Month 1: Meal trains are everything, and Earth Angel New Mama Bottom Spray comes straight from the heavens (via Amazon Prime). Also, Amazon Prime is worth every penny, since getting out of the house with a newborn is a two-hour performance that results in six hours of subsequent exhaustion.
Month 2: The fourth trimester is the most ironic time of your life, being both brutal and magical at the same time. You’ve never loved someone so deeply while also disliking them and their neediness at the same time. You have a whole new appreciation for life’s simple luxuries – like taking a shower and eating dinner uninterrupted.
Month 3: Most everything you’ve prepared for and imagined about parenthood no longer applies. But this isn’t totally awful, because you discover you really do have that “mama bear instinct” – and it’s more spot on than any book you will have read by now. That said, you will still Google everything, because science and motherhood is a much better combination than the dozens of – sometimes dangerous – old wives tales people will throw at you.
Month 4: There are these evil things called sleep regressions that make you doubt everything. You are not failing – unless you have run out of wine. Don’t run out of wine.
Month 5: You realize having a baby is finally, actually fun. Also, there is a thing called “cute aggression,” in which we can’t stop squeezing baby fat rolls and claiming that we want to eat them. It’s weird, yes, but also normal.
Month 6: Just when you find a routine, it will change. Parenthood is equal parts flexibility and consistency. The trick is to be consistently flexible.
Month 7: Most everything can and will be blamed on teething. You will have said the word teething thousands of times by now. Green poop? teething. Congestion? Teething. Rash? Teething. Cranky as hell? Teething.
Month 8: The Internet is both the best and worst tool for new moms, where everything is accessible and also controversial, including but not limited to how you feed, sleep, breathe and blink around your baby. This has made making mom friends a bit socially awkward, but, keep trying because building your tribe is the single-most important thing you will do for your sanity.
Month 9: Toys will start to overrule your home, and suddenly you are taking steps toward minimalism. At the same, you’ll be signing up for subscription delivery services that are not entirely necessary.
Month 10: You start to feel like a badass with how much random knowledge you’ve gained by now. You have a home remedy, DIY hack, promo code, and piece of advice for just about everything. People beyond your own kids start to call you “mom.” It’s a compliment. Take it.
Month 11: You can’t imagine life without your baby – or your cool-mist humidifier. Seriously, why did it take me having a kid to discover humidifiers? This should have been on our wedding registry, not our baby registry.
Month 12: You start to understand all the cliches even though they annoyed you in the moment. It really did go too fast like everyone warned you, and somehow you’re crazy enough to want to do it all over again. You also realize that, in officially being a toddler mom, you once again have absolutely no clue what you’re doing.