There’s so much you can read to help you prepare for welcoming a new baby into your life and becoming a mom, and that’s great. However, there’s so much more that isn’t in the reading and you just won’t be able to figure out until you’ve experienced it yourself. Being an active parent is one of the hardest things a person can take on, and it’s not all fun and games.
During my first year of being a mother, there’s a few things I wish I knew because I could have prevented unnecessary stressors and feelings of self-doubt. I made this list for YOU in hopes to prevent these feelings for you.
9 True Things About the First Year of Motherhood:
- Sleep no longer exists for more than a few hours. But you knew that, right? Like, if you don’t know a thing about being a parent, you still have some source of “knowledge” that you will not get any sleep the first year of your baby’s life. It’s just a known thing. However, I don’t think people realize (before they have a child) just how bad not getting sleep is. Some people function better than others on zero sleep, but I’m not one of those people. I need all the coffee alll the time because I can never get enough sleep. I guess it makes sense because my newest baby is still in that first year window. On a more serious note, not getting enough sleep can really toy with a person’s mentality. Serious problems can result from a person not sleeping, so keep that in mind and surely DO make sure you are finding that time for rest. If you need help getting your baby to sleep, check out these tips.
- It’s going to take some time, but you and your baby will eventually get on a schedule. At first, you might not even notice the importance about getting you and your baby on a set schedule. But, you will realize eventually that is will make your’s and your baby’s life much easier by being on one. Once your baby is hitting those nap times on the dot, you’ll start to notice things start to flow and it will relieve some stress off of you. If you’re lucky, your baby will create their own schedule, but if you’re having issues, read this.
- You will need help and you should ask for it. Nobody likes asking for help- until you realize it makes your life so much easier- then you start to enjoy it. If you need to take a nap, ask someone to come over and keep an eye on your baby while you take an hour nap. If you need a date night, see if one of the grandparents will babysit for a few hours. If you need help catching up on house work, see if a friend is willing to help. Whoever you have to ask, just make sure you are getting the help you need. And if you’re not able to, communicate with your “village” that you need more from them. Don’t worry about feeling like a burden because at the end of all of this, they will be grateful for the time they were able to spend bonding with your baby.
- You’ll never enjoy the unwanted parenting advice- just nod your head and move on. “Sleep when the baby sleeps,” is probably the most annoying parenting advice that you’ll hear, yet, you’ll definitely hear it the most. Why? Because it makes sense– if you sleep when the baby sleeps, then you’ll surely get 10+ hours a sleep a day. However, this then means that you will not have a clean home, clean clothes, or even a clean self. But, just like with all the other parenting advice you’ll receive, you should take that advice from the random and shove it up their- no- You accept the advice and move on. You’ll be doing yourself a favor, trust me. I have reacted both ways to unwanted parenting advice and found that pretending to care is much easier on yourself mentally. And as you will learn, to be the best mother, your mental health has to be in good shape.
- You’re going to feel the urge to compare yourself constantly to other moms, but fight that urge! It’s going to be hard not to compare yourself to that mom on Facebook who seems like she has it all figured out- but she doesn’t, and you need to realize right this second that we’re all lost in the sauce and faking it ’til we make it.
- You’ll realize who is truly there for you. Once you become a parent, you start to notice who really wants to be in your life and who, simply, doesn’t. And for some people that you’ll lose you might be heartbroken, and others not so much. Just remember, we all go through this and if they’re not there for you now, they never will be. Now’s the time to start building your village and only allow those in who you know will be there for you and your baby.
- Your relationship with your significant other will be put to the test- and you’ll likely fail at first. But that’s ok, you’ll figure it out along the way. Trying to keep your relationship afloat will most likely be the hardest thing during your first year as parents. With the lack of sleep, constant stressors, and not enough “date nights,” you and your partner will surely be at each other’s throats at some point. While it may be nearly impossible to avoid, just try to remember that you’re not the only ones dealing with this, and it will become possible again to be able to look at your partner without wanting to throw the next dirty diaper at them.
- Self Care, Mama. You are probably already hearing this a lot, but it is something important that a lot of us forget about or just don’t take seriously. I used to put myself on the back burner for years, but as of recently, I started making time for myself and putting myself first in certain situations. Only you know what type of self-care you need, so think about it and get to it! It’s better to figure it out now rather than going down that dark and lonely road of depression and self-loathing.
- Cold Coffee is the new norm. *As I take a sip of my once-hot-but-now-cold coffee* Just accept it. It’s gross, and sure you can heat it up in the microwave (if you like the taste of burnt coffee), but it’s just something that’s going to happen. There’s too many distractions to even get to the coffee maker, yet alone getting to enjoy a hot cup of coffee.
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments!