It goes without saying that becoming a mom for the first time is one of life’s greatest blessings. It’ll bring you joy, tears, and a different life perspective than you’ve ever had prior, but there are some things about being a new mom that nobody really talks about or can ever fully prepare you for.
It’s an emotional rollercoaster. One morning your heart is going to explode with joy when you look at your baby’s face and she smiles at you for the first time. Five minutes later, she’ll be inconsolable because all she wanted was your coffee and you tried to hand her a toy rattle instead.
It’s tougher than anyone will understand until they’re in it. Nobody tells you how tough it’s going to be because they don’t want to be discouraging. Honestly, even if you warn a soon to be mom about how tough life will be as a new mom, she’s probably going to nod in approval but deep down there’s no preparing for how hard it really is. That being said, balance is key. The sooner you establish balance, the better.
It’s heartbreaking in a good way. Part of being a mom means you’re going to invest oodles of your being into this tiny human that in the beginning it feels like you’re never going to detach from, but with every little milestone, you learn to let go a little more each day. Every milestone brings a little bit of sentiment and heartache because you’ll never get those moments back, so you have to be in the moment and soak it all in while it lasts.
You’re going to learn so much. As moms, we expect to be the ones teaching our kids, but what nobody really talks about is how much we will learn as new moms. Kids will teach you humility, sacrifice, and love beyond measure. They’ll teach you that every minute of life is to be enjoyed and that simple tasks like the dishes can wait until later if that means you have one more precious moment together.
You’ll never be this tired again in your life. Seriously, I’ve worked 80-hour work weeks and functioned on very little sleep, but that doesn’t compare in the slightest to being a new mom. It’s a whole new level of exhaustion but it’s so worth every minute of lost sleep. I remind myself of that as I pour my third cup of coffee of the day…
Postpartum recovery is no joke. Everyone talks about childbirth but nobody touches on how much postpartum recovery actually hurts. Your body just delivered a human being into this world, and whether it was a vaginal birth or via C-section, you’re recovering from something pretty major. Add to that the stress and anxiety of being a new mom, and it can really throw you for a loop. Obviously, if you’re seriously struggling in a way that’s affecting your daily functioning, you should seek help from a qualified professional.
Your life changes beyond measure. You might hear people warn you that your life is about to change forever before you have kids, and it’s annoying to hear but super true. Before you have kids, you really have no idea and nobody can fully prepare you for the magnitude that your life is about to change. Every decision you make, every outing you take, every moment you’re awake is going to be affected by your new baby in some way. It’s not something you can comprehend until it’s happening.
You’re basically a zombie for a while. I mean can anyone seriously function on two to four-hour stretches of rest around the clock? That’s the sleep schedule of a new baby and obviously, new moms echo that. I specifically remember one time I made my coffee while I prepared a bottle and I unknowingly scooped formula into my coffee instead of creamer. I was so far into zombie mode that I didn’t even realize until I was halfway through my cup and thought the “creamer” might be expired.
Everything is going to scare you. Even if you’re not easily shaken, there’s something about being a new mom that awakens this vulnerable state and makes you terrified of pretty much everything. From wondering if the baby’s still breathing or if someone who wants to hold him/her has washed their hands to wanting organic everything including bedding, all that matters to a new mom is that her child is safe from any form of harm.
Self-care is just as important as caring for a new baby. Everyone knows that taking care of a newborn is a big priority, but nobody really talks about self-care. It’s easy to focus on the brand new bundle of joy and understandably so, but if you’re continually cutting yourself short, you’re going to be less effective as a parent. Making time every day for self-care is necessary, even if it’s as simple as enjoying a hot shower, taking a nap instead of cleaning up, or painting your nails.
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