#1 You are going to want to quit
There are going to be some days and nights where you think to yourself
“Why the hell did I sign up for this?!” There will be days and nights when you just want to give up. But as soon as you start to feel that way, you instantly go back and realize that you are that baby’s mother. They are your world and you would do anything for them. That is why you will never give up. It does get hard and it might be tough to shake off those negative thoughts, but just remember that you are strong and have the most precious life depending on you. You got this!!!
#2 Make sure to make time for yourself. Stay social
Every parent will tell you how important it is to keep your sanity. If you are not well rested (which there will be plenty of days that you are not) than your baby may be sensing this. Get plenty of fluids and food in your system to get you through the day. Even if you have to finish your little ones half eaten banana, its still better than nothing. Make sure to stay social as much as you can. Weather you text your sister or call your mom every other day, make sure to get that adult time in. You may go a little insane talking baby talk all day long.
#3 Don’t forget about your partner
No, it isn’t your job to make sure everyone in the house is entirely taken care of, but one thing you will notice is that your attention is completely on your new family member. It's all that’s on your mind. Your partner will be able to sense this so just let them know they are still important.If you can find a way to do date night one a month or even take the afternoon and spend it with your partner then take advantage of that time. Yes, romance may be put on hold, but let your partner know that they are still just that; your partner. Again, it is NOT our job to make sure everyone in your home is taken care of, but it might know hurt to let them know they are still on your mind. It is just as much their job as it is yours to make each other still feel special.
This I feel is an obvious one. We all at some point in our lives get confronted with patience and how to use it. You learn this skill either in your job, with family or even in your relationships, but the patience that comes with parenthood is very different.
Here is what I realized: You are new to parenthood. Your baby is new to the world. You are both learned how to do things together. Be patient. It will go along way. Getting frustrated at 2 am because the baby is crying will drain you. You will become a zombie if your patience runs out during the difficult times. Keep in mind that everyone is learning a whole new role. Being a mom is new but so is being a baby. As strange as it sounds, that baby has never been a baby before. He or she isn't sure what to expect or how to handle new situations. Sound familiar??
Take a deep breath, step back and just know that your patience will build.
HAHAHAHAH What is sleep???
This was one of the biggest wake up calls I received after becoming a mother. I am a person who can usually run on 4-5 hours a sleep no problem. But the every 2 hour feedings 24/7 was TOUGH! Not only was I learning how to be a mother, how to breastfeed, change diapers and still manage a household, but I was running on ZERO sleep. And no, it's not like I had 1 or 2 nights of no sleep and then jumped back onto a decent schedule; this was every single day, all day. Its hard to explain to your partner what tired is for you. Sure, before baby I was tired. I would have a bad night or tossing and turning because of a sore back or weird pillow, but the next night I was able to recover and all was well. Not anymore... My days were night and nights were days. Everything just kinda smushed together into extended days of delirious nonsense.
"Just nap when the baby naps" WHAT A JOKE!
If I were to actually nap when baby naps, here is what it looks like.
9:00am - baby finally falls asleep after feeding.
9:15am - I try to jump in the shower.. since its already been 2 days without one.
9:20am - Dry off quickly and get back into compfy clothes
9:30am - shove a piece of fruit, toast or lets be real some candy into my mouth so stop by tummy from growling.
9:45am - Clean out the bottles for the next feeding and finish the dished from last night
10:00am - I settle down and turn the light off to catch some ZZZZzzzzs
10:30am - being over tired sometimes its hard to shut your mind off but you finally start to relax and fall asleep.
10:45am - baby begins to fuss but hopefully they just go back to sleep.
11:00am - baby is up and you got to sleep for baby 15/30 minutes????
NOT WORTH IT.
#6 All babies are different. You are the parent and you know best
This is one of those situations where other moms or dads tell you how you should be parenting your child. There were quite a few times that I would talk about our son and I would get interrupted and told that I should or shouldn't be doing that. Its not a competition people! You are their parent and you know what is best for your child. No, I'm not saying you need to have this mentality with your pediatrician, but when it comes to the way you want to do things for your child, do them regardless of what others day. You are going to get all kinds of advice thrown at you, but just try to be polite, nod your head with a smile and say 'thank you'.
