Motherhood is full of “oh no!” and “aha!” moments. You can do as much research as your brain can possibly endure while you’re pregnant, but experience is the best teacher when it comes to your new job title of “mama.” I spent countless hours reading books and blogs trying to prepare for parenthood. Somehow, these fifteen items slipped through the cracks of all my studying:
1. Not much will go as planned
I am a planner to the max. I had TONS of plans for our little family. And you know what? Sometimes, plans don’t work out and that’s okay! Did I plan to have a reflux babe? Nope. Am I makin’ it work? ‘Sho nuff am!
2. Bonding can take time
For some of us, that instant “this baby completes me” feeling takes time. I didn’t expect that but I’m glad to know it’s not abnormal. Now, I’m obsessed with that little squish of mine!
3. You might become addicted to buying baby clothes
Sorry, hubs! But really, I’m not.
4. Mom guilt is real
Ohh this is just TOO TRUE and that struggle is SO real. Guilt over every decision. I’ve learned to just LET IT GO & breathe.
5. Leaving baby with anyone will be harder than you think
Cabin fever is legit as a new mama. You pretty much can’t leave the confines of your house or the pediatrician’s office for weeks on end (feels like forever, doesn’t it?). But when you finally get the chance to break free and leave the house alone.. you’ll just worry about the baby instead.
6. You’ll learn to trust your instincts
When I was pregnant, I felt like I had to learn EVERYTHING before he came home with us novice amateur parents. In the end, I found that it really just comes to you. Soon enough, you can change a diaper in under a minute, in your lap, in the backseat of the car. Trust yourself, you’ve got this.
7. Your house will be taken over
Say buh-bye to your clean modern living space! Our home has turned into ‘Baby Wonderland.” And of course, you’ll always have WAY more than you need.
8. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out..
WRONG! Once you dare think to yourself “alright, I’ve got this,” something will change and you won’t have it. Keep calm & move on. On Henry’s 3rd month birthday he decided to become intolerant to my breastmilk. We’re workin’ on it, one dairy-free/soy-free meal & GI visit at a time.
9. You’ll NEED your mom tribe
Find your mom tribe & you will be forever grateful. From support to experience, they’ve got your back!
10. Leaving the house will take forever
This used to be because you had to apply your makeup with precision and tame every single flyaway that sprouted from your head. Not anymore! Now it’s because your baby decided to ‘dirty’ his diaper as you were walking out the door or you had to turn around because you forgot the stroller.. or the pacifier.. or your sanity.
11. Your hormones will go so CRAY
I wasn’t prepared for the hormonal shit storm that was about to hit me so hard a week or so after delivery. Wine.. just wine.
12. You’ll appreciate a solo trip to run an errand like never before
Once you get over that guilt of leaving your baby, it will turn into true appreciation for not having to worry about a possible baby meltdown in the middle of Target. Trust.
13. Maternity leave is NOT a vacation
There is no time to read for leisure, perfect your gourmet chef skills or learn a new language. Momming is a full time job those first few months (and really forever)!
14. Everyone will see your boobs
If you’re breastfeeding or pumping, just get used to it. The housekeeper, your in-laws, possibly the pool guy..
15. Your body MAY hold onto an extra few pounds if you’re nursing
When I started to shed all the “baby weight,” I couldn’t figure out why I hit a 5lb. plateau that just wouldn’t go away no matter how much I was exercising and eating healthy. After talking to some other moms and doing my research, I found that it’s pretty normal for our bodies to hold on to a couple of pounds until you’re done nursing.
With all that being said, we are all just doing the best we can for our little babes and THAT’S MORE THAN ENOUGH. Mamahood is amazing, scary, and exciting – embrace every emotion and savor every minute. Most importantly, everything is temporary. The good and the bad.