The other day I heard a first-time mom talking about planning her baby’s first birthday party and all the favors she was hand-making, and I was taken right back to my first-born’s first birthday and the alien stuffies I sewed up myself to give the other babies coming to the party.
I could feel the mom-of-4 in me laugh at mom-of-one me, and then I told her to STFU because you know what? I love that I did that even though I’d probably never have the time or desire to do it again.
So, in that spirit, I thought I’d share 5 things I’m glad I did with my first baby- no shame- even though I wouldn’t go on to do that again for baby #4 (and sometimes #2 & #3).
- I love that I cloth diapered him 100%. I was FULLY committed. He was in cloth diapers nearly his whole diapered life, including nights, potty training, and even when we traveled. I would never be able to commit that fully to cloth diapering the other 3, but damn we saved some crazy money on baby #1 by doing that! And we needed it. Our budget was suuuuuper tight when he was a baby.
- I love that I made all of his baby food. It’s important to note here that back then I didn’t have a job. I had this blog, but it was not a business back then and I had a lot more free time. Making his baby food was fun for me. It’s not something I prioritized as my time became more scarce with the other 3, but I’m glad I got to do it when it was fun and I had time for it.
- I love that I took him to Gymboree classes and playgroups weekly. These activities were less about him and more about me, to be totally honest. They gave me a reason to get dressed and get out of the house regularly, and they introduced me to some incredible women I am still friends with to this day. Regular commitments like this became harder to stick to with each baby after him, but I had a solid base of local mom friends by then, and I knew all the words to the Gymboree bubble song.
- I love that I planned him some really incredible birthday parties. We’ve moved away from doing elaborate, themed parties every year, but it was a fun creative outlet for me. I didn’t plan them because I felt like I had to impress anyone. I did it because I enjoyed it. And I’m actually looking forward to doing more for my littles when we get off the road and settled into a community (sans hand-sewn favors). My oldest, though, is pretty much past this stage, and I’m glad I relished it while I could.
- I love that our world revolved around him for a couple years. That one-baby life was pretty special, and while I do lament that I wish I had ignored him more, I don’t regret the hours and days he was our only entertainment. I don’t regret the nights we kept him up a little late or the mornings we let him sleep in bed with us. We were much stricter about routines with him than with the other 3, and I think that mostly had to do with us needing to feel in control of this wild and new thing called parenthood. I’m most fond of the memories of when we let those routines fall away for a bit.
BE EXTRA if you want, first-time parents! There is no shame in cherishing this new role and going all out IF YOU WANT TO.
Tell me what brought you joy when you had only one baby that you refuse to feel shame about.