“You’re pregnant!” – as soon as you received this news, for sure, it triggered all of your happy hormones! Suddenly, you find yourself in the pregnancy section to find books and magazines you can learn from, or you start your Google search for prenatal classes that can prepare you well for motherhood. People around you start to give advise, too, and you suddenly feel so prepared for the big mommy role.
Then, the day finally comes when you bring home your little one. You have spent hours, days, and months trying to learn the ropes but you realize that there’s still so much to learn! If only motherhood had an instructional manual that gives you a step-by-step guide on how things worked, then it would be easier, right?
Today, we have solicited honest experiences from moms who have gone through the highs and lows of raising a baby and we’ve put the lessons they’ve shared into a list! It’s a list of things they wished they knew before they gave birth! So, if you’re expecting your little one to pop out soon, or you are already a new mom, keep reading and we hope that you’ll be able to relate to these stories.
You might have heard this too from a piece of advice or, maybe, you may have said it yourself to a friend. But, it is true – every baby is unique. Sure, babies have similar needs when it comes to sleeping and feeding, but character, abilities, and, behavior are all diverse. Your second baby might be active at an early age, and your first one might not be the same. They foster at their own pace and in their way, even as a baby. So don’t stress yourself out by comparing your baby to others. Enjoy the process of getting to him/her. It will be a lovely experience!
Okay, the baby is crying! What do you do? Do not panic! It is normal that you do not know anything at first. You will only get to learn along the way when the baby is right there in front of you. Thus, if somebody offers you help then, without a doubt, accept it. Just make sure that these are people you trust. Ask your family to help you, and you will be surprised at how excited they are to get on board!
Be prepared to be feeding your baby all the time! You will be stunned by how quickly they go hungry, even if you just fed them! Having said this, a nutritionally balanced meal and keeping yourself hydrated are a must if you are breastfeeding your baby. Otherwise, if you are bottle-feeding your little one, it is worth involving your partner to support you in the journey. Feeding a baby will eat your time and involves a lot of arm work, so find ways to keep yourself sane and entertained – read a book or binge-watch your favorite series and stretch if you need to!
Yes, we know it is hard to maintain a clean house when you have kids. Especially for toddlers, you need to get used to chaos and mess and accept it for the time being. They will scatter everything, toss their toys, and move around a lot! Kids love doing it as they enjoy the mess! So, do not feel bad about having a messy house for a while. Everything will fall into place in time, and your home will go back to normal.
You will be amazed at how you could even hear the slightest sound, how alert you get, and how you become more aware of your surroundings! You can be outside gardening while your baby is sleeping and hear him at the first cry.
You went through hours of labor and sleepless nights. Then, the next morning, you will be feeding and nursing your child again. So, taking a quick rest even, just a fast nap, doing a short workout at home, enjoying a nice meal with a friend, or savoring a cup of coffee in the morning is essential for every mom. Set a time, make a routine, and pinch in a little bit of “me time” for yourself!
With all the pregnancy and breastfeeding journey focused around the moms, it is also worth acknowledging your husband along the way. Allow him to help you by involving him in the decision making, letting him watch over the baby while you take your beauty rest or just by simply asking him to cook a sumptuous meal for you. Small things your husband can do will not only help you a lot but, it will make your journey enjoyable.
Let us be real – you need to prepare for this financially because it will not be cheap! You will be surprised at the obligations involved in raising a baby from buying items such as cribs, car seats, clothes, etc. There will also be ongoing costs like clothes, diapers, milk, sitters, and more. Moreover, the baby grows fast and, the next thing you know, you will already need to prepare for his/her education. It is a bit scary to hear but, it’s good to be aware so, you can prepare. You can get through it with the right support and financial planning.
Savor your time with your kids as they will grow up quickly. Their childhood will slip right through your fingers! We cannot control time, only our choices. So, enjoy every little second you have with your baby. The first word, first step, first laugh – maximize technology and document as many moments as possible!
You will have sleepless nights, experience frustrations, and even feel less of a mom sometimes. You will have up and down episodes, that is no doubt. Motherhood is a challenging job; it requires 24/7 devotion. But, amidst all this, you will experience so much love. Being a mom is a beautiful privilege; your kids are and will be your legacy, and they will make it all worth it.