Motherhood ain’t easy, which is why I created a list of things I wish I would’ve known prior to becoming a mom, for the very first time. With this list, you’ll find that through motherhood is an adventure, one we all share as mothers.
◊ Ask for Help.
YOU WILL NEED THE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL BREAK! TRUST ME! Yes, I typed it all in caps because I am guilty of wanting to do everything on my own. Truth is, it took me almost Liam’s entire first year for me to realize that I am not super mom, as much as I’d like to be. What I’ve learned is that before I take care of Liam, or anyone else, I need to take care of myself first. So if you need help with cooking, cleaning, and/or your newborn, ask for help. Take that time to rest, shower, or even pamper yourself with some quiet time.
◊ Everyone’s Got Advice but it’s your decision.
The moment I announced my pregnancy, everyone, suddenly, became an expert. While it’s great to get advice from friends and family, you have to do what works for you. Not everyone’s advice will fit your personal situation so don’t feel obligated to parent how others parent. You will find your own parenting style, tips, and tricks that work of you.
Many people wait till last minute to prep things like the baby’s nursery, clothes, and hospital bag. I didn’t and couldn’t wait. I wouldn’t say that I’m the most organized person in the entire world. But I like to be as prepared as can as I know things can happen, unexpectedly. So, don’t wait till last minute. As a first time/new parent, the last thing you need is unnecessary stress!
◊ You Can Say No.
One of the biggest, and most annoying, question I was asked is if I’d accept visitors at the hospital after I gave birth. My answer was no and it will always be no. The ONLY people I allowed were my husband, parents, and in laws. Why? After having gone through an entire pregnancy with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and a c-section, I needed all the help I can get from my immediate family. But, I promise you, saying no is a relief from the pressure of having to please everyone. We said NO to anyone visiting, even for a few weeks, because we wanted to enjoy the joy of being new parents. So, don’t be afraid of saying no to hospital visits, home visits, and anything/everything when it comes down to your precious baby. YOU are in control.
◊ Comparison is the Devil.
DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT COMPARE YOUR PARENTING AND BABY’S DEVELOPMENT TO OTHERS.
Your way of life and parenting may be unique from others but it is not the wrong way. We live in a world full of comparisons but have lost the understanding that we are all our own individuals. Our babies develop at different speeds, SO if you’re baby hasn’t rolled over when someone else’s baby has, DON’T STRESS!!! IT DOESN’T DETERMINE YOUR CHILD’S LEVEL OF INTELLIGENCE AND FUTURE SUCCESS.
◊ You Will Lose Your Shit; Mentally, Physically, and Emotionally.
People tell you how blissful it is, but they don’t tell you how fucking insane parenting truly is. It’s like you’re driving blindfolded, relying ONLY on your co-pilot. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE being a mommy but I’m always stressing on whether I’m doing this right. There is no manual and no how-to brochure attached to your little one when you leave the hospital. Everyday is a new adventure. And the moment you think you’ve got it down, something always comes up. If you think parenting is a breeze, you’re in for a long exhausting ride. Most days, I’m physically and emotionally drained. But NO MATTER what you do or how you decide to parent, just know that you, and your child or children, will be okay.
◊ Don’t Forget Your Significant Other.
GUILTY! We let a few months go by without leaving Liam’s side. It’s natural to be completely in love with your new bundle of joy but don’t forget to spend some quality time with your significant other. Even if you’re not comfortable with leaving the house just yet, make sure you have at-home date nights! Watch a movie, play some video games, cook dinner, or just lounge on the couch together.