Navigating Parenthood: Lessons Learned in Year One

 The first year of parenthood has been a time of intense growth for both the baby and the parents.

As new parents, it’s been a time of excitement, wonder, and, at times, exhaustion.

But with all the ups and downs, there’s nothing quite like the joy of celebrating your baby’s first year of life.

My husband and I celebrated our first born ‘s first birthday on 28th March 2023. And as we reflected on our experience, we realized how much we had learned and grown over the past year.
In this article, we’ll share our personal reflections on the past year. From the sleepless to the first steps.
We’ll take you through our experience of the first year of parenthood and what we’ve learned along the way.
As we look back on this transformative year, whether you’re a new parent, about to become one, Or looking to reflect on your own parenting journey, our insights will give you a snap shot.
Both to assist you navigate this beautiful, messy, and awe-inspiring journey called parenthood.

How did we celebrate our son’s first birthday?

As the end of the 11-month period approached! we began to consider how we could make a true memorable experience.


Along with our son’s birthday, we planned to celebrate our first year as parents. Our transformation, and our growth from two to three.
We of course dreamt big like any new parents but finances limited us. We then finalized on having a meal with a few of our friends.
Our dream was to have all our friends together, but that couldn’t happen. We limited ourselves to anyone who came to see the baby on his first day in the hospital.
Our desire was to give them opportunity to see him after a year. We also decided to have some of our son’s age groups present.
From the left Baby Fernando, baby Escrivah, baby Jareth and baby Micheal. All are Escrivah’s friends.
We chose to organize the celebrations two days before the actual day because the 28th fell on a weekend day. So, We traveled to Entebbe Botanical Gardens in Uganda.
Botanical gardens Entebbe.
We left that morning with three of our couple friends, who assisted us in decorating and shopping a few snacks for the day. And, We chose to carry our  already prepared food and drinks to cut on our costs.
We wound up having a photo shoot,  an evening meal, cake, and then drove back to Kampala around 9:00 p.m.

How would I describe my first year of motherhood?

The first year of motherhood has been so unique and transformative experience for me. Filled with ups and downs, challenges and rewards, and most, an immense love for my child.
First, I had such an easy pregnancy. But, my labor and delivery experience was so dreadful.
I hope to  share my  encounter later on. When I have fully recovered from it. Yes, a year later, I am still going through psychological healing.
I recall breaking down on occasion during the first two postpartum months. I was completely emotional and overwhelmed.
In fact I travelled from the hospital crying. Our couple friends were with us, my husband was there but it was still too much for me.
What made my experience so traumatic was witnessing mothers lose their babies. The hospital scene was so traumatic for me.
Then there’s the case of a dying mother who gave birth to her child only to die. I couldn’t let these memories off my mind.
Despite the fact that my baby was born whole, happy and exciting, the cries and screams in the hospital was also overwhelming for me. 
The only time I had with my baby Escrivah was during breastfeeding. Thank God, my husband got his annual leave when we were almost due.
Looking back to this, I have learnt that tough times pass. Joy comes in the morning.
Besides that, motherhood has been a time of great joy and wonder as I watched my newborn grow and develop.
Experiencing all the firsts such as the first smile, first word, and first steps. It has been a time of deep bonding and connection with my child.
He loves to laugh out loud like myself and he loves people. Like literally anyone will carry my baby and he will be smiling unless he senses insecurity around you. 
I have experienced sleepless nights especially the first months. Our baby didn’t cry so much but the constant feeding, and diaper changes.

How would my husband describe his first year of Fatherhood?

Mr. Ahabwe Raymond aka our Pa

Fatherhood is responsibility to begin with.

You realize that you not only have to look after the child but also the mother.

But Fatherhood to me is a lot more than just responsibility. It’s self giving love for your loved ones.

I can say it’s placing other people’s needs before your own; priotising others before yourself.

It may seem like sacrificing yourself for others but when you do it with love, it will not look like a sacrifice. It will instead be a service. Genuine service.

Sometimes it calls for a lot more than just service. Something like nurturing, being a role model to someone.

