Mommy Survival 101: How to Survive the First Year Without a Trip to the Asylum! ;)

RJ will be one in 2 months and I can't believe I don't have a baby anymore. He's becoming so much more independent. He no longer needs mommy all the time and I miss it! I'm dreading when he really IS a big boy and he no longer wants to cuddle or needs me for food and all the little things he needs now. And JUST when I had the infancy thing down, he goes all toddler on me. *eye roll*

The first year of mommyhood has been NO JOKE. I've laughed, I've been close to tears, I've prayed, and I've plotted murder LOL (kidding =D). But I'm definitely giving myself a pat on the back because I survived it! I know I have 2 months left but I'm claiming the victory already! Year one down.... 50 or so more to go! LOL.

All that aside, I went into this thing with PLANS. I just KNEW what I was and wasn't going to do or say or be. And I've learned and grown the whole time so I'm sharing with you the secrets to survival. Here goes.....

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Perfect the "Smile and Nod." This is for the sake of your sanity when it comes to dealing with the extras. If you didn't already know, it's a scientifically proven fact that once you announce your pregnancy, they pass out PhDs to all your closest family and friends. EVERYONE knows the "right way" to do some thing or another and if you don't master brushing it off and smiling politely, your brain will melt into a puddle of unwanted advice. 

Go with the flow! When I was pregnant I just knew what I was or wasn't going to do. For example I swore up and down that my baby was not going to eat any jarred baby food when he started solids. I think I've pureed ONE vegetable and Gerber has been our BFF. Plans change, things don't always work out how you initially plan them to and that's OK. You wanted to breastfeed but you change your mind to formula? You bought 50 boxes of disposable diapers but cloth diapering is working better? It's all OK. Healthy and happy baby is really all that matters in the end. 

Your mommy instincts WILL kick in. This was one of my biggest fears when I was pregnant. I was like who the heck in their right mind is giving me a baby? I don't know JACK about being a mom! What if I suck? What if I royally mess this up? But parenting is SO instinctive. You'd be surprised what actually comes naturally. And what doesn't come naturally you learn! And you learn that mess faster than you've ever learned anything because everyone's sanity depends on it. 

Don't rush the next stage. Every single milestone is so exciting that as a parent you can't help but say "I can't wait until you do ..." or "It's going to be so fun when we can..." and you get so caught up in waiting to see what stage is coming next that you don't appreciate the present. I couldn't WAIT for RJ to crawl and now that he's starting to climb everything I'm like dang.... I miss when you weren't so mobile LOL.

Take the help! Coming from a super stubborn/independent chick, you're going to need the help. Take that pride, tuck it in your pocket and save it for the time you want to showcase something really really amazing. Because guess what, no one is going to applaud you for trying to do it all. As mommy you have now taken on the most under appreciated (but most rewarding) job in the world. So if you're offered help take it because that pat on the back you're going to be waiting for...... yea............. come back and let me know when you get it.  4

What are some tips you would give for the first year of mommy life? What helped you survive? I'd love to read your comments!