When I meet a new Mother. I won’t tell her to soak it in. I won’t say they grow up too fast. I won’t tell her to sleep when the baby sleeps.
None of the crap advice.
I’ll tell her the reality. Not to scare her, but to prepare her better. Things that no one talks about but every Mother goes and grows through. Things I wish someone had shared with me instead of sugar coating the shebang of Parenting.
1. Breastfeeding is natural but it may not come naturally to you. You will learn the hang of it, along with your little one. Don’t give up. Don’t let people question your supply.
2. You will take a while to get attached to the baby. Infact, the first few sleepless and painful nights you will question why you even had a baby. That’s okay. Take your time. You are still the best mother your child could have.
3. You will resent your partner. Especially when you hear him snoring. Or breathing. You will question why sleep doesn’t come as easy to you. Forget sleeping like your baby, you would want to sleep like your Husband. You will hate him for having a life outside of Fatherhood, you will hate him for not understanding your emotions. He will bear the brunt of your post Partum hormones. You know what? That’s okay. He understands. He tries to. You are still the best wife he could ask for. The best person to raise his child with.
4. Everything about you will take a backseat. EVRYTHING. Your meals, long showers, your marriage, friends, work, YOU. This is your new normal. You will work around it. Give it time.
5. You will kiss your old body goodbye. Maybe for a while. Or maybe for longer. It will be replaced by a stronger body and mind, perfect enough to raise your child.
6. You will be judged. A lot. For breastfeeding. For not breastfeeding. For feeding too much. For cloth diapering. For not cloth diapering. For co sleeping. For not co sleeping. For having a sleep schedule. For not having a sleep schedule. For having a ‘thin’ baby. For holding your baby too much. None of this is about you. You do you, don’t let someone faze you.
7. Just when you think you have got a hang of it, your child will reach a new level of ‘what the hell.’ Will sleep less, May nurse more. May not nurse at all. May cry a lot. Again, this is not about you. Babies go through various phases, sleep regressions, growth spurts, developmental milestones. There is nothing wrong with how you are taking care of the baby. Don’t let someone else’s opinion of how you raise your child, change how you raise your child.The best way to raise your child is the way that works for you and your spouse. Your way. Ignore the background noise.
8. Mom guilt is real. It doesn’t matter what a badass you are. It will get you. Cry if you must, but don’t let it shake you. Nobody has it together.
9. If your instinct says there’s something up with your child, you will be usually right. Trust your Mom instinct. It is there for a reason.
10. It truly takes a village to raise a child. You may not find that village in your immediate family. Or your family may be your biggest support system. Both are okay. Find your people and ask for help. You don’t have to do it all.
I’ll leave you with one annoying cliché though, and hope that it helps you on your tough days: “Your babies don’t need a perfect Mother, they need a happy one.”
Give yourself grace, you got this.