Being a mom is never easy. No matter how many kids you have, the second you hold your baby for the first time, your mind goes completely blank. And once the joy and elation has faded, you realize that taking care of your baby is all on you. First time moms can find the first couple of months with their newborns extremely confusing and daunting. No matter how much research and how many diaper changing classes you took before you conceived, things will be very different once your baby is finally here. So what do you do? Here are 5 things all first time moms should know.
1. Tired Is The New Normal
Congratulations, you’re a mom! This means that your new constant state of being is being exhausted. Babies are a lot of work, especially the first couple of moms. They literally need you to survive. Which means between the diaper changes, endless feedings, naps, burping and swaddling, you’re on the 24/7 shift till further notice. So, there is just no way around the sleep deprivation phase. Stop holding yourself to unrealistic standards and allow yourself to be tired. It’s okay if you don’t like every minute of motherhood or if you feel like you’re going to fall asleep with your eyes open 90% of the time. Just keep in mind that this stage doesn’t last forever. Eventually, your little one will sleep through the night and you can get some well deserved rest. Hang in there!
2. It’s Okay To Feel Lost
Guess what, no one knows what they are doing at the beginning! So, cut yourself some slack. It’s okay if you feel awkward, inadequate or just scared to be left alone with a newborn baby. Everyone feels apprehensive about doing something for the first time and motherhood is no different. You won’t have all the parenting answers as soon as you get out of the hospital or even ten years in the line, and that’s completely OK! You and your baby will figure it out together. As long as you are willing to learn, the rest will sort itself out.
3. You May Cry A Lot
Your baby isn’t the only one who’s going to cry a lot. New moms are often over emotional and just frustrated. So, even listening to the sound of the coffee machine (that you can’t have) or the sound of a loved one (that you can’t spend time with) is enough to make you burst into tears. It’s all just shifting hormones and the new level of mom love that you’ve unlocked overwhelming your senses. It’s okay to cry it out when you can. Holding all those big feelings in will just backfire onto you. So, let yourself cry freely when you want to.
4. Your Body Will Feel Better
A lot of new moms struggle with feeling comfortable in their own skin and hey, we get it. A baby just used your body as a house for 9 months. So it’s perfectly fine if you don’t feel like yourself or are disconnected from your body. All the morning sickness, sore breasts and stretched out skin is bound to do a number on you. So be gracious with yourself and give yourself time to settle into your body again. Postpartum recovery is different for everyone, but you and your body will make peace again as time goes by!
5. Ask For Help
It really does take a village to raise a child. So, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You may feel the need to do everything by yourself but sometimes that just isn’t realistic. You need to give yourself time to rest, recuperate and take in everything that’s happening. And sometimes that means letting someone else bottle feed the baby at night or letting your mom give your baby a bath. Prioritizing your health will help you in the long run. Your baby will need you a whole lot more in the future. So, take a backseat and give yourself some rest when you need it. Let your parents watch the baby while you sleep or get a nanny to give you a hand. Whatever works for you and your family.
Taking care of a little vulnerable baby can be daunting and stressful to say the least. It’s okay if you have doubts about your own abilities or are finding it hard to cope. New moms need time to adjust to all the bodily changes and changes in routine. It will take you a minute to get accustomed to this new way of life with your little one. So, be patient with yourself and try to take it one day at a time. If you feel extremely isolated or lonely, talk to a professional or take some time out to socialize with friends. You’ve got this momma! Happy parenting.