We survived the first year!

Ok, it’s not that bad really. (I hope I don’t jinx this) We’re very blessed that Emma is easy for the most part. She does throw her tantrums and screams but it’s usually only for a few seconds. My mum in law would always call her naughty (in her old school ways. It pains me to think of the potential psychological impact but I can’t stop her) when she refuses to eat or fusses but to us, she is just being a child; a growing baby who is learning to express herself.

After a year of motherhood, I’ve learned these:

  • She’s becoming more independent, sometimes insisting on feeding herself by grabbing the spoon. I tried that and it ended up being very messy and very little food got into her stomach. After a discussion with Pete, I realise I may have been too anal about feeding her in her high chair. So I’m slowly learning to let go. If she doesn’t want to eat while sitting, we can feed her whichever way is appropriate as long as she’s eating. I just hope this doesn’t end up biting us in the ass and we become one of those parents who have to chase the kid around with a spoon.
  • On a similar note, I learned that you can change patterns and train habits as long as you work on it (or so I hope).
  • You may have started out being very adamant about doing something (for me it was breastfeeding and homecooked meals all the way for Emma) but sometimes, situations change. I learned that parenting is one of the most challenging, rewarding, mystifying and ever-changing jobs. Just when I thought I had something figured out, Emma would throw a curveball and I’ll be back at square one. So again, I’m learning to let go and not be stubborn, and just go with the flow.
  • I’ve been cooking a lot more ever since Emma started on solids. I’ve made chocolate fudge, cheesecake, mac & cheese, tomato based pasta, chicken stock, omelette – obviously easy recipes but hey, I’m still learning :p And you know what, I think pasta has got to be one of the easiest meals to make. Can’t believe I made a nice tomato based sauce with fresh tomatoes (because I couldn’t find canned tomatoes. Oh well, they’re full of salt anyway).
  • I may be a writer and have a degree in mass comm but I’m not good at communicating on a personal level. And so, after many many arguments and fights, I’m slowly trying to talk more and fuss/complain/fume inside/lose temper less. Because Emma needs to see that her parents are together and loving and stable.
  • Don’t worry too much although I think it’s inherent in us mothers that we do. I used to check on Emma several times every night (Is she breathing? Is she too cold/hot? Is she comfortable? Where is her pacifier??) but now, I only do it before I go to bed and in the morning … and when I wake up for a middle of the night pee. Heh.
  • The simple things in life really are the best. I love it when her little fingers grab on to my shirt when I hold or carry her. I love it when she giggles while playing under her table, like it’s some sort of fort and we’re playing peek-a-boo. I love it when we cuddle and hug. The odd kiss I get from her always makes my day.
  • Trust that whatever you do, it is enough and you’ve done your best.
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