After finding out I was pregnant, I started to read, research and prepare myself for every possibility imaginable. But, guess what? I realized there is so much more I did not know now that she is finally here.
Having a baby is hard work.
Not only that. It is also scary, exhausting – literally very exhausting – and hard. I applaud moms who have more than one child. I applaud friends who have twins. How do you guys do it?
Don’t get me wrong. I am loving every minute being Baby N‘s mother. Because I knew, in
Au revoir, sleep.
You may not manage to get more than two hours of unbroken sleep for weeks (or, maybe even months). Even if your baby is a “sleeper”, you still won’t be able to get a night of proper sleep. How can you? You will worry so much about everything that you will never sleep soundly again. Or you’d be so busy admiring your sleeping baby that you failed to realized you do need to snooze too. The only real sleep you will get is when you go away (without your child), which I did just recently.
The incredible thing about being awake most nights is: you will still function.
This tiny human is unpredictable.
There will be some sunny days, there will also be the stormy ones. Babies have mood swings too – I just realized that! To me, it is one of the most challenging moments to grasp and I have to admit, it is rough sometimes. Especially when they’re going through their leaps. Try to go with the flow – it will help a lot. Because, hey, this too shall pass.
And, in the meantime, please download The Wonder Weeks app. I find it somewhat useful in predicting Baby N‘s stormy days 🙂
Listen to the professionals.
From your family to acquaintances, to that old lady at your local grocery store – everybody has an opinion on how to parent. But, let me stress it again. Listen to the professionals. They have seen a lot of babies and they know what they’re talking about. It’s how they make their living, after all.
You will continue to receive advice for everything your ‘lil one goes through – from pooping to burping, to dressing up, to superstitious beliefs, etc.
Listen, smile and forget. Listen to your baby and your mommy instinct. Make a decision that works for you and your family. Trust yourself. It may take a little fine tuning. But you (like other mothers) do have a natural maternal instinct.
I am still finding mine. But yes, they are there. So please, trust yourself.
Accept help and don’t be afraid to ask for it.
It could be something as simple as doing a load of laundry or dropping off some groceries (there’s always Honestbee, too!). Or perhaps, you need help picking up the older child from school – for those of you who aren’t first-time moms.
If someone offers a hand, accept it. If you badly need it, well, simply just ask. You need all the help you can get. There are no medals for doing everything.
Take time for yourself.
Remember, you are important too! Sometimes we forget that. You are allowed to take a break, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Have a nice, warm bath. Go for a walk. Get the manicure/pedicure you so badly need. Do something.
You have to decompress, too, otherwise, you will not be able to care for anyone. Hey, if the mommy is happy, everyone else is happy, right?
Sure, right now I sometimes yearn for Baby N to be more self-reliant. But I also know, again, in a blink of an eye, she will be starting school and I’d be wishing for her precious few years back.
Being a first-time mommy is not easy. Yup, we will go through rough patches. But it doesn’t last forever. It is a joyous journey discovering new things. And it warms my heart seeing the smile on Baby N‘s face every single day.
My desire to paint the town red do appear every now and then, but for the most part, I find solace in simple, everyday moments.