Pre-motherhood is a weird stage. It’s like preparing for a test when the topic is a surprise
Everyone has advice to give, experiences to share, mostly unsolicited. Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and crying all seemed inevitable. Whether you liked it or not, you’d be awake trying to put a screaming infant back to bed all while trying to keep from crying yourself. These were things we’d seen in movies so they weren’t a surprise when they happened. But if you’re about to have a baby, or are thinking of trying, here are some things no one tells you about motherhood:
No one ever talks about how much relationships change after having a baby, and no, not just with your partner, but with your friends, your co-workers, heck even with your mom!
Maybe it’s impossible to perceive it at first, but slowly you begin to realize that you haven’t seen your best friend since that christmas party last year, coffee dates and shopping trips are a thing of the past (God bless the internet)! God knows when the last time you and your partner had a romantic evening to yourselves. Little things that never used to matter, or even come up in conversation before, are now a big deal. Such as bed time, bed times are a huge deal.
Something that never, I mean never used to bring you joy, or even the slightest bit of relief (no pun intended) now is the main topic in almost all of your conversations: poop. When the baby is new, and you’re a first time mom, poop, is all you’ll be talking about or thinking about. But the poop conversations don’t just stop at the new born faze, it follows you all the way into grand-motherhood.
How many times did your baby poop this week? Is the baby’s stool green, black, yellow or a normal brown? Is it liquidy or solid? Is the baby constipated or does she have diarrhea? All questions that you’ll be asking yourself along with your doctor, you mother-in-law, your own mother, and maybe even your partner! Talking about stool will become the new norm of your life, you’ll be checking diapers, and searching the web of way to relieve constipation or ways to stop diarrhea. You’ll be googling “Is green poop normal for a 3 month infant?” Just a heads up, yes, yes it is normal. The truth is (breastfed) infants can have a variety of different shades and consistencies in their stool. As long as your baby is eating and or drinking enough milk/ formula there’s nothing to worry about.
“I will never let them do that” …. “Maybe just this one time!”
Remember that silent rule book that you had in your head? The one with all the rules and things your child would never do? Yeah, you can cross every single rule out now because sooner or later you’re going to cave. You might as well get off your high horse and ivory pedestal now. The “no screen time before they’re 30” rule might as well get tossed out first, because before you know it you’ll be shoving that ipad at them, asking for just 5 more minutes of sleep.
Breastfeeding can be difficult
As a mom of two, who had difficulties breastfeeding both my children, I can tell you that no one ever mentions that breastfeeding will be something that you’d ever have to worry about. But it is, it’s one of the main reasons for causing depression in first time moms. It always seemed so trivial and something that we should all naturally be able to do without any trouble. But the truth is that it can take up to six weeks to learn how to breastfeed, and still after trying day in and day out you may fail. And that’s okay. Just know that you tried, you did your best and formula is God sent anyways.
Some of the difficulties that first time moms have with breastfeeding are:
- Latching issues
- Flat nipples
- Not enough breastmilk
- Too much milk
- Breastfeeding and not having a social life
- Engorged breasts
Know that it’s okay to ask for help, there are professionals that can help you with your breastfeeding journey. Ask your family doctor to help you get connected to the right sources in your community.
You’ll feel alone
At first with the new buzz and routine you hardly notice that you have no one to talk to, other then the infant that just eats, poops, cries and sleeps. But soon you start chatting your partners ears off as soon as (s)he walks in the front door. You’ll start talking to you child as if they were able to respond, telling them your every move. “Now I’m about to change your diaper,” “Here’s a spoon full of green peas,” will become the new norm in your daily dose of conversation.
Try to use grandma’s help and get some “me” time in so motherhood doesn’t seem so daunting. Ask the hubby to take over for a weekend (or afternoon) getaway.
Motherhood brings you a bundle of joy, along with higher grocery bills! Before the baby there was more financial room for that new date night outfit or those hot new shoes, but diapers, formula and baby food have taken over now. Don’t sweat it too much because if it exists there’s probably a coupon for it! Some new mom learn the art of price matching and couponing which helps greatly in keeping the grocery bills down.
Some tricks and tips to couponing is to plan ahead of time, see what you’re running low in before you run out. This way you’ll be able to keep an eye out for sales and coupons! Before you go for a grocery run, check your local flyers for sales and go to a grocery store that price matches so you don’t have to run to different stores for that awesome deal.
It’s hard and scary
Some mothers make motherhood seem like such a breeze, but don’t worry, they’re struggling everyday just like the rest of us. Everyone writes books, articles and blog posts about what motherhood is like, but to tell you the truth, motherhood is a different experience for everyone. It’s experiencing a variety of different emotions at the same time. Being deathly afraid for your child one second and being overjoyed the next. You find yourself trying to baby proof everything. You‘ll be afraid of strangers at the park—who knows if there’s a predator lurking behind the slides! You’ll feel tremendous guilt for not breastfeeding your baby, or choosing to go to work early. Sometimes in a moment of weakness, 4 am in the morning, after hours of trying to calm your baby and put them to sleep, you’ll wonder made you decide to take on the task of motherhood. What life would be like if you had decided against children. Of course the self pity will only last seconds and self hate will follow for even thinking such thoughts.
Just know that you’ll look back on this faze of life and wonder how it ever could have flew by so fast. No matter how hard it gets, know that it too will come to pass, and soon you’ll be saying goodbye for they’ll be off to university.