So, new mommy, your bundle of joy is finally here. You survived the birth, you have your adorable newborn pictures hanging up, your nursery is stocked with everything you’ll need for the next two years (you know first time moms go over board…I did it too), but now what? Its just baby and you, and it dawns on you that you have no idea what the hell-o you are doing. Everyone likes to give you those encouraging words, “oh it will come naturally” or “you will be fine”, well, I’m here to tell you the ugly, clobbered, postpartum truth…you can thank me later (I accept all my gifts in the form of food…thanks in advance).
1. It does not come naturally. Being a mom takes a lot of freaking work. It is intentional. There are going to be days that you don’t know how you are going to make it through the day…or the next hour. Take advantage of your resources; read, talk to your physician, and the biggest of all…don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice from other moms (it will save you a lot of time and anxiety).
2. You will cry…more than once. There is nothing more frustrating than a little crying person, at 3 am, who cannot express why in the heck they are crying in the first place. So, here you are running down the list; is he/she hungry, is he/she wet, does he/she have gas?! Nope, nothing…Jesus please take the wheel because I am about to lose my mind! When all else fails don’t be afraid to cry too. As a matter of fact try crying louder than the baby, and maybe he/she will get mad too, surrender, and just fall asleep. Seriously, don’t be afraid to show your frustration. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human, and many great moms before you have done it too. If you get too frustrated, put the baby down in the crib, and take a break, its okay.
3. Your body will never be the same. You can lose the baby weight, and you can get into even better shape after baby, with some dedication and sweat. However, things are just not going to be the same. You may have those one or two lingering stretch marks (in my case one or two hundred…but we ain’t gonna go there), or your boobs may not quite sit the same, or your hips are wider…you get the picture. Giving birth to a baby is the most amazing accomplishment you will ever be apart of, but in exchange you leave a little piece of your body…its beyond worth it though.
4. Do not compare yourself to other Moms. This is probably one of the biggest pieces of advice I could give a new mom…don’t do it. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and advice from other moms, and admiring them, but you will drive yourself completely crazy if you try to compare yourself to what everyone else is doing. You are an individual, and so is your little bundle of joy. Remember that. Do what makes you feel comfortable, and at the pace that you feel is right for your baby and yourself.
5. Take the good times with the bad. There is nothing more rewarding than the job of mom. I can’t even describe the feeling in words, especially as you watch your child grow, and learn, and develop their little (big) personality. However, all the days aren’t always so sparkly and warm. It gets tough. Just wait until your first experience with projectile throw-up, or diarrhea…oh yea, it gets real. So just remember being a mom isn’t about it being this fairy tale experience, its about you and baby, learning, bonding, laughing, crying, and loving, together.