You will soon learn that your priorities are going to change drastically. I was so unprepared for the lack of sleep I was going to get and so I pictures my life after baby to not change as drastically as I was told it would. Boy, was I wrong. I am a SAHM and I feel bad when the house is a mess, dishes are in the sink, laundry isn't done and grocery shopping isn't completed. (BTW I do not believe women need to stay home and men go to work. I am a strong woman and we live in a very feminist home). But, there is something about making the home that I feel is part of my "job" as a SAHM. I had to priorities my day. #1 baby. Baby is always #1. If the baby is having a bad day, then my job is to focus on baby and nothing else. Sorry, the house is going to be a mess and THAT'S OK! **This baby is only going to be a baby once and this time goes by faster than you might think. Enjoy the time. There will always be dishes to do, laundry to fold and groceries to shop for but that baby is only a baby for a short time. Take advantage of it and learn to multitask to get things done and priorities the things that are important.
#8 Accept help when its offered. Don’t forget to ask
If you and your partner have good communication during this new time in your lives, you will be set up for success when it's time to ask for help. My biggest issue when I first became a mother was that I felt this need to be Super Mom!. If I get help from someone else or my husband had to ask me, I felt like a failure. If I needed help, then that means I am not a good mom, right? WRONG!
just like a new job, you get time to train with someone and ask all kinds of questions. You get to have guidance and if I need help, I can raise my hand and ask for it. That doesn't make me a bad employee. It makes me resourceful and more knowledgeable about my new job. This same mindset applies to parenthood. If I need help, I raise my hand. There is no shame in asking for help. You are not a bad mom and you are not a failure. Another great note would be to take the help when it is offered. My family always wanted to help if the baby was crying. I felt ashamed again that I took the help without being asked if I needed it. Don't do this to yourself. Take the help!
#9 There is more than one way to do things.
I am stubborn. Have been all my life. It is my way or the highway when it comes to most things (I'm still working on this...).
When it came to parenting, I thought my way of doing this was the best and only way. Again, wrong! Because I stayed home with the baby, I thought I knew him better than anyone else. I mean, I was with him ALL DAY! I knew what he liked, didn't like. We had our routine and I knew exactly how he wanted his bottles. When my husband would be home and do things with him, I would constantly be correcting him. Granted, he was learning how to do things slower than me because he worked outside of the home. But I needed to realize that there isn't just one way to make his bottle. There isn't just one way to change his diaper. I needed to back off and give my partner the opportunity to learn on his own. And, if it wasn't exactly like we do things, thats ok! He needs to have his own way to burp the baby. He needs his own way on how he tickles the baby. It doesn't and shouldn't be just like my way. Relax and calm down if your partner struggles. Let them struggle because that usually the best times to learn.
#10 Enjoy each moment because it goes by too fast.
No one every really stressed to be how fast time goes. Sure, everyone says "enjoy these moments because in the blink of an eye, your child is walking, talking and independent". I wish someone would have grabbed me by the face and looked me in the eye and told me
"You have no idea how fast this time will pass. Your baby is only a baby once. Cherish every single diaper change. Every feeding. Every giggle. Every snuggle. There is nothing more cruel than time."
I thought he would be a baby forever. There were times that I could not wait for him to be able to crawl or for him to start walking. Now, I realize that I wish I would have held him longer or cuddled more. Now, he doesn't want to cuddle or be held. He just wants to be on his own and do his own thing. I will never have that boy as a baby ever again and thats the hardest thing to realize. I will never be able to breastfeed him or watch him roll over for the first time ever again. He isn't a baby anymore and time took that away from me.
Enjoy each and every moment with them because before you know it, they are not babies anymore. They will instantly start growing up and there is nothing you can do about it.
What are some things you learned as a parent that you want to share with new or current parents? Comment below!
I'm Kristyn from sunny Peoria, Arizona. I'm married to my amazing husband Jeremy, a mother to our incredible son Benjamin and have another little man on the way. I love inspiring and empowering others to see their true beauty and fight against the stigmas that society has created about beauty.