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happy friday + 3 things i’ve learned…

Oh-joy-ruby-foot

Oh-joy-ruby-foot

Happy Friday guys! Thanks so much to all of my awesome guest bloggers over the last few weeks. It's been so nice to get a little time away while getting acquainted with our little lady. Speaking of getting acquainted…now that my baby bump photos have come and gone, I thought I'd still post things of a personal nature here on Fridays. Some of you have asked about things for newborns, clothing while pregnant, etc…so I'll be sharing those things here with you over the next month or so.

Today, I'm finishing off the week with 3 things I've learned in my 3 weeks as a mom

01 / Your motherly instinct really does kick in. While it doesn't come without a learning curve, soon enough you learn what your baby's cries mean and what they want and need. All those things you worry about not knowing how to do (I had never changed a diaper before!), you really do figure out…quick!

02 / Sleep really is sporadic. Everyone tells you that, but I didn't really believe it until I had my very own newborn. I thought that getting up in the middle of the night was like feeding my cats. You get up, do it, and then you go back to sleep. I had no idea that sometimes babies are just awake and need to be entertained or sometimes they alternate eating and pooping for hours on end.

03 / You have more love than you ever realized. Even though I've known my baby for less time than I've known most everyone else in my life, I love her more than I ever thought possible. Everyone says it, but you really don't believe it until you're there face-to-face with a tiny person you created.

So, you mama's out there, what's something you learned during your first few weeks as a parent? I'm still figuring this whole thing out, and I'd love to hear! — Joy

{photo by Oh Joy}

103 comments

  1. This photo is just the sweetest! I so agree with you on 03 / you never knew how much love you could have…and then for every baby your heart just gets bigger.
    annie

  2. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  3. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  4. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  5. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  6. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  7. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  8. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  9. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  10. Sounds like you’re doing great! My little girl is 8 months now and I learned that every stage is fleeting…for better or worse. As soon as a phase seems overwhelming and you feel like you can’t do it anymore…voila…it magically changes for the better! Those first few weeks are blissful but overwhelming. Hang in there, there is sleep in your future and it’s coming sooner than you think!

  11. Love the sweet photo! Congrats on your beautiful girl. I have a 3 month old and every day just keeps getting better and better. I remember how hard the first few weeks were but then when someone told us the baby could actually last quite a while through the night with 1 diaper with just pee- wow! That made a huge difference. We had been changing a diaper every time our son got up to eat and it would just wake him up even more! Our sleep situation started to get better after that.

  12. Joy, I am so impressed that you have the focus and grace to write or blog at all! If I had tried to write anything during my son’s first month, it would have been completely incoherent. That month can be a fog of crying, not sleeping, and breastfeeding. It is so wonderful, but no one really tells you how hard it is. The best lesson I learned is that crying does not always mean that something is direly wrong–it’s just the only way they can communicate.

  13. Congrats on your beautiful baby girl! I have an 8mo old girl and she is the light of my life and my best friend. I’ve found that rather than the various books/web info floating around, my real source of good advice has come from canvassing my close friends with babies that have similar parenting styles. Sometimes you get so caught up in figuring things out on your own you forget to ask around and they can provide great (and fast) solutions or approaches!

  14. the thing i had to learn was just figuring out what is best for you and your own baby. All the books, tips from other moms, grandmas, etc all went out the window, because each baby is so different. Ruby is such a doll!

  15. Congratulations Joy! Your little one is gorgeous. Being a mother is like having a love EXPLOSION that never ends!!! I am mother to my 26 year old Elizabeth and I tell you……I love her more than ever. Mother love is the most wonderful, powerful, amazing love…isn’t it! Enjoy:))

  16. I learned that it’s okay–heck, good!–to accept help. I was always a do-it-myself kinda gal, but having a newborn (and healing from the c-section) came with challenges that I couldn’t have overcome alone. And I’m so grateful I didn’t have to.

  17. Cute photo! I remember before our little girl came in July and people saying “get as much time just the two of you before baby comes” I didn’t realize how different that time would be.
    We still get “us” time… but it often includes a baby in the works. Cuddles and evening TV time are no longer part of our daily lives anymore… but she is SO worth it! 🙂

  18. The single best piece of advice i got as a new mom had to do with sleep: Never let a newborn stay awake longer than 2 hours, which means frequent naps. And, make sure the baby goes down sleepy but awake. Otherwise you’ll be rocking that baby to sleep for the next 6 months.

  19. my little boy is six months old, two things that suprised me:
    1. Each day I love him more than the day before (seems impossible, but that love keeps growing!)
    2. The tough stuff makes you love them (and yourself) even more. When I get through a rough patch (tired, sore, work stress) I’m reminded that I can do this!

