Becoming a mom is easily the hardest thing I have ever done. Don’t get me wrong, I love motherhood and I love being a mom but daaaaaannnnng. People who tell you it isn’t hard aren’t being honest. Admitting that motherhood is difficult is not negative, it is truthful and that isn’t a negative thing! You are, plain and simple, the sole lifeline of another human being. A human being that, in fact, can do absolutely N O T H I N G without you. If that’s not pressure, I don’t know what is.
Here are 10 things I learned as a new mom.
- No one ever tells you that you will miss them when they sleep.
It is a really mind boggling emotion, to be quite honest. In those first few days, weeks, all you want is for that baby to sleep because you are just SO. TIRED. But once the feeling of being “well-rested” is all but a distant memory, you will feel yourself begin to wait for them to wake up from a nap. Or hope that your dog barking at a leaf outside will wake him up just a little so you can pick him up and rock him back to sleep. Or you will walk into the nursery and just watch him sleep. It is weird, I know.
2. Sometimes, your pediatrician does not know best.
The physician that you trust to treat your child and guide you through the inevitable scares isn’t the end-all-be-all for answers. Now, trust me, I do know that most of the time, the guidance and knowledge that your pediatrician gives to you is usually helpful and very appreciated. HOWEVER, there will be times when “mother knows best.” If you are reading this post saying, “yeah I know best and that’s why I am not vaccinating my child” go away, forever. BUT if you’re baby does things a little different than the cookie-cutter timeline for other children, go with the flow.
3. You and your partner will not parent the exact same.
I have always been the worst at accepting help. I don’t know what it is about it, maybe because I am a control-freak and I like the way that I do things. But with a baby, there honestly is just too much to do on your own. Of course I like the outfits I pick out for him better than the ones my husband picks or I prefer the way I do bath time but accepting that you parent different and that’s okay is the beauty of parenting in the first place. I do not know or ever want to know who I would be without Nick or what kind of mother I would be without him by my side.
4. Breastfeeding is NOT painless.
I don’t know who these women are, and I don’t know what magical nipples you may have but breastfeeding is 100% painful. I know some women swear by the “correct latch” or “correct head position” but I can say with certainty that Desmond and I were never going to achieve either of these things LOL. I went to numerous lactation specialists and meetings and they swore things would get better. But me and my blistered nipples had quite enough after 3 weeks. PUMPING IT IS! Now pumping, THAT is painless. ROCK ON to mothers who can endure, I wish I was one of them.
5. Sleeping when they sleep is just plain hard.
This is the miracle rule people will tell you when you are exhausted with your newborn, “the best way to get sleep is to sleep when they sleep” and they are not entirely wrong. My question then becomes, “when do I make dinner” or “when do I shower” or “when do I clean the kitchen”? I get it, the last thing new moms should be worrying about is chores but let’s hop on the realistic train for a quick minute and admit that sleeping while there is SO MUCH TO DO just isn’t feasible all of the time. It is much easier to realize that after giving birth, like the immediate minute after, you will have to change your idea of “rested”. However, sometimes it will be possible to get some rest and relaxation while they are sleeping and when this happens REJOICE AND SING (after you wake up and quietly)
6. Baby blues are real.
Being in the hospital with your baby after delivery for those few days are the best. You’re a mommy, your baby is finally here! It truly is magical. Then, they tell you that you’re being discharged and you cannot possibly wait to get home with your new baby, introduce him to your dog, cuddle on the couch as a family, you just cannot wait. But when you get home, the exhaustion will settle in and all the chores you didn’t do the day before labor will become clear. You will feel a little panicked when baby starts crying because you don’t have the help of nurses, guests and your partner. This may make you feel like you are a bad mother or that you aren’t ready. A couple days will go by and people will offer to come over and help because your husband has returned to work and you are alone but you don’t want them to come over, you just want to sleep. THIS IS ALL NORMAL. Hormones are flooding your body, it happens to every single mom and it affects everyone differently.
7. You will probably develop a shopping problem.
See, I was SOOOOOO good when I was pregnant. I didn’t want to buy myself clothes because, well, what was the point, I didn’t do my hair or makeup so there goes that expense and believe it or not, before Desmond was born, I didn’t do much baby shopping. I had a shower and gifts were always being purchased by my mother and my in-laws, I was set.
Fast forward, I have a full-blown shopping problem. And not for myself or for Nick, but for Desmond. I really respect the women who walk through Target with such valor, passing by the baby department and not even twitching towards the little baby pants or the teeny-tiny socks.
I just get really choked up by baby pants, I don’t know what it is. AND gadgets, I LOVE gadgets.
8. You will love a lot.
Everyone says it, “you will never love something as much as you love that baby”. It is true, the love you will feel will take over every ounce of your being. Every cry will make you sad, every smile will make you gush, every milestone will make you the happiest you have ever been but the love that develops isn’t even just for that baby, it is for so many other things. It is the appreciation you will have for your family and their unwavering desire to help you and their love for your baby. It is the love that I felt for Nick after we got home, that I have never known how lucky I was to have someone like him in my life. And it is the love that I have for God that he has blessed me time and time again with the most amazing life.
9. You will turn into a Momma Bear.
I am so paranoid. It might be related to all the Law and Order – SVU that I watch but I am so paranoid, especially at night. But one thing has changed and that is my decision making (hypothetical decision making, that is).
So, before Desmond, when I heard a noise at night and my mind starts going, come to the conclusion that that noise is a serial killer outside. I used to reason with myself and come to terms with the fact that I was going to be murdered (I know it is irrational, but like I said, Law and Order is to blame). I would think to myself that I would try to fight back but in the end, I was going to die.
But the other night, I heard a noise outside. Samson started barking and I sat right up in bed. Old Krysta never got out of bed to see what the commotion was, I would pull my blankets up like they do in the movies and wait for my impending doom. Mommy-Krysta though, got up out of bed and went straight to the nursery. When the coast was clear, I shut the door and checked the house. Immediately, I went into Momma Bear mode. I was thinking through things in my head of how I would get Desmond and myself out of this house. Long story short, every scenario, every experience or encounter, my first instinct is to make sure Desmond is the best he could be. And no one better get in the way of that.
10. No baby is the same, no mother is the same.
I know that this is an obvious point and people will tell you this all the time. When you are taking in alllllllllll that advice from other mothers and reading every book, blog and Pinterest post the world has to offer on parenting, sleep training, breastfeeding etc, you need to put this point into perspective. There will be times that you try something out that is a trusty trick from numerous people and it won’t work for you and that is OKAY. Books are meant to be a guide, I will use Baby Wise as an example. I received the book from a good friend at my church and she said that it worked so great for her and her children. But she warned me that it isn’t “textbook”, meaning the schedules and advice the author gives are not set in stone. However, when reading the book, he paints it to be just that, fail-proof, set in stone. So I stuck to the schedules and the rules, exactly how it was written and VOILA, it did not work for Desmond. Eventually, we found our own schedules and now he sleeps like a champ. I know that sometimes, you will be desperate for answers but trust your instincts, do what works for you and your baby and take advice for what it is, a suggestion.
Stay strong mommas and when you don’t feel like you are, look at that baby and realize that they are thriving because of you! This is a learning process for everyone involved and it is going by very quickly (like everyone told you it would).