The first few months of motherhood can be one of the most amazing yet hardest parts of a woman’s life. There are so many new experiences that you don’t expect and don’t know how to react to. There are moments of doubt, confusion, uncertainty, and overwhelming fear.
But once you realize that you aren’t alone and that what you are going through is normal it is such a relief! For some reason we don’t talk about these things until after the fact. Maybe it’s because we don’t want to scare women away from motherhood. But I want moms to know that they aren’t alone, which is why I started this blog in the first place.
I think I’ve kind of buried a lot of the memories of the newborn phase or maybe it’s all a blur because I was so sleep deprived. So I asked some of my mom friends what they wish someone had told them before they had kids.
Here’s what they had to say:
10 Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before I Became A Mom
There will be days and night that seem to run together in the beginning, and you’ll feel so alone. You’ll feel like you’re never going to get out of the house, but then one day you’ll get out of the newborn baby fog and you’ll feel comfortable leaving the house with them. You’ll be able to do a little more outside of the house each week, and eventually things will start to feel normal again.
I joined a local Mom’s Club when I had my 2nd and this really helped force me out of the house. I highly recommend it if this is an option in your area.
Breastfeeding is Hard:
Before I had my first child, I don’t remember anyone telling me how hard breastfeeding was. For some moms, it just doesn’t work. It’s ok to switch to formula at ANY time. Your baby will be fine as long as you are feeding him something.
See a Lactation Consultant:
If you do decide to continue with breastfeeding though, there is help out there. See a lactation consultant. Call the hospital and they will help you schedule this. Some insurances even cover it. There are also support groups for breastfeeding mothers and this can be a great way to meet other moms who are going through the same issues.
Cluster Feeding is a Thing:
There will be days when your baby wants to eat in between feedings and you’ll feel like all you’re doing is feeding them. They may want to eat every hour. There is nothing wrong with you or your milk, it’s just something that some babies do. The good news is that they often store up for longer sleeps when they do this!
It’s Ok to Not Love Every Moment of Motherhood:
There will be hard days and times where you don’t love being a mom, but that’s just par for the course. You are not alone in feeling that way and it doesn’t make you a bad mom. It’s also ok to feel sad.
Postpartum depression is more common than you think- it affects up to 15% of mothers. With PPD feelings of sadness are more extreme and they begin to interfere with your ability to take care of yourself and your baby. If you think you might have PPD, you can learn more here and find out how to get help.
You Have To Accept Help:
People will offer to help and you have to let them! You can’t do it all alone, especially in the beginning when you’re still trying to adjust. If your friend wants to come over and help, put her to work so you can take a nap. Let her do a few loads of laundry. Let her hold the baby for a few minutes so you can go take a shower. It doesn’t make you a weaker mom, it will make you stronger when you can come back refreshed!
It takes a village! Read about how I found my village in this previous post: https://momlifewithp.com/how-i-found-my-village/
It Might Feel Like It’s Getting Harder At First:
Around week 2 the baby might start being awake more during the day (and unfortunately at night too). This is also around the time your adrenaline rush starts to wear off and you start to feel the affects of sleep deprivation catching up to you. This is when you need to reach out for help.
Your Baby Will Be OK:
Having a baby will be terrifying at times. So many of my friends referenced this part, but they want you to know that you don’t have to be afraid. Your baby will be ok and you are fully capable of keeping them alive! Each day will get easier and you’ll look back one day and see what a great job you did.
Trust Your Gut:
There are endless amounts of parenting books (and now mom blogs) out there. A lot of them will give you conflicting advice. Sometimes it will be better to just ignore it all and trust your gut. If you think you want to let your baby cry it out, do it. If you’d rather go in and hold her every time she cries in the middle of the night, DO it! Neither way is right or wrong and you have to figure out what works for you.
It Will Get Easier:
It might be really really hard in the beginning, but it will get easier. People wouldn’t keep having babies after their first time around if this wasn’t true. This was one of the best tidbits of advice a fellow mom gave me when I was a newbie. Hold on to this and know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Share in the comments if you have anything else to add to this list. The more we can share to make it easier for new moms the better!