  20. I quickly learned to hold the handlebars loosely as the things I love about my sons are forever being replaced by new things, some of which I love even more… Just as the things I disliked, like changing nappies, are quickly replaced by new things, like too much homework…
    It is the most wonderfully challenging and infinitely rewarding work and very, very many congratulations Joy. You’re an amazing mother already…

  21. Congrats! The first couple of weeks are a blur to me, but I agree with your 3 things. Especially the sleep one- you really don’t realize how much you need sleep until you get very little of it. I also realized that you have to get rest and help yourself heal too. Also, for me, I learned nursing is one of the hardest things ever (you think it is supposed to just happen, or at least I did.) Good luck. As wonderful as things seem in the early days, they are tough and get much easier as baby gets older. Mine is turning 1 next week!

  22. I would say, just roll with rhythm of the days. I remember a number of people talking about establishing a schedule from the beginning and I’m glad we didn’t listen to that. The key was just consistency. If they’re tired, you let them sleep (/22 so true!), if they’re hungry you feed them.. They will form their own natural pattern eventually.
    Enjoy every moment. Another thing people always tell you but you never realize until it happens. One day, my little one was a newborn, now she’s an 18 month old insisting on wearing mismatching socks….

  23. I have a 9 month old boy and he is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me. My advice to you is to enjoy every moment with Ruby. The time goes by quickly. Your guilt about leaving her will not go away as quickly, but do take some time for yourself, your daughter, and your marriage, even if it’s only for an hour.

  24. I’d say one thing I learned that really helped was that asking for advice is great and super helpful, but just because someone gives you said advice, you need not follow it…So many people are “experts” but everyone raises their children differently so someone else’s advice might not fit your parenting style. If you don’t feel comfortable doing something, don’t. If people think something you are doing is weird, to heck with them. Trust yourself! And enjoy every moment. It gets more amazing every day!

  25. I have two gorgeous girls , now 6 & 4, and the love you talk of never wains… it just gets stronger!!! Bless you Ruby!!

  26. Love the picture!
    One thing I learned: Please wait until they are done pooping/peeing before you change the diaper! Or else.
    And this will save you money on diapers.
    Best of luck! Please post more pictures! 🙂

  27. Being a mom is the greatest, isn’t it?
    My little girl is 10 months old and you summed up the first month perfectly (although, believe it or not, you will hardly remember ANY of it in retrospect. So take LOTS & LOTS of pictures!).
    I think by now I’ve learned that:
    a) Take other’s advice with grace but also with a grain of salt. You’ll learn quickly that what might be great for one person’s child, the opposite will be true for yours.
    b) On a similar note, I always kind-of did a half eye-roll when people would tell me to embrace every second with your baby because before I’d know it, they’d be graduating college and I would wonder where the time went. But, no. It’s absolutely true. Granted, I’m less than a year in.. but this year was by FAR the fastest of my life.
    & c) EVERYTHING is a phase. Good and Bad 🙂

  28. That photo is absolutely beautiful.
    I think those three things are brilliant.
    I would add: limit cell phone and computer time. I recently watched a mom with a couple of kids in a store try to talk on her cell phone the whole time while getting after and yelling at her kids repeatedly. It made me really sad.
    My youngest is 18, so eye-roll if you want (smile) but it is true: time does go by fast and you will be happy that you tried to enjoy every moment and don’t be hard on yourself!

  29. So, so true! Especially the love. I didn’t know how physical the feeling of overwhelming love coursing through me would be just looking at this little guy. (We’re at 10 days!) And I’d never changed a diaper either, I was terrified. Amazing how fast you learn.

  30. I have a 7 month baby girl, and the best advice I ever got was read your baby, not the books! I really regret not signing on to that mantra sooner than I did. A whole bunch of stress was lifted once I tossed the book and went with my gut. 🙂

  31. Its so true! I had my baby almost 3 months ago, and I’ve been following your pregnancy here on your blog. Its such a fabulous feeling, indescribable actually! A lots of love to you two!

  32. Congratulations! And welcome to the amazing world of parenthood- its soooooo much cooler than pregnancy. That little foot- you used to feel it kick you from inside, and now you can kiss each and every toe.
    Best thing ever.
    The number one thing I learnt when my son was born 4 months ago is this: I thought the love I had for my husband was solid- no gaps, dense, impermeable. Having a baby was like introducing a telescope into the mix, realising for the first time that even something that appears solid has spaces between the particles. And those spaces? They werent nothingness, but rather were made of pure love for my son. So now, the world is literally, stuffed solid with love- at a microscopic level. And it doesnt get any more solid than that.
    So congratulations on filling every single atom, particle and space of the world with boundless love. Its so beautiful.

