Motherhood is magical. Babies are precious, and mothers everywhere gush about their new bundles of joy. Magazines show women smiling and getting back in shape weeks after they have a baby. Friends are open about how they’ve never loved anything as much as their new child. For pregnant women, there is much to look forward to. However, while becoming a parent is a life changing, mind blowing experience, not all of it is roses. Here are four things that no one ever told you about becoming a mother.
After baby, you are no longer in charge. It’s easy to believe you’ll bring your baby everywhere, and as long as you have a diaper bag you are prepared. Once you have a newborn, that tiny package runs the show. It’s always best to implement a schedule with your baby as soon as possible, but there will be more unexpected moments than expected moments. You may be walking peacefully through the aisles of the grocery store, baby happily sleeping, and suddenly you hear a noise. And then you smell something not so pleasant. Before you know it, you’ve realized your bundle of joy just did an explosive number two right through his or her Baby Gap onesie.
Baby screams. It’s time for a new diaper. A trip to the store now becomes a hurried rush to grab groceries and get to the car to clean up baby.
The upside? You’ll learn to laugh. And these days pass in the blink of an eye.
Quite possibly the most annoying aspect of new motherhood is all the advice, comments and criticism. Of course you will seek advice from trusted friends and family. What you don’t expect is the elderly woman at the park suggesting your baby needs a hat because there’s a chill in the air. Even worse, your mother in law constantly instructing you how to nurse. You will be bombarded with everyone’s stories about how they raised their babies, and after a while you will want to scream.
The upside? After a few weeks you’ll learn to brush off all the comments. Once you find what works for you stick to it and ignore everyone else.
It’s easy to imagine the unconditional love of your child. Finally, someone who will cherish you, look for you and love you no matter what. The truth is, babies are selfish. They need, need and need some more. To make matters worse? They really don’t care how badly you want to exercise, or eat your dinner. They don’t care how tired you are. When they are hungry, they’ll expect food. When they have gas at 3am, they need to be burped.
Constantly caring for someone who can’t express love is exhausting. The upside? By eight weeks you’ll be greeted by that big “there’s mommy!” smile. And you will forget all about the dinner you never ate last night.
After a few weeks of a newborn, you will be running on little sleep. While you may still have patience for your crying baby, you won’t for much else. Your partner, your parents and your friends may feel the heat when you snap at the small stuff.
The upside? If you vocalize your need for a breather (and you’ll need one) you may be able to grab an afternoon snooze while grandma watches the baby.
While new babies require a lot of care, and they’re a joy to have, the days can be long. You need to ask for help when you need it, and remember your baby is only a baby for a short while. Squeeze in rest and exercise, and always eat well to keep up your energy. In a few months, you’ll be sleeping the whole night again, and the newborn baby blur will be a thing of the past. Unfortunately for all moms, mommybrain never goes away.
The upside? You will be raising one amazing little person.
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