So You’ll Never Have to Say ‘No One Ever Told Me’ When Baby Comes…
I hear it all the time from the moms around me, ‘no one ever told me.’ When it comes to so many of the hard things about motherhood, why do so many new moms feel like they were left in the dark? IT got me thinking…why don’t we get real with friends and family about the challenges of motherhood?
So, here goes…the comprehensive list of things I wish moms who came before me had told me before I joined their ranks. And, the list of things I STILL hear from moms they wish they knew before baby arrived.
Lower your expectations…
This begins in pregnancy and continues on for the rest of your life as a parent. The earlier you realize it, the better. Even if you eat only lean meats and veggies- you could still find yourself walking out of your glucose test with a gestational diabetes diagnosis. And, even if you make a 3 page bulleted birth plan, you could end up with a c-section. Of course it’s still important to eat healthy during your pregnancy, and your wishes (as much as possible) should be honored when you deliver baby but, the reality is this: the only thing you can truly prepare yourself for when it comes to being a mom: expect the unexpected.
Avoid comparing, or worse, judging the moms around you…
Trust me on this…there are things you see moms doing now that you will swear to yourself you will never do but when the time comes and you’re the one in that moms shoes? You’ll do them, too. Don’t believe me on this? No expectant mom ever does. But, it’s true. Of course, this doesn’t apply to everything. It doesn’t even apply to most things, necessarily. But every mom has had at least one thing she swore she’d never do before she had kids of her own, that she now swears by. You just do not know what it’s like to be a mom or what decisions you’ll need to make as a mom until you are one. Refrain from comparing the mom you’ve imagined you’ll be to the moms you see around you. Because, you know what will make it easier for you to just do what’s best for you and your baby when the time comes? Reserving comparisons and judgments. There’ll be one less critical voice (your own) to have to disregard in order to just move forward and do what you have to do. And that, sometimes, makes a world of difference.
It’s harder than you think.
I know, I’m a downer today. But, I’m sorry, it’s just true. It’s harder than you think to be a new mom. And, unfortunately, there’s just no way to fully prepare yourself for the changes to your body, the constant demands, the lack of sleep, the changes to your relationships and more. It. is. hard. But, if you go into it knowing that it’s hard, it helps. Remind yourself every day that you are loved, that you’ll get this down (every mom and dad do eventually) and that Rome wasn’t built in a day. One day (maybe not in the next year or two but sooner than you think) you will sleep again.
It’s worth it. (No, really, it is.)
It is really hard to be a new mom. (See above.) But, it is totally worth it. It is. Sleep deprivation and the complete havoc baby has wreaked on your life may cause you to question that at times- but, here’s the thing: that little one you are holding? She’s a really cool person (or at least, she will be some day.) And, there are so many memories yet to be made with her that (including, but not limited to staying up all night nursing her.) Maybe you’re not quite feeling like you can Carpe Diem YET, but you will get there, I promise.
And, that, more than anything else is what I wish they had told me. Now it’s your turn to pay it forward. What about you (Moms who’ve been there)? What do you wish they had told you?