We read all the books, accept all the advice, and prepare as best we can. The baby comes, and somehow, there are always so many things lingering that we all really wish we knew. We all have a story about the truths of our first months as a mother. If nothing else, at least it’s an honest story.
Today I’m sharing my list of 10 things I wish I knew before becoming a mom.
It’s a bumpy road out there, but it’s certainly a fun one too, and it’s definitely one worth traveling. Motherhood is bliss, mostly.
1. The first month is so hard.
What it was about that first month? I swear, there is no amount of reading that could’ve possibly prepared me for the challenging first month of my son’s life. I was a hot mess to say the least. And interestingly enough, when I asked other mothers about their experiences with bringing home their first baby, I feel like this really resonated across the board. Simply put, it is a lot of change, and the transition is hard. It really does get better every day.
2. You will be really hungry.
Maybe it was just me, but I felt like I was literally starving all the time. At least for the first month or two. Labor and delivery takes a lot out of you and so does motherhood, especially if you breastfeed. Planning ahead to have lots of nourishing food available in the house (and maybe a few treats too) really helps. Accept food from those who offer. They are trying to help, and food is an easy way to help a new mom.
Know that you may snack at night for a short while. I am not a night eater; however, one of the things that inhibited me from falling back to sleep easy after a night feeding was hunger. Having something readily available to snack on during the night helped curb my hunger quickly so I could get back to bed.
3. You will be so tired even after your baby sleeps well.
It took me about 6 months before I felt like my energy was back to my pre-pregnancy baseline. Again, maybe it was just me, but even after my son slept through the night, I was still dog tired despite getting enough sleep. Obviously, I was much more tired in the very beginning months versus at five months, but my energy wasn’t optimal. Is it possible that the breastfeeding was wearing me down? While I can’t say for sure, I do feel like it was a legitimate contributor to fatigue.
4. It’s okay if everything is a mess for a while.
I’m really type A. Unfortunately, it really is my demise sometimes because I struggle when things aren’t in order. I wish I was more go with the flow. When you have a baby, it’s an incredibly unpredictable phase of life. I wish I could’ve been more at peace with the chaos, the disorganization, the mess and just accepted it for a little while at least. Everything does fall into place in due time, and your home will go back to its new normal in no time at all.
5. Every baby is unique.
Sometimes you expect your baby to be a certain way, and it turns out to be completely different. True story. Many times I was told that newborns are so easy because they sleep all the time. This was not the case for my son. Not even close.
He didn’t sleep all the time, and it was a very challenging first month for our family. It’s completely normal if your baby isn’t by the book. Every baby is unique and totally unpredictable. On the other hand, your motherly instinct will kick-in and lead to some very creative problem solving. No matter how much your baby surprises you, you will undoubtedly come up with some very crafty solutions.
6. You will grow mommy ears.
The stuff I can hear now is incredible. I can be in the furthest part of the house from my sleeping baby and hear him at the first cry. I can be soundly sleeping and instantly wake at the slightest unusual noise. Funny enough, my husband sleeps through it all still. Sigh.
7. There is no right answer.
Parenting is hard. You can read the books, learn the information, and ultimately do what is best for your baby, yourself, and your family. There is no right or wrong. The only important thing is to be thoughtful and intentional in parenting and mothering your children.
8. You will experience frustration.
Trying to teach a little person how to be a little person is very frustrating at times. Kids are always testing boundaries as a way of figuring out the world. It can be just. plain. tiring. But through frustration, we all learn and grow and become better parents along the way. You will impress yourself with how much you will grown.
9. You will experience joy deeper than you’ve ever known.
I’ve always heard, you will love no one like you love your children. It is true. I think it’s natural and instinctive. We all have the utmost desire to protect and nurture our children. We grow a baby with our body. We birth a baby through our body. And we nourish a baby with our body. As mothers (and fathers too), we have so much invested. It seems only natural that our love grows to unimaginable depths for our children.
10. You will learn to enjoy the simplest things in life.
Making a few silly sounds and hearing your baby laugh will become your ideal Saturday night. The happiness that ensues when you see your child happy, when you see them learn and grow, when you see them act jovial—all of these things are so simple, yet incredibly rewarding. Your desire to paint the town may appear every now and then, but for the most part, you may find contentment in simple, everyday moments.
What do you wish you knew before starting the journey motherhood? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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