  33. Beautiful posts! Lovely family! Best always! Love Vanessa’s comment— read your baby, not the books; we’re all individuals, no one cut formula serves all. Thanks for sharing those awesome photos with us Joy… Bob is a class act too (in a good way ;)) Happy Weekend!

  34. i look forward to your personal photos every Friday so please do keep sharing! 🙂
    Such a lovely family! congrats again on your lovely girl!

  35. I totally wasn’t prepared for the no-sleep thing when I have my baby 2 months ago! And I had never held a newborn before or changed a diaper. Now, 2 months in, I totally feel like a pro! You are so right, the motherly instincts does kick in!
    xo, Anna of (Green Gable)

  36. Yes- it is such a life changer! All those cliches start to make sense. I tell people who haven’t had a child yet to imagine part of your heart being taken out of you and placed in a tiny little person. They are always part of you and you miss them, even when they are napping (even though you are thankful for the break- shower? snack? laundry?)….

  37. That photo really is the sweetest! I love baby feet. You look so happy, you’re still glowing 😉
    It’s cliché to say this I know…but, what I’ve learned in almost 10 yrs of parenting [eek!] is that it really is fleeting. I know every Mother says this – and you don’t always realize it in the midst of sleepless nights when the hours tic by like a snail – but all of a sudden you turn around and have no idea where the years went.
    I remember wanting my boys to start sleeping in their own beds so badly. For 5-6 yrs we had at least one, but sometimes 2 sleeping between us every night. One day they started sleeping on their own. I can’t tell you how much I miss the morning snuggles…the night time nursing when they were babies…their smiles the first thing I saw in the morning. Each “phase” has it’s joys – but, I’ve learned to relish and enjoy every milestone, every moment.
    [I still make them come snuggle with me some mornings] 🙂

  38. i learned (the hard way!)that the recommendation to “sleep when they sleep” really, really matters. i kept trying to maintain my usual high-octane output, and nearly crashed and burned. it stabilizes soon enough, but taking little cat naps while they doze and ignoring the mountain of laundry or the dirty kitchen floor for a bit helps you keep your sanity intact.
    i’m so happy for you, joy. motherhood is amazing! it really is astounding the unending reservoir of love you discover for this tiny person!!!

  39. I learned to give myself a break! (18 mo later, I’m still learning that.) You don’t have to do/be everything. There’s no such thing as a supermom. I’m such a planner and read everything I could about the first few months, but once I brought him home, all books went out the window. We’re still winging and so far, we’re all alive. 😉
    Oh, and I’ve learned not to compare myself to other moms and my kid to other babies. Hard to do when “he should be sleeping through the night by now” (or whatever was happening at the time).
    Congrats again!!

  40. Congratulations Joy! Ruby is beautiful, and it sounds like you are doing awesome as a new mom! 🙂
    I never knew I could love someone so much either before my own daughter (who is now 7 months) came into my life… Everyone told me about it, and I knew in my head that I would love her, but it was another thing entirely to experience it. It hits you with such force that it knocks the wind out of you! And I feel like it only grows more and more every day. 🙂 And she’ll only get cuter with each passing day as she becomes more expressive and start being able to recognize you as her mama! I still can’t get over how just as my baby means so much to my husband and I, we are her world as well (at least for now!) and she loves and needs us more than anything else. Enjoy this time with Ruby, because it’ll start going by really fast, especially after the first three months!
    Also, remember to take some time for yourself, as well as time to go on a date night with your husband from time to time. The time you have with Ruby is precious, but you should also make sure to treasure and appreciate your time as a couple too once in a while! 🙂
    Congratulations again — all the best! Can’t wait to read more about darling Ruby!

  41. Congrats Joy! I will definitely be looking forward to Friday posts with you and beautiful Ruby. I have a two month old daughter and one friend told me that every baby has their own rhythm, you just need to listen closely to find hers. Once you do, everything from sleeping to eating seems to fall into place.

  42. My little one number two arrived a month ago today, so we are much in the same boat here. The things I have learned…
    -Parenthood seems pretty wonderful at the outset, but it actually gets better and better. 🙂
    -The world at 3 am belongs to new mothers, garbage men and newspaper delivery boys. But mostly new mothers. And it’s kind of beautiful.

  43. haven’t read all the comments above (so sorry if this is redundant) but congrats!! had my twin nuggets 7 months ago and call me a sentimental fool who speaks in cliches, but really savor each moment- even the 2 am miserably sleepy painful ones, as you’ll look back fondly on them when you realize that they’re turning into a little girl/boy before you know it… 🙂
    oh, and sleep train once everyone’s ready! it’ll make yours and her life sooo much more pleasant, and motherhood so much more enjoyable.

