I am baby hungry 100% of the time. Even when The Captain was a week old I found myself wishing I was pregnant again. Is it crazy? Yeah, maybe. But its who I am and therefore I think about pregnancy, labor, the newborn stage, H’s first year, etc a lot. For a while I have been thinking about my pregnancy with H and how I was pretty darn sure I knew what I was getting into. I mean, I was clueless about a lot, but I felt like I had a good grasp on how my life was going to change. But then you have that baby and even within the first few minutes of holding my fresh little newborn I realized that nothing could have possibly prepared me for the way a child can change your life. There is nothing like it. I think about the next time I’ll be pregnant with baby #2 and this time I feel like I have a better feel for the way my life will change again – but I’ve been surprised before, so who knows really. This all led me to my own list of the 10 thing I wish I knew before becoming a parent. I have seen posts like these on the internet for years now and my list likely isn’t that different from the ones you’ve all seen a thousand times but alas, I’m still adding my list into the mix.
10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Parent
10: Babies need so much stuff. Just when you think you’ve got everything your child could possibly need, you realize there is so much you’ve forgot about.
9: You learn just as much (maybe even more) from your child as they learn from you. I read every article while I was pregnant about how to be the best mom to my son and for a split second I think I even believed I’d learned all I needed to know. Nope! He taught me so much and continues to do so. Its amazing! He can’t even speak yet, but somehow he’s figured out how to communicate his wants, needs, etc with me. Babies are incredible.
8: There will be bad days. Even if you are a really positive person and are doing everything ‘right’ bad days will still happen. There will be days where your patience is a little thin, there will be days where you feel like you’re a bad mom and you’re failing your perfect child, or if you’re like me then you’ll be attacked with anxiety and your world will feel like its spiraling out of control. These days happen, but the nice thing is that bad days/weeks/etc come to an end. Also, your baby can help you feel better. I have no doubt that children have healing powers and my husband has been an incredible outlet for me when I’m feeling lousy.
7: You’ll burst into random tears. Its ok. Thats normal. Or at least thats what I tell myself because I refuse to believe I’m the only one that does this. Sometimes I’ll catch myself watching H playing on the floor or sleeping in his crib and next thing I know I’m sobbing. I am not even entirely sure why or where it comes from but I usually decide its a mix of the love I have for him, how stinkin’ cute he is and how lucky I am to be his mom.
6: You need to give yourself credit too. I’m lucky to be surrounded by really supportive and uplifting people. After I had H, Wild Man would tell me very regularly how amazing he thought I was and how proud he was of me and how much respect he had for me. Our families gave very similar, genuine compliments. It made me feel good and proud of myself and confident. But I also learned that I need to give myself credit as well. When I finally gave myself credit for the fact that I PUSHED A HUMAN BEING OUT OF MY BODY and credited myself for being the best mom I knew how to be, it made a world of difference in how I viewed myself, how I felt about my day and how my attitude was. I did an amazing thing! And being a mom is a hard, amazing thing! I, along with all other mommas deserve lots of credit!
5: You adjust. I remember those first few nights of little to no sleep stressed me out so bad. How was I ever going to survive with such little sleep? I’m happy to announce that you figure it out and you somehow figure out how to manage going day to day on less sleep than you once got. Of course there are still some days where you’re exhausted and can barely keep your eyes open, but for the most part your awesome mom body, brain and attitude gets through it.
4: Its new for your baby too. Its not just new, scary, exciting, crazy and such for you and your partner. Its really new for your baby. Your little one was used to being snuggled up in a ball in the womb, warm and care-free and now they’re in this new, bright, cold, loud world and its got to be a lot to take in. You’re both new at this baby thing but you’ll both survive – promise.
3: You think you’re a worrier now? Wait until you have a kid. This is the one thats rocked me the most (well, besides #1) I have been a worrier since the day I was born I’m pretty sure, but it increased by 500% when I saw my positive pregnancy test, then it grew another 500% when my son was actually born. I worry constantly and have awful, crippling anxiety. Its tough but thankfully I’m learning more on how to manage it and cope with it and even overcome it! I’m fairly certain worry is a guaranteed side effect of having a baby and I’m sure it comes in different degrees to different mothers, but whether its barely there or the only thing you think about, its ok – and don’t be afraid to ask for help and be open about it. I’ll do a post about this someday, but being open and honest about the anxiety I have had since having H has been one of my biggest lifesavers.
2: There will be SO much advice. And guess what? You don’t have to listen to any of it if you don’t want to. Trust your God-given motherly instinct. You know your baby better than anyone else. You can pick and choose what advice you take to heart and what advice you brush off. Its so important to remember that you and your husband are the ones in the end who know whats best for your baby.
1: The LOVE. You know you will love them, but you can’t know just how much until that sweet, perfect newborn is placed in your arms and the flood of every single emotion comes over you. In that very second your life changes forever and your heart grows a million times its old size. Its incredible. The love a parent can possess for its child is the most powerful thing on earth and I believe its the closest we will ever get to understanding how our Father in Heaven feels about us. Its incredible.