Real Mom Talk: 20 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Mom
May 14, 2015 8:50 pm
Caring for a baby is something you don’t really know.. until you KNOW. Everyone sure has a lot of advice to share when they see your growing baby belly. Take some of it with a grain of salt, or heck — dismiss it all! With that being said, here’s what I’ve learned in my brief 8 months of parenting. For context, I’m a neurotic non-perfectionist and this list refers only to BABIES (really just my baby) and not CHILDREN. I don’t know a thing about children yet.
- Figure out the pump ahead of time. You may find yourself sobbing at 1:00 a.m. with a screaming baby who hasn’t figured out how to latch yet and your mom is boiling plastic parts as quickly as possible while you try to read the manual. Hypothetically.
- Buy used! The majority of baby items are only needed for such a short period of time and can be found for a fraction of the price on Craigslist, at garage sales, consignment/thrift stores, and swap and sell pages. Use good judgment when it comes to this.
- Accept any help that is offered during the first few weeks. However, don’t feel guilty for saying no or for napping through a visit.
- You don’t need that much ‘stuff,’ and you definitely don’t need it all at once.
- Having a captive audience for all of your singing and dance moves is priceless.
- Don’t assume your baby will just go to sleep when they are sleepy. THEY WON’T.
- Birth was not traumatic. I know I speak ONLY for myself, but with all the stories I heard, I was fascinated, curious, and somewhat dreading getting her out. For us, it was the pleasant experience I could have realistically hoped for. The postpartum period, though…not so much.
- YouTube is your friend! I’ve mainly watched breastfeeding and babywearing videos. Sometimes you just have to see something to understand it.
- Baby love grows. At first, I loved her simply because I (co)made her. Now, I love her because she is an interesting and funny fellow human who I genuinely like as a person.
- Breastfeeding can be very difficult at first, but there are so many resources both online and in the community to help. I would not have made it without a LOT of support.
- If you can avoid psyching yourself out, don’t be afraid of Google! Most people say don’t Google every little thing, but I am an obsessive Googler, and I do not regret it.
- You don’t have to cherish every single moment.
- I cannot express the importance of NAPS. I’m referring to baby’s naps but yours as well if you can get them. See #6.
- It is not this hard forever. I remember being in the throes of colic and sleeplessness and thinking, “I knew having a child would be hard but is it this hard FOREVER???” No.
- Get used to a constant running inner monologue. Things to gather, accomplish, research, remember, assess, consider. I recently consulted four different lists to pack for a weekend trip, but I’m a major list nerd.
- Wait to buy nursing bras, or at least get a variety of sizes.
- People say becoming a mom changes your life drastically. Of course it does, but I was terrified that I would wake up on day two as a brunette who suddenly liked mushrooms. I’M STILL ME! ‘Parent’ is just one more identifier to add to my list, but certainly not the only one.
- It’s not scary. Yes, a baby is a gargantuan responsibility but you can handle it.
- Other people’s kids are different. I am still nervous to be solely responsible for my nieces or nephews. I don’t want to change any diapers or pick any boogers unless they belong to my daughter.
- Follow your gut. Don’t listen to me, the random lady at the grocery store (there are sooo many), or your cousin. Even if the pediatrician tells you something you don’t feel good about, find another one. FOLLOW YOUR GUT.
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