The other day, I was talking to one of my college friends who asked me if it was ok to take her 7 week old newborn baby – she being a first time mom too – to her friend’s wedding. Of course, my immediate thought was she’s insane. I would have never been able to do that for many reasons, but the first thing that came to mind was that the kid wouldn’t even have received his first set of shots at seven weeks not to mention how much fun does she really think she’d have anyways? I told her all the work that comes along with a new baby and all the things you’d realize that change over night. And even though I think she ‘heard’ what I was saying, I don’t think you really ‘get it’ until you live it. This got me thinking about all the things that I’ve learned in this year or so of motherhood. Gosh, so, so, so many things.
Here are just a few, 25 to be exact, things that I’ve learned so far since becoming a momma to my little man.
- Ok this is obvious but the sleep. Or lack of it. You realize you can really live without sleep. It’s not ok – except that night when you stare into your little nugget’s eyes and you see his first smile at like 2:43AM. You’ll feel like you’re going bananas most days. And absolutely nothing prepares you for it.
- This goes back to the months of preparing before baby makes his grand arrival. You know that registry you worked so hard on? You don’t need half of the stuff on it. Diaper wipe warmer? Seriously? Save yourself the trauma of those giant, scary baby stores and get the basic necessities yourselves. And consider doing what my good friend did recently for her baby shower, she requested for only books as gifts to build her baby’s library. Trust me on this.
- Find the right pediatrician; it’s really important.
- Don’t stress about what others are doing. Only you and your partner know what’s best for your baby; you know your little one the best. Whatever decisions you make together, whether it’s breastfeeding or not, using cloth or disposable diapers, crying it out or not or co-sleeping…these are your decisions and there’s no right or wrong. Don’t compare. Just think things over, talk it out and do what feels right for your family. Take care of your kid and let the rest go. Be confident in your choices.
- Which leads me to…surround yourself with other mommas, but only ones that don’t judge you. If you join a mommy group and find yourself feeling worse off afterwards, then find another mommy group or another way to socialize. It’s important to have those mommy moments with or without kids and for a lot of moms, mommy groups are the way to go since you can kind of kill one bird with two stones – baby gets to hang out with other babies and mommy gets to have adult time with some mommies. But if that’s not working, then don’t kill yourself. Find a situation that works for you and always be confident about all of the choices you are making for your baby.
- Don’t expect to be the perfect mom…there is no such thing.
- Friendships change after having a baby and that’s ok. Many of your friends without kids may not understand the changes that are going on in your life, and the fact that your life revolves around a new little person, especially in the beginning. You are literally working around a revolving door of feeds, diapers changes/explosions, spit-up’s and naps. Many of your friends with kids that are older may not get it either because they are dealing with an entirely different set of challenges and experiences. The point is, friendships can and will change…it’s a part of life that you’ve already faced during every other major change in your own life’s journey and it’s no different when you have a baby.
- I’ve learned how to be afraid and proud at the exact same time.
- It’s impossible to take too many pictures (my husband may disagree). And your smart phone…thank God for smart phones…makes it incredibly easy to capture every single moment.
- With time, your baby will show you what he needs, so don’t go rush out and by everything you think he needs. Patience is key here.
- Daddies may do things differently than the way mommies do them, some times better and sometimes not so much. This is ok. Just be grateful for having a partner to experience parenthood with.
- The laundry is endless. Make sure you have an efficient, quality washing machine and dryer.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. From your partner, parents, in-laws, siblings, friends, whomever you trust to help you. This doesn’t mean you’re weak and can’t handle being a parent. You don’t need to do it all and all alone.
- It’s ok to leave the house without looking “perfect”. Before my son came into my life, I had the time and took the time to try to look my best. Now I don’t have the time that I used to and even if I did, I’d rather be doing something else. It’s quick but I still feel put together and good.
- It’s ok to leave your house a mess. Don’t wait for it to look perfect to invite people over either. If you have kids, you’ll have messes and people will understand.
- The best smell ever is the smell of a newborn baby. (and freshly bathed babies and toddlers, oh and daddies too.)
- You will find yourself making up silly songs about anything and everything. The sun, bananas, diapers, poop, everything. Keep singing, your kid loves it.
- You’re allowed to have a life outside of being a mom. It’s good for you. Refer back to my post on importance of momma’s weekend or night out. If you want it, then go for it. And don’t feel bad.
- You have to be flexible – babies can be tricky, unpredictable and you need to roll with it.
- Be sure you are giving yourself and your partner the credit you both deserve. Give yourselves a pat on the back, you’re doing great even when you question it.
- Being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever had but it’s so rewarding. I still can remember how awesome it felt when I knew Jai recognized me.
- Being organized is key. You’d be surprised how little time you have after that little bundle of joy enters your home. Every minute matters and even though you shouldn’t beat yourself up about not getting to it all…you can check off those tasks on your to-do lists much better if you’re organized.
- The patience that you have will even surprise you. You’ll be tested in so many way and there will be so many moments where you’ll think you’re going to really lose it this time. But you’ll find yet another layer of patience.
- The loss of a child changes you, really…really changes you. You can get by day to day and be “ok” but it’s something that stays with you forever.
- Laughing out loud for no reason is the best therapy. Being a kid again with your kid is an amazing gift.
What have you learned being a mom? Any of these ring true for you too?