  44. Congrats on your sweet Ruby! You pretty much hit the nail on the head with the things you posted! I had a little girl (Lucy) 4 months ago. And I love every moment I have with her, especially since I’ve gone back to work. Look forward to you posting more baby things!

  45. baby feet make the best facials. breastfeeding is the world’s best beauty secret. baby’s breath should be bottled and patented, there’s nothing like it.

  46. I learned to take HELP anyway you can! Put people to work! When someone asked me if they could help somehow I shooed them away because I didn’t feel comfortable asking for help. I felt like it would be better to maintain that “I got this” mentality. As your child gets older, things get more challenging (they don’t sleep ALL day), so it’s always great to speak up when you need something.
    Those toes are so edible!

  47. So happy for you! The first baby is so special. Thanks for sharing what you’re learning from being a mom 🙂 One of the things I was suprised by in the first few weeks was how much having a baby together made me love my husband in a whole new way. Watching him be a dad to our baby just really opened up my heart…

  48. Trust your gut and your instincts!! You know best, you are the mama. That was the most empowering thing I learned as a new mama.

  49. The most important thing I have learned as a mother is to ask for help when I need it and take help when it’s offered. Oh, and skip the guilt – its useless.

  50. Sleep when the baby sleeps and if she is happy leave her alone! She will want a change soon enough…My husband and I always would move a happy baby and it would instantly make her cry-leave well enough alone and trust me, a little crank will come soon enough:) Good luck. Oh and ask for help!
    And if baby is crying for no reason it might be something you are eating if she is breast feeding- keep a food journal and you might find out what she is not liking and if you eat a lot of fennel seeds it will help her tummy and your milk.
    Congratulations!

  51. I couldn’t agree with you more on this Joy! Beautifully said!
    I think my first week, the main thing I took away was something that no one could have possibly explained in words. …How you literally give yourself up physically, mentally, and emotionally and receive immense happiness in exchange. Love at first sight does exist!
    🙂 Anna

  52. I’m sure I won’t be the first to say any of this but I’ve learned that babies are constantly changing. As soon as you get used to something they will change it and then it will be something else. Basically don’t stress on the difficult phases cause it will pass, it all does. Also trust yourself with everything! You will always know what is best for your baby no matter what anyone says. (I have a 13 month old) Congrats to you and your family. Enjoy every second of it!

  53. Congratulations on the arrival of your baby girl!
    I think this sums it up for me: “The days are long, but the years are short.”
    I try to indulge in my children almost like the are chocolates – I savor the time and laughs and all of it. It’s impossible to do this everyday between work and dentist appointments and life in general but our special family days and messy kisses make all of the other days feel worth it.

  54. Joy! Congrats! Happy to hear that you are doing well and feeling love that you have never felt before. My little man is now 9 months and I have to agree with you. The love is a love you never could have imagined. I had no idea that I had so much love inside. And I can tell you that now… 9 months later it only grows stronger.
    The one thing that everyone told me in the beginning was that it goes fast. And to really cherish this first time cause there is nothing like it. I totally thought that was crazy. But now, my little guy crawls all over the place and fast. He almost walks (give it a few weeks), he understands things, he can say hi and mama. All these steps are amazing and bring joy but it goes so fast. So really cherish the time you have now.
    computer time is over. he just woke up. xx – Joanna

  55. Love me some baby feet! Cute photo! I’ve learned to trust my instincts, never say never, and that your love will only grow stronger with each month that passes by! Also note that there isn’t really much you can do wrong, she knows no other way than your way!

  56. Congratulations and your three things learned are most beautifully and perfectly said!
    My advice: enjoy yourselves and keep relaxed by giving yourselves plenty of advance time if you need to get anywhere on schedule. It’s not cool to arrive somewhere late, but it’s also not cool to arrive completely frazzled and on time. Just give yourselves a bit more time to leisurely get out the door. If you get real winter weather, you’ll especially know what this means! 🙂
    Oh, and don’t carry around huge amounts of things, unless you are used to doing that for yourself. I could never lug around a massive diaper bag with a zillion things in it that I never really used/needed. Keep it simple, but always have 3 more diapers than you figure you’ll need! And 1 or 2 spare sets of clothes (they’re small thankfully). And a plastic bag!
    What I love about momhood: one minute the baby is in the womb and the next you are a family and can’t really imagine life before that moment. Amazing. I’ve done that 6 times and each time was the same: our family.
    All the best to you!

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