Becoming a Mom is hard. Being a Mom is HARD. There are hundreds? of books on what to do, what to buy, how to be for Moms and soon-to-be Moms and yet the majority of them only give a small peek into what life is really like for us. Is this because they don’t want to scare us? I think what’s even scarier is getting blind sighted when you thought motherhood was going to be all roses and glitter. I’m a brand-new, stay-at-home Mama and these are the top 3 things I wish someone would have told me about becoming a Mom. Hopefully you read this and feel validated or it at least takes away some of your shock!
1. Labor & Delivery might be easy
Everyone’s pregnancy is totally unique. Everyone’s L&D experience is totally unique. And guess what? Everyone’s mothering experience is totally unique! I remember being in my prenatal yoga class like it was yesterday. All us soon-to-be Mamas would go around the room and speak about our highs and lows for the past week. The myriad of stereotypical pregnancy symptoms were present but there was always at least one Mama who felt BETTER being pregnant than she did not! We would stare at her like she was a unicorn, smile and nod wishing we too had her experience. Same goes for labor & delivery! You may have had the worst symptoms during pregnancy but not need any pain intervention and sneeze to have your baby! *Name that movie!*
I think labor & delivery was one of the scariest concepts of becoming a Mom for me. There’s so much pressure around having the “best” L&D. At least in my community, that usually meant zero interventions and the description from other women of the pain you endure caused me anxiety! I became hyper-focused on the concept of tearing. (If you don’t know what tears, look it up) I bought every thing possible for after care. Sprays, balms, special water bottles…But guess what? That was their experience, not yours or mine. So instead of spending time worrying like a lunatic why not approach your labor & delivery with a “let’s see” attitude? Did I end up needing to worry about tearing…nope. Might I still recommend a birth plan. 🙂 Don’t just wing that sh*t.
2. Breastfeeding is HARD
Wow…where to even begin with this one. I’ll say it again…Breastfeeding is HARD. If you’re in a different feeding situation other than breastfeeding, please don’t think I don’t ALSO think what you’re going through is difficult. I am simply speaking from my experience. I chose to breastfeed because it was the right choice for me and my baby’s journey. FED IS BEST MAMAS.
Whether or not you’re breastfeeding is a question soon-to-be Mamas should be prepared for early. It seems like everyone and their dogs wanna know how you’ll be feeding your child. Whenever I was at my doctor’s office I was inundated with “Making the choice to breastfeed”. For whatever reason there is this HUGE pressure on women to again, make the “right” choice to breastfeed. Never mind the physical, emotional and mental toll it can take which should be considered in said situation. Why do you think I had to put a disclaimer at the start of this topic? I knew that there would be a formula-feeding Mama who reads this and thinks I’m somehow making a jab at her decision on how to feed her baby. No! I stand with all the Mamas.
In my opinion, breastfeeding is glamorized. You don’t see the difficult moments in the pamphlets they distribute. When your baby is born and they immediately start thrusting her face into your breast, when your baby has difficulty latching, when you experience complications, when you have low supply, when your baby starts to lose weight, when you haven’t slept for 72 hours because of clusterfeeding. Breastfeeding is the most beautiful thing but it can take a lot of physical, emotional, and mental effort to get there. Maybe they should talk about that in those new Mom breastfeeding classes?
3. The first 3 months are HARD
Have I said this Mom thing is HARD yet? Because it is. Especially the first 3 months. Now I feel like I can say this because my babe is a little over 3 months (as you laugh) and I can feel myself coming out of the fog. People still say I’m in the “thick of it” which I can agree but I can also say to you honestly I’m starting to feel like myself again. Heck, I’m sitting here writing a blog and I decorated my house for Halloween this morning! The things you can do when your baby will nap.
One thing I didn’t know about becoming a Mom is that within those first 3 months you start to function in a zombie-like state. Tired does not accurately describe your state of being. Zombie does. I say that because when I was pregnant I was tired. I do NOT want to invalidate anyone who is tired and pregnant because I believe you! But believe me when I say that it reaches a whole new level once baby is born. You’re recovering from birth, waking at least every 2 hours round the clock, feeding baby and staring off into the distance like “who am I?” I’m not sure that it gets better, I just think your body adapts. #zombielife
Other things within that first 3 months that make life hard include: finding time to care for yourself (ex. bathing), learning to live as a family of 3 (or 2 or 4 or whatever!), trying to understand your baby’s sleep schedule (or lack thereof), finding time to eat or go to the bathroom (online grocery ordering/delivery is the only way), managing visits from family and friends, doctor’s visits, figuring out if you’re experience baby blues or something more serious, and #1 of all – maintaining your baby’s health! If your plate wasn’t full before, it is now.
Do I really need to disclaimer this again by saying I love being a Mom? I love being a Mom! This was what I was made for. But being a a Mom is HARD and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Something that helps me most is saying “If so and so can do it…I can do it!” Think of that Danielle Busby lady on TLC with 6 daughters – 5 of them are the same age. Talk about #momgoals!
You got this Mamas!
Straight up sincerely,