Maura Benson

It is hard to believe that my baby boy is about to turn one. I am sure I haven’t learned anything that every other mother doesn’t already know, but I sure have learned a lot for myself! Several things differ from my expectations – both about him and me. As I take a break from planning his big party, I have decided to write some of these thoughts down during his first year:

First Year Thoughts

1. Having my son was very surreal. I will admit, it took a week or two for me to realize this new baby was mine. I loved and wanted to protect him immediately. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the concept that he belonged to me. I still have a hard time mentally connecting him and the baby from my belly.

2. I am totally fine with him being entertained by an IPad, Kindle or similar electronic device – especially on a plane! I didn’t strongly protest these before I had him, but I thought I would at least make it until his first birthday before downloading a baby animal app! Turns out only about seven months went by before I began searching for ways to electronically keep his interest.

3. The rate of change is unbelievable. I am constantly in awe of how different he is every day.

4. I am not terribly nostalgic, and I’m always looking forward to his next big move. I don’t long for moments that have already passed, but I am grateful for each and every one and enjoyed them thoroughly (when I wasn’t too sleep-deprived, of course). All the while, I am excited to watch him reach every developmental stage. Every month I find myself saying “this is my favorite age so far.” Check back in when he’s 2, however, and I may feel differently.

5. I should have written things down along the way. I didn’t keep up with his baby book or track the small moments. He got his first year tooth around five months (I think …) but that’s about all I recall. Fortunately, I have daily photos that could help me piece the puzzle together, when I find the time, of course.

6. I am content with him as my only child. I am a girl who has obsessed over babies my entire life and figured the day he was born I would be ready for five more. That is not the case; my life feels incredibly full and satisfied because of him. We do plan to have more children for various reasons, but I am at peace with having just him (for now at least!).

7. He looks a lot like me. Based on the features my husband and I both have, I would have guessed he would be the spitting image of his father. But he actually looks more like me; he has my fair skin, light eyes and the blonde hair I also had as a child. Thankfully, he did get daddy’s cute dimpled chin. Who knew?

8. I was never really interested in the idea of hosting big parties to celebrate his birthdays, but currently I am finalizing the menu for 45 of our closest family and friends to help him blow out his first birthday candle. My husband and I are always up for a fun celebration, and as it turns out, I am fine with letting him be the focus of this one. And honestly I couldn’t be more excited about it!

9. Raising baby Gary has been much easier than I anticipated. That isn’t to suggest it has been easy, but just not the kind of challenge I thought it would be.

10. I never knew I would love him as much as I do. It sounds absolutely cliché, but I really wasn’t expecting the range of intense emotions I would feel, and it continues to grow exponentially. I also think I cry at a lot more during sappy shows and commercials since that little man entered my life! Even when he is being funny I laugh until I almost cry. I just can’t get enough of him; one morning smile sustains me for the entire day.

The first year has cruised by and I look forward to many more. Parenthood is a fantastic journey and I am so thrilled to be along for the ride. Stay tuned for pictures of a very cute 12-month-old and his cake-covered face!

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Category: Babies

Tags: becoming a mom