For the first 3 months of my daughter's life, I was in survival mode. When she'd finally go down for the night, I'd high-five my husband for making it through another day with her alive and relatively happy. As the months went on and we started to thrive (instead of barely survive) I realized we could start putting a little more thought into how we wanted to parent, making plans and building parenting habits that make me an amazing mom (or at least a good mom, so I'll take it).
I remember the day it occurred to me that we could actually make plans with our daughter. Ha! Isn't that a hilarious realization. I remember what it felt like to come out of survival mode and realize we could put structure to our day and that I could make decisions about what kind of a mom I wanted to be. For those first few months, I wasn't running the show. I think that's fairly normal (especially with a newborn) to feel like their needs and demands are dictating most of what you do (and how much time you spend Googling the latest weird thing they just did). However, when the power begins to shift and you start to realize you have the opportunity to call the shots, that's when it starts to become really fun.
Before I get cracking on these nine awesome parenting habits, I'll offer one little caveat. If you do none of these habits, you're still an amazing mom. Simply by virtue of being a mom, you are inherently amazing and I hope you know that in your soul. If you're hoping to become a better mom, which I think we all are when we can get past our sleep deprivation and have some coherent thoughts, know there's a light at the end of the tunnel when you can start choosing these habits that will make you an even more amazing mother than you one you already are (sleep depravation and all).