What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Mother .
When you announce your pregnancy, advice starts flowing from everywhere, most of the time from people who don’t even have kids!
Motherhood came to me much earlier than I thought. I became a mother a month after my 19th birthday. I was a teen mom. I must say it was tough and you know what, two kids later, it’s still the toughest job in the world.
I didn’t know what to do, my boyfriend at the time didn’t know what to do but he was definitely more excited than I was. Phones come with an instruction manual, blenders too, and you know what, nobody is going to die if you screw up the phone. Babies my friend, do not come with an instruction manual and I, being a worry wort always thought I’d screw up.
So here are some things I wish i had known before being a mother
Sleep becomes a luxury.
Isn’t this an understatement!! I used to sleep like a log for 8-10 hours a day. I thought well, babies are humans, they can fuss a bit, toss and turn and end up sleeping. No, no, no! Both my babies were fussy during the day and night well into learning to walk. No amount of sleep training helped! I was up several times a night with both of them for almost 2 years.
I was an exhausted mama. I forgot to brush my teeth, sometimes held my pee for hours! Yikes! My standards for housekeeping even plummeted. Safe to say, today my children sleep all night but I can’t (pulling hair) my sleep has never been the same again!
Feed, Feed, Feed!
These babies are eating monsters!!! Every time people would see me, I had a boob out. Most nights I slept bare-chested. Easy reach for the baby haha. Do you know what breastfeeding does to you? You also become an eating monster! I would devour everything in sight, and food became a source of comfort for me as well because I ended up developing PostPartum depressing both times. (more on that below)
It’s okay to be shameless.
I delivered both my babies naked. I had some decorum though, I didn’t shout or curse or scream. (it’s okay if you do) The reason I was naked despite efforts by the nurse to at least robe me up was that I seriously felt clothes were constrictive. I just wanted this baby out, what part couldn’t they understand?
I also delivered in a room full of staff and with my 1st baby, I was poked and prodded because I had an induction which failed several times to take hold. Don’t you worry mama, the doctors and nurses are there for you, and trust me, they have seen it all!
You don’t know everything…..but you still know something
I thought I knew what type of mother I’d be. I thought I could eat just about anything during pregnancy and breastfeeding because breastfeeding would be like liposuction and all my fat would melt away. Boy, was I wrong!! I thought I would just know what to do with a crying baby who was colicky. Or that I’d know what to do when he had his first cold. I didn’t. And I paid for it.
People were constantly talking down to me. Kind of like “you’re a young mom so you MUST be dumb.” No. I’m a person who, yes, made some poor decisions that threw me for a loop. But getting pregnant young doesn’t mean that I’m an idiot. I knew I was going to be a present, caring and attentive mother no matter the age.
Babies make relationships hard
The odds of making a relationship last while being a young mom are not in your favour. Whether you’re married or had an “oopsies baby,” babies make relationships hard. There’s stress, sleep deprivation, physical exhaustion, emotional exhaustion, lack of alone time, lack of quality time together, and sometimes there’s resentment.
All of these things are a recipe for disaster for young parents. Statistically, young parents don’t stay together. It’s hard. It’s really, really hard. Trust me on this one, I’m still trying to find balance. At the end of the day, I think that only understanding and love can help figure things out.
You will lose a lot of friends….but you will make new ones
Being young, not many of your peers will have kids. And most of them will be childless for more than a few years. You won’t be able to relate to a lot of them and they won’t be able to relate to you. And that’s ok. You’ll find out very quickly who is a real friend and who isn’t.
Suddenly, all of your friends who are moms are at least 6 years older than you. Age won’t matter too much any more, since you’re ALL going through the same thing as moms. You will get to swap birth stories, talk for hours about poop but most of all, find your tribe.
Whoa! I can go on and on about this. I had it both times with my children and it lasted for months and the after-effects lasted years.
This is a serious condition that affects mothers after birth. It is different from having “baby blues”. It involves the above symptoms, along with depressed mood, loss of interest in activities, and many other physical and emotional symptoms which become debilitating and interfere with performing everyday tasks.
Accept help from others and ask of it as well
This is something I struggled with and still struggle with today. I always feel like I’m bothering someone when I’m in need of help. But the truth is, you need a break mama. A 30 minute walk outside could be difference between you losing your shits or bonding with your little one.
Ask for help so that you can take a nap, take a walk, have a long bath or just go get a pedicure. I wish I could take my own advice because up to today I still want to be constantly near them yet I need some me time. I was always told “happy mama, happy baby”
Invest in quality baby items
Babies do not need all the stuff that people buy nowadays. Baby brands are so quick to come to new moms with so many products. I know a mum who had 3 different car seats for the same child! Whew! Talk about an expense!
I found that a quality crib, lots of clothes of different sizes(simple clothes like onesies, and two pieces), blankets, a stroller, a car seat, feeding essentials, and a good diaper bag are all you need to go through the first year.
It will be hard but it will be worth it
There’s no easy way to say it: having a baby at any age is hard! The days are long, the nights are long, the sleeps are sort, the tempers are flared, the personal care goes out the window, the laundry is always dirty, the fridge is full of take out leftovers… but it’s all worth it.
Looking back, I wouldn’t be able to trade in any of my daughters. Being a mom fulfills a huge part of my life and I would never take that away.