looking back at the crazy places I’ve had to pump (bathrooms, in the back of cars, random closets). I have such an appreciation for businesses that have a mother’s room now.
So now we take on toddlerhood! Jude is already taking steps, loves to say “hi” and “hot” when we take food out of the microwave, still says “Dada” more than “Mama” (work in progress!), and will still choose avocado over every other food. We can’t wait to see what next milestone he hits and for this next chapter.