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Any first time mother can tell you that there is no single motherhood manual that will get you through every part of your motherhood journey. It is a challenging and trying journey filled with lots of different emotions you’ve never experienced before.
Personally, I’ve learned an incredible amount of things about myself, my baby, my husband, time management, multitasking, and more. The learning process has not stopped either. And not to mention, not every learning experience was joy-filled but that’s the beautiful part of it all.
The Truth About Being A First Time Mother
I’m going to be completely honest with you. Motherhood was not and has not been a straight, easy journey. And maybe you can relate to some of these truths about being a first time mother and maybe you can’t. But you should let me know a thing or two you learned about motherhood in the comments below.
1. There’s no ONE right way.
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Because you’re going to have a lot of mamas from all generations trying to tell you how to do it the “right” way. And you’re also going to drive yourself nuts searching for the “right” answer.
But here’s the thing. There are multiple right ways to doing things depending on your preference and what you decide to do. And there’s also nothing wrong with asking for help or guidance from other experienced moms but don’t stress yourself out trying to find that one right way.
2. You and your best friend are not going to parent the exact same way.
And again, that’s okay. Just because she’s doing or did something you’re not, doesn’t make her any better or less of a mom than you.
Every baby is different. And so is every mom. You’ll find what works best for you and your baby while your best friend will find what works for her and her baby.
3. Mom brain is a real thing.
According to Healthline Parenthood, a 2017 study Trusted Source showed that expecting women experience changes in gray matter volume during those wearying 9 months and beyond which are found to be most pronounced in the frontal and temporal lobes that are responsible for helping us perform everyday cognitive tasks including social interaction.
I joked and told my husband that my pregnancy brain evolved into mom brain. And honestly, it’s a real thing. Don’t be surprised when you’re trying to open your front door with your car key fob or when you’re looking everywhere for your glasses when they’re right on your face. Check out some funny ones on this article True Tales of Mom Brain — and How to Get Your Sharpness Back.
So what’s the solution to mom brain? Write lists. Get a dry-erase board and jot everything down you need to do. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter to get the code for my freebies library where I have over 20+ free printables like to-do lists and more.
4. Pooping isn’t the same.
Y’all. If you don’t know anyone that can poop in 2 seconds. Now you do. That was me before I had my baby. And the sad thing is that I thought I was in the clear for everything functioning “normal” down there since I had an unexpected c-section. But no c-section moms have a hard time normalizing their bowel movements too.
What I’m trying to say is that you need to accept the stool softeners and go on with your life. If your provider doesn’t prescribe any, you need to get some ASAP. It’s better than getting hemorrhoids (even for my c-section mamas). This was my holy grail.
Stool softeners were my best friend those first few months after having my baby. I’d grip the edges of the toilet seat like my life depended on it for months. So I can’t imagine what kind of damage I would’ve done without the stool softeners. It took about 7 months for me to return to my semi-normal bowel routine.
5. You’ll still sleep on your sides.
In your third trimester, you’re so ready to be able to sleep on your back and tummy after the baby. But after you have your baby, you’ll catch yourself still sleeping on your sides. After having a baby, I just felt uncomfortable sleeping on my back and tummy again.
6. Insomnia doesn’t stop after pregnancy.
I thought my insomnia was bad when I was pregnant. But boy did it get even worse after I had my baby. Naps are definitely still around from pregnancy and so is insomnia. Get your sleep meds prepared.
7. You’ll lose friends.
Your baby will consume your life. And you’ll begin to make new friends who have babies of their own. Because babies bring moms together.
Once you have babies, your priorities start to shift and the friends that don’t have babies of their own become distant. It’s sad and unfortunate but that’s just how some friendships end.
8. Babies will cry for no reason.
You fed them, put them to bed, changed them, and boobed them. And they’ll still cry. I always thought babies cried for a specific reason such as the ones I just listed. But they truly will cry for no reason because that’s how some babies are (like mine). Read remedies I used to help my colicky baby.
9. Every baby is different.
Every baby learns, develops, and grows differently. And sometimes it’s hard not to compare your baby to other people’s babies. Just know that every baby is different and if your pediatrician doesn’t seem worried, I wouldn’t stress. There are recommended milestones for babies that you can read at CDC’s Developmental Milestones.
10. Daily showers are gold.
I used to shower every single day before I had a baby. And the first few months of being a first-time mom, I was lucky if I could get in a hot shower more than 3 times a week.
