Becoming a mother, especially the first time around, isn’t easy. It’s life changing and may not always be the blissful fairytale it’s made out to be at first. Many moms experience the feeling of being overwhelmed, tired, frustrated, and sometimes even feel a sense of failure. I always wondered why more mothers didn’t talk about those times? After having four children of my own, I have learned a thing or two about motherhood.
10 Truths About Early Motherhood
1) All babies are different
You could have one with a bad case of reflux like mine, a baby who is just colicky with no specific reason, and you could have a typical baby. Either way is still an adjustment and life change.
2) Your hormones are changing once again
Not like pregnancy wasn’t enough. You will loose hair and your skin may change for the good or bad. You may have hot flashed or night sweats as your body tries to get back to pre-pregnancy status. You just very well might be cranky to put it nicely. 🙂
3)Your emotions are all over the place
You may have the baby blues and be very emotional at times. It can be a roller coaster ride of up and downs. Feeling blissful one minute and crying the next. You’re sleep deprived and your hormones are once again ragging. It’s OKAY if you feel a little resentment towards your significant other. (Of course if you feel worse, really depressed, or very anxious talk with your doctor. You could have post partum depression. PPD is serious and more common than you think.) I can remember feeling a sense of loss after each of my births. It sounds weird but it can happen. It’s okay to take medication to get yourself feeling normal again. I had post partum anxiety/depression with my third pregnancy and medication did help me.
4)Your breasts will get HUGE and then Shrink
Which is by no means lovely or comfortable, the engorgement part. To help relieve them you can try cabbage leaves over each breast. It has worked wonders for some. Wearing a tight fitting sports bra will also help. DON’T do these things if you are trying to breastfeed. What’s even more fabulous is your husband will look at them with amazement while you want to hit him on top of the head with a frying pan. Last but certain not least, your breasts will eventually shrink down to their normal size and will never look the same.
5)If your breastfeeding know it’s not easy at first
Maybe for a select few but for many what is suppose to be so natural is SO NOT. It can be hard, time consuming, and a very frustrating process. But it WILL get a lot easier. Getting help from a lacation consultant can help wonders. Again it’s a learning process.
But still for some it just might not work out. If it doesn’t don’t be surprised if you will feel sad and disappointed. I tried for 5 weeks after my third and fourth child and it just didn’t work. It was the best decision to stop for me and my family. It was a relief but I struggled with a feeling of unaccomplishment. (Again, we are way to hard on ourselves.)
DO NOT feel bad if you don’t breastfeed. I struggle with the guilt for awhile. Your child will turn out just fine. There is no difference between my 2 who weren’t and my 2 children I did breastfeed.
6) Your stomach will slowly shrink down
Possibly to where it was pre-pregnancy but even the fittest mother with still have a little bump. Even if you do lose all or most of the baby weight everything you still may feel fat or flabby. It can take up to 9 months to get back to where you were pre-pregnancy. (Even if you didn’t gain alot of weight.)
I still couldn’t fit into my regualar jeans comfortable for about 9 months. And I was 2 lbs away from my start weight 2 weeks after giving birth. By baby number 4 I feel my belly looks like a bowl full of jelly. I know from experience it will evenually go away but I still HATE it!
7) You will have vaginal or incision pain.
And you do bleed heavily after delivery. It takes about 4 weeks to subside. To make it worse your husband will most likely want to jump on the band wagon and have sex ASAP. They honestly have NOT a clue to what you have and are currently experiencing. Which leads me to #8.
8) You may slightly or strongly dislike your husband or significant other
Even if they actually help you the best they can they still have no clue what your going through. And quite frankly many just don’t get it and are selfish. Even if they do help you, which is fabulous, you still do most of the work as a mother. You will most likely be the one most sleep deprived. Boy oh boy can sleep deprivation add to your crankiness at times. Women have this instinct to be perfect and feel they should now it all or they have failed. Men tend to be more laid back especially when it comes to babies. They just aren’t programmed like we are.
9) You will get a million opinions and ideas from others
This can be good if you ask for it and bad if you don’t. People usually mean well and are just trying to help. Unfortunately they tend to forget what it’s like to be a mom for the first time and can sometimes overstep. All of this can lead you to one thing…feeling worse and more incompetent. Even if you ask for suggestions, realize what works for one mother/baby may bot work for everyone. It’s all about trial and error.
10) Last but certainly not least, you will try to be SUPER MOM.
We are programmed to feel as though we have to do everything and do it right. If we don’t we fail. But I have learned as a mother of four, it’s simply not the case. We are not perfect and we will not have all the answers. Plan on throwing your ability to do everything in one day right out the window. That whole control thing, well do your best to forget about it. There will be days when you have done everything and still your baby will be crying. It can be hard and you may feel like your a terrible mother, but your not. Babies cry and can cry alot. I swear the first 4-6 weeks were a honeymoon faze for my boys. Then all of a sudden all hell broke loose and the crying began. But then again every baby is different. All of mine happen to have a pretty bad case of reflux. Let the fun times begin!
Having a baby brings about many changes in you physically, mentally, and your lifestyle. And as much as it can bring you and your partner closer together, it can also create a little bit of tension. But the most important thing to remember is that is does get better and easier. I can’t promise you won’t be faced with new and different challenges along the way. Believe me you will. All you can do is take care of yourself and do the best you can. Know you will not have all the answers and that’s okay. Really it is!
Motherhood is a forever changing learning process. It’s the most challenging but also the most rewarding job you will ever have in your lifetime.