Everyone needs their children to be the best in the world but it all begins at home.

What a father does will showcase what it is like to be of a grown up person.

So, Fatherhood is challenging because you need to be a role model for your children and set the pace for them.

But to me it has been more on knowing what my baby and my wife need on their behalf.

A child will not know what it needs at it grows but you need to make the right choices for it not to lose track.

What motherhood has taught me?

Motherhood has taught me to be stronger in the face of adversity.

I have learned to fully surrender to God always and always. Not to oppose life but to yield to it. To be present in every moment and create my past now.

Besides this, as a beginning mum I had questions on how do I celebrate after my baby is born? I had made plans but along the way I have leant to embrace each day the way it comes.

Also, I have found myself wondering, How does mother make a child life happy? I must say I have had to rely on God for immense revelation. Spending time to observe my baby keenly. I know he loves eggs, meat and loud toys.

For people, his father is everything. He in fact loves sitting in the driver’s seat together with his dad as we travel.

How motherhood has changed my life?

Motherhood is collaboration to me. Collaborating with almost everyone in the child’s life. Our friends, our own families, neighbors and doctors.


But so outstanding has been learning to collaborate with my husband. I have had to learn that part of his attention is now off me. He loves being with his child and taking care of him.

At first this didn’t sit well with me. I of course complained! but I have finally learnt how to fix myself in their playful moments. We now find ourselves enjoying moments as three of us.

Understanding that the baby’s first year of life is very important, I have had to do so much research. Both on how I can help him go through his development phase.

Yet, this research has transferred to my other life.

I have joined parent communities online and  made use of mothers and parents in my own circles.

What Fatherhood has taught my husband?

According to creation, every one was given responsibility to execute. To be a father is to know that it is a God given responsibility to answer. Answering God’ call to me is the most important of all because I’ll be held accountable one day.

And more so, Fatherhood is also to know that you’re in full control of a souls upbringing and you determine what becomes of that soul because you’ve been given authority from above. How you use that authority is up to you. But you better use it the right way.

Having authority doesn’t make you superior, it makes you vulnerable instead. You need the Grace of God to be able to use that authority rightfully.

Fatherhood means being friendly, not to be feared but rather loved. Many a times, we used to fear our father’s but that should be the least of them.

Actually Fatherhood should mean that everyone runs to you not from you. In so doing, you be a father not only to your biological children but also to the children of the community. Isn’t that an amazing thing?

How has Fatherhood changed my husband’s life?

Fatherhood has changed my love in so may ways.

To start with, in decision making. I had to begin to make decisions not to suit my situation. But rather to get a sustainable solution to a challenge. For example, the decision will be aimed at getting a sustainable solution not only for me but will cut across all beneficiaries without choosing sides. All parties are served equally.

Loving kindness. This will come naturally without any act. Unless one does not appreciate the power of procreation, then they will have difficult with loving kindness. Even animals that are lower in ranking have that loving kindness for their offspring.

Fatherhood is a much higher calling than any profession. And does not have a qualification attached. Like one can say that they have a first class degree in fatherhood. That means you simply embrace it with naivety and pray to God to see you through. I have had to do this.

As if that is not enough, at one point other people will Judge you on how good or bad a father you are.  Like who the hell has a fatherhood grading or what do they used to grade??
Fatherhood still remains mysterious in its own way.

That means you become a father , identify the roles of fatherhood according to creation, not according to society or peer pressure. Then decide on how you want to run your fatherhood race. I have learnt all this on job.

In summary, the first year of parenthood can be an overwhelming and challenging experience, but it is also filled with joy, growth, and love. The journey of raising a child is unique for every parent and family, and it involves a steep learning curve with many unexpected twists and turns.

We pray that in your parenthood journey, you will be open to learning from your own experience. And that you will let God lead you all through.



  1. Angella Namuyanja says

    Oh sweet parenthood, very beautiful and educative story, cheers to you Escriva’s lovely parents. He is definitely lucky to be born un to parents who are excited to love and raise him.

    1. Lakel Maria Agaba says

      Thanks so much Angel

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