Teri Parkhurst is a marketing and communications professional who is currently on maternity leave with her first child, a beautiful baby boy.
We’re slightly over two-thirds of the way through the first year of our son’s life, and I feel like some of the pieces are starting to come together. He’s sleeping through the night now, and napping two solid naps a day. (Can we please just take a moment and bask in the magnitude of that development???) We know what he wants when he gets upset, and we know what never fails to make him smile or laugh.
One other thing that has become increasingly clear is something a friend said to me before my son was born: everything is a phase.
It’s a small phrase with big meaning. Good or bad, everything is a phase. The food he pushed away last week is the same one he gobbles up now. He used to wake up three times a night to eat, and now he sleeps for nearly 12 hours at a time without a snack. Going back even further, he struggled to feed at the beginning, and now it’s so routine we don’t even have to think about it. Some of the things I found the most challenging as a new mom have already evolved and gotten easier—and thank goodness, because that level of sleep deprivation really can’t last forever.
At the same time, the good phases also have their endings. He used to love to nap on my chest and now it’s hard to get him to sit with me long enough for a good snuggle. He used to sit nicely and let us feed him, and now he wants to hold the spoon and occasionally throw its contents on the floor.
What I’ve chosen to take from these words—everything is a phase—is another piece of advice you hear all the time, but is a cliché for a reason: enjoy every moment—or at least take it in. It’s definitely easier said than done when you’re feeding your newborn every three hours (a window that feels much shorter when it takes you an hour to feed each time), or when your little one decides they only want to nap for 25 minutes at a stretch—believe me, I’ve been there. But then the days pass and they grow and change, and, all of a sudden, you have an eight-month-old who has discovered the joy of feeding himself Cheerios and who sleeps through the night. (Seriously, he sleeps through the night now. Can you tell I’m excited about it?)
So use the magic words—everything is a phase—however you need to. Struggling with something? It’s only temporary. Loving the new milestone your kiddo has mastered? Soak it all in. Too soon, even though it doesn’t always feel like it when you’re in the middle of it, this too will pass.