Lessons of my first year of parenting

Andrea Huls
5 min readJan 10, 2021

Both wonderful and exhausting

Father and son. Photo by: Andrea Huls

I knew parenting would be difficult. However, I had no idea how much until I became a mom in December 2019.

If you’re thinking about having kids, I’m here to share the good and the bad of parenting in the first year.

Postpartum is tough

After giving birth, all women go through postpartum. It is a challenging period.

I was glad everything went well and that my baby boy was healthy. But it took a while before I felt like myself again.

Sleep deprivation is your new normal

You will be sleep deprived. There’s no way around it. Unless you have one of those rare babies that hardly cries and sleeps through the night, sleep deprivation is to be expected.

The good news is that as babies get older, their sleep needs change. Instead of sleeping in short segments throughout the day, they’ll sleep more at night, and so will you.

If you’re the type of person who loves to sleep in, though, you can kiss those long lazy mornings goodbye.

Body aches everywhere

My back and neck are killing me as I write this.

You will spend a lot of time changing diapers, feeding, holding the baby, bending down to pick up things off the floor, etc. Your body will notice.

Your body is going to hurt. It’s just the way it is. If you can make time to stretch every morning, do so. Even if for five minutes, it will make a difference.

On the bright side, you can ask your partner for a massage. Also, my arms have never been this toned.

Messy house and messy bun

I’ve lost count of how often I clean my house during the day or pick up things from the floor. Both my husband and I love our home to be clean and organized. We’ve accepted that we can’t keep our house spotless.

During the first few months, I walked around covered in milk spit, a messy bun, and raccoon eyes.

Now, I’m frequently covered in whatever he eats: tomato soup, avocado, oatmeal, you name it.

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Andrea Huls

Writer, documentary filmmaker, photographer, feminist, mother, and much more.