This weekend the bichin turned one year old, which we celebrated by spending the day at the beach in Valencia before going on holidays (to paradise on earth just an hour flight away). It sounds cliché but I can´t believe how fast this year has gone by and how much has changed! Looking at the pics from the first weeks, it´s hard to imagine he was so tiny! And it´s amazing how much he has evolved in this year and the last weeks (or maybe couple of months) he is much less “baby” and more like a small boy (Hello, toddler!). It was not only his birthday, but also my 1st anniversary as a mom.
But the bichin is not the only one who evolved this past year, I changed quite a bit myself as well both at home and at work. Reflecting back on my first year as a mom, I think there has been quite a bit of development (positive or negative, I will let you be the judge of that) in five areas.
didn´t know I could be this patient
I am (or was?) the definition of impatient, look up the term in the dictionary and my name shows up. Seriously, I can get crazy when things take too long (yep, try working in Spain with that attribute, basically impossible and a real torture sometimes). And since I tend to work quite fast and just want to get things done, I have a hard time not getting annoyed when I feel someone is taking longer than needed (I mean, just stop wasting my time!). Obviously, this characteristic doesn´t come in very handy with kids but luckily I have discovered I can also be quite patient if the situation requires that! Last week I lay over an hour on the floor next to the bichin´s crib waiting for him to fall asleep, how´s that for patience and not wanting to waste time? (Ok, I have to admit I took a small power nap on the floor, but that was maybe like 15min) If only I could also transmit this newly discovered skill at work, but we´re not there yet, let´s put it on the list for mom year 2.
became more relaxed
I used to always be on to the next item on my to-do list and couldn´t leave the house a mess. Nowadays I notice that I am a bit more relaxed about these things and can also just do nothing for a little bit (maybe not completely voluntary but because the bichin wore me out, but hey, something is something right?). And for the house being a mess, I guess with a small kid that´s inevitable so I am not too worried anymore if not everything is super clean or if not everything is in its place.
Let other´s parenting opinion influence me… for about 5min
Also before becoming a mom I could let others opinions influence my decisions or make my feel bad about things. I still have that tendency, especially for parenting advice or parenting books (Gina Ford, anyone?) but I let it influence me for maybe about 5 minutes and then decide I want to do it my way anyway. This is quite a nice development and way better for my inner peace!
Read also Parenting Dutch vs. Spanish style
Less importance on work stuff and career
Ok, this one is going to sound cliché as well (sorry!) but I place much less importance on work and career and way more on quality time with the family. I didn´t see this one coming before becoming a mom. I always thought that work would be super important to me and although it definitely still is important it has moved down the ranks of my priorities in life. (And not just one place down) Related to that is that flexibility in working hours and the possibility to work from home (a lot!) has become much more important than compensation increases or promotions.
Need way less sleep than I ever imagined
I used to be the one that needed 8 hours of solid sleep to properly function for a full day.
Obviously I had my hangover days where I went to university or work on very few hours of sleep but I could pull that off one night and not weeks and weeks in a row. Although I still like my sleep (thanks dear bichini for not providing that last night), I can function perfectly fine on way shorter nights (let´s not talk about the black circles that seemed tattooed under my eyes, but hey you can´t have it all right?).
What did you learn about yourself in your first year of motherhood?