My First Year as a Mom: a letter to Quinn

what you learn your first year as a mom

A note from Haven Life: We reached out to Tina Haupert, blogger of Carrots ‘n’ Cake, to share a post about her first year of motherhood – what she learned and what she loved most about it. Many people become even more financially aware when they embark on life milestones that change their mind frame from “me” to “we.” This can be getting married, having a baby or even taking care of an elderly parent. The theme is, it’s the moment you have someone in your life who you always want to take care of, even when you can’t be around. This is something parents everywhere can relate to.

The journey of motherhood is different for everyone, and Tina felt that the best way to convey this is through a note to Quinn about her first year as his mom.


Dear Quinn, my little love,

I can’t believe it’s been a year already. Everyone says how quickly the first year flies by and, boy, are they right. And, Quinn, I think we made it through with flying colors.

When you came into this world at 3:41 AM on Monday, June 9th, I was so excited to meet you. Nine months is a long time, so when my water broke on Sunday morning, I was giddy with excitement. Of course, I wasn’t looking forward to the pain that labor and delivery brings, but I was finally going to meet you.

Meeting you for the first time was incredible. I loved you immediately. And the love was so much stronger than I ever expected it to be. Truthfully, I never thought I could love someone as much as I love your Dad or even your pug brother, Murphy, but the love I felt for you blew that out of the water. It was so intense at times, it felt like my heart was going to explode. It was the deepest, most powerful love I have ever felt, and it only gets stronger and stronger everyday.

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But, I won’t lie. The first three months were so challenging at times. The days were long, exhausting, overwhelming, and sometimes I didn’t think I could make it another day. Thank goodness Dad was home for the summer to help us through those first few months. Even though neither of us knew what we were doing, and we must have called your pediatrician’s office about a hundred times with questions. We laugh now that we asked if you could sleep in your swing for more than a couple of hours. We did the best we could and made it through those crazy first months in one piece.

Breastfeeding started out well, and you were a great eater right from the start—and you still are today! But when mom got sick, the drugs she took made you really agitated. You would cry and cry and cry, and we tried everything to make you feel better, but nothing worked. It was awful. (I cried a lot during this time too.) The doctors insisted the drugs weren’t making you upset, but, as your mom, I knew better. Eventually, we decided to give you formula, and it was such a good decision. Once we made that change, you were a different, happier baby almost immediately.

The next three months were kind of tough too, but it didn’t have anything to do with you. You were such a wonderful baby; I just couldn’t balance everything in my new life. I was so overwhelmed and felt like I was failing in all aspects of my life. The combination of caring for you, working from home, household chores, and finding time to sleep was just too much for me. Eventually, something needed to change, so I worked with Dad to come up with a solution to make things better for all of us. You started going to daycare two days a week, so I could work uninterrupted from home. You loved daycare and I was less stressed, so everything worked out. Thank you for being such a flexible and adaptable kid.

I want to tell you one more thing about those early days because I still feel badly about them. I guess it’s almost like a confession: Between the never-ending feedings and non-exist sleep, I didn’t savor your newborn moments as much as I wish I did. Honestly, I was so exhausted, I just wanted time to speed by. I am sad that so many of my memories from your early days are such a blur. But, now that you’re older, I make it a point every day to remember as much as I can about life with you as a baby.

When you turned 6 months old, everything changed for the better. You were a little older and your dad and I were a little wiser, so our days together started to become a wonderful adventure. I took my first overnight trip away from you, you were baptized, you started sitting up all by yourself, and you laughed a whole lot. (Oh, how I love your laugh. It is music to my ears.) Things started to get much easier and our family really started to get into a groove.

At 10 months, I wanted to freeze time. What a fun age! Even though, I say this at every stage of your life now, 10 months was another turning point for me. We really started to see your personality develop. You were (and still are) Mr. Serious when you meet new people or experience new places, but as soon as you’re comfortable, you turn into your silly, smart, and inquisitive self. (Dad thinks you’re a lot like me in this way.) At 10 months, you were also crawling like a maniac, pulling yourself up on everything, and “talking” our ears off. (I think you’re a lot like Dad in this way since he never stops talking.) And, now that your first birthday is just around the corner, you’re determined to walk on your own and you have at least a half dozen words in your vocabulary. You’re growing up so fast, and it’s such an exciting time for all of us.

And just one more thing to tell you, even though it will probably sound a little cheesy: Sometimes when I’m rocking you or watching you sleep, I feel the urge to cry because you mean so much to me. You have brought so much happiness and love into our lives this past year, and there isn’t a single day that I haven’t appreciated how lucky we are to have you as our son.

Happy 1st birthday, Quinn. You’re the love of my life, and I’m so proud to be your mom. Dad, Murphy, and I love you so much.


Tina Haupert is the blogger behind Carrots ‘N’ Cake, a lifestyle and health blog.

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