11. No amounts of sleep will be enough.
There will be nights where you get over 8 hours of sleep and still wake up and feel like you got hit by a train. It’s like a never-ending sleep deprivation cycle. No matter how much sleep you get, you just can’t seem to “catch up”. But it does get better after that first year of being a first-time mother.
12. Being a mom is a full time job.
Giant kudos to working moms because being a stay-at-home mom is exhausting as is. I worked as a full-time graduate nurse on a busy floor at the hospital the first few months after I had my baby and transitioned into being a stay-at-home mom.
And it still feels like absolute chaos (not as bad as working). Don’t ever let people say or comment on how stay-at-home moms don’t have any responsibilities. Because you are constantly being pulled in whichever direction while keeping up with housework and even side hustles if you’re into that.
13. Self-care is a must.
Don’t ever feel selfish or guilty for needing to do something for yourself. You need to practice self-care to keep your sanity so you can take care of your baby and everyone else. Here’s a solid list of self-care tips for moms.
I neglected my mental health for months until I came to my breaking point. I didn’t shower daily like I used to, didn’t work out every day like I used to, definitely didn’t sleep like I used to, and just felt dead inside. And I eventually got on antidepressant medication.
14. It’ll test your marriage.
At least this is what I heard from the mom community which I feel is a normal response to having a baby. My husband and I encountered more than a handful of challenges the first year of having a baby together. But it was nothing a simple communication couldn’t fix.
I personally found it really sexy watching my husband wake up in the middle of the night to change our daughter’s diaper. And he’d make sure the dishes were washed, clean dishes were put away, the house was regularly vacuumed, clothes were washed, dried, and folded. It was extremely helpful of him to take a load off my back as I was recovering from my c-section.
We definitely had our fair share of arguments. New arguments after our baby was born. But I ultimately feel like it made our marriage stronger. This is what we should always be aiming for and I believe that communication is key to a successful relationship.
15. You’re not going to want to ask for help.
Or let alone accept it. And I’m still so bad about asking for and accepting help. The days I do ask or accept help, I don’t know what I would do without it.
Let me make something clear to you. Needing or wanting help doesn’t make you a bad mom. And doesn’t make you an incapable mom.
16. Time flies faster than ever.
Time will zoom right by you and you won’t even know what happened. This is why it’s so important to soak in every moment with your baby, take a ton of pictures and videos, and don’t take time for granted.
17. You’re going to get bombarded with “how to’s”.
There are going to be plenty of moms coming out of the woodwork trying to tell you how to be a mom. And yes, there are going to be some of the greatest tips and some unnecessary tips.
But here’s the thing, every mom is going to have their own way of doing things that worked for them and their baby that won’t necessarily work for you and your baby.
It’s just not cool when moms tell you that you’re doing something incorrectly just because it didn’t work for them. You are the mom and you’ll find things that work best for you and your baby.
18. Say goodbye to your personal space.
And this is especially true if you’re a stay-at-home mom. Your baby is going to be attached to you at all times and when they’re not, you’re either going to be worried that they’re getting into something they shouldn’t be or you’re going to be relieved that they’re down for a nap.
The personal space issue might not be an issue for every first-time mom. Because there are extra needy babies and then there are independent babies.
19. You’ll get judged all the time.
You can’t control every little thing your baby or toddler does. And they are bound to have a meltdown in public, cry and scream in the middle of the store, and more.
There will also be people that are going to give you a stank a** look wondering why the heck you don’t have it together. And then there will be people that are giving you the look like “yeah-I’ve-been-there-done-that-and-wish-you-all-the-luck”.
20. Your house will never stay clean.
No matter how much you organize, vacuum, steam clean, and put things away, your house is not going to be as spotless as it was before having a baby.
21. You’ll grow eyes in the back of your head.
Growing another pair of eyes on the back of your head is just one of many gifts that we get as a first time mother. Your baby or toddler won’t even be in the same vicinity as you and you’ll know exactly what they’re getting into.
22. Be prepared to have super human senses.
Along with growing an extra set of eyes, you’ll have other superhuman senses. You’ll be able to hear your baby cry from miles away or sense something is wrong with your child while the pediatrician or nurses continue to tell you there’s nothing wrong with them. It’s the motherly instincts.
I hope you found this blog post about being a first time mother somewhat relatable. If there’s anything I missed that you personally learned about motherhood or your experience as a first-time mom, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Thanks for reading!