Becoming a mom the first time is unreal, huge, frightening, fantastic… the list goes on and is highly individual.
Here are 6 things one woman learned from becoming a mother.
Can you relate?
We asked one of our readers to share her journey into motherhood and what becoming a mother was like for her. Below you will find her experiences and “life lessons”.
Bringing children into this world is an incredible experience.
Becoming a mom is an everyday process that begins well before your children are born. But there are certain truths I wish I would have known when my first child was born that I now know after having three children.
Some of these lessons might be truths we never really consider until after the delivery. Other lessons came because of my stubborn refusal to ask for help.
I hope you can learn from my life experiences and better prepare yourself for becoming a mom.
Life Lessons from Becoming a Mom
1. Giving birth is… indescribable
Even though the birth of my first child went without severe complications, the process of birthing another human being is still a really great deal.
No matter how you feel, what you say, and precisely how the birthing proceeds, you are already a hero.
I had prepared through birthing classes, prenatal yoga, and learning about giving birth.
But in the middle of it – when the body literally takes over and does its thing, it is still an overwhelming situation unlike anything else I have experienced in life.
While preparing is key, allowing yourself to “go with the flow”, asking for help, and NOT trying to be a hero while giving birth is super important.
No matter how you feel, what you say, and precisely how the birthing proceeds, you are already a hero. Amazingly, we can even give birth to a child!
2. Everything you know is going to change
Read that again. Everything you know is going to change. Before my first child was born, I thought I knew everything I needed to learn to be a successful mom. I had her diapers in bins, wipes stocked, and clothes ready.
Boy was I wrong!
Technically everything was physically ready for her, but nothing could prepare me for the emotionally and spiritually draining demands of a newborn baby.
When older moms tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps, I want you to know this isn’t code for “what you should be doing is the housework.” Moms literally need to sleep when the baby sleeps, and this only gets harder when more children come into your home.
One of the things that helped speed up my postpartum recovery was getting as much sleep as my newborn allowed. I also found other ways to steal some sleep; find these tips here.
Becoming a mom and dad changes every aspect of your life. But there will be a new normal, and you won’t look back, I promise!
I also didn’t expect the change that came between my husband and me in our marriage. Life was no longer just the two of us; we were responsible for this new baby in our home.
Our intimate life was challenged and changed within those first few months. If you find that you’re learning about your spouse all over again after a baby comes home, you’re not alone.
Welcoming a baby into your home is as much a challenge and change for you as this experience is for your husband. Often, people will discuss post-partum depression of mothers, and they often forget that fathers can also experience this debilitating condition.
Becoming a mom and dad changes every aspect of your life. But there will be a new normal, and I promise you won’t look back!
3. Post-partum depression is real
It’s okay to admit when you have post-partum depression. No one knows why some women experience postpartum depression, and others do not. Many moms (some 70-80%!) get at least one or two weeks of baby blues when their baby is a newborn.
But some moms get it a lot worse than feeling sad and moody for a few days or a couple of weeks. This is not something you can help or have done wrong. It just happens.
Please know that if you find yourself having suicidal thoughts, feelings of inadequacy, or feel like you’re not able to care for yourself or your child, don’t be afraid to reach out for help and say something. You can read more about postpartum depression here at Mayo Clinic.
There are so many people who love you, but this condition is so quick to blind a new mother’s eyes and heart.
You’re not alone. Please get the help you need. Your future self will thank you.
4. The need to slow down
Take each day one moment at a time. If you’re used to a fast-paced life where everything has a schedule and a deadline, then you might find living with a newborn to be a struggle.
This is one of the biggest adjustments I had to make. Time became irrelevant as I realized a newborn and toddler couldn’t care less about the time of day. I needed to learn how to be flexible with their routines and my new motherhood lifestyle.
Learning how to take each day one moment at a time and learning not to heap expectations on my shoulders helped me adjust to becoming a mom and assuming my new mothering responsibilities.
5. The sleep deprivation will not last
Sleep will come again. I remember the first night I slept more than four hours for the first time after bringing my daughter home. I woke up feeling so refreshed and good. Then I panicked and ran to her bedside to ensure she was still breathing.
Just to be sure her little chest was moving, I gently rubbed her hand, waking her up.
Looking back, I wish I had trusted the soft sounds of her breathing, but when becoming a new mom, I was so worried about her sleep that I was losing sleep myself. This doesn’t include the late-night nursing feedings or round-the-clock demands a newborn makes.
But, I read somewhere that new moms tend to wake up some 150 times per night. This is way more than the baby wakes up, and I guess it is for this exact reason – our body, brain, and heart are wired towards keeping this little new life alive and safe. No wonder we are tired. But it is beautiful too, in a way, don’t you think? Once again, our body takes over.
But sleep does come again. Some women are incredibly blessed to have newborns who sleep through the night. Most don’t. If this isn’t your story, then don’t feel guilty or like anything is wrong with your child.
Newborns, in general, need to feed often and also need the comfort of their mom’s arms often to thrive.
6. Nights are long, but time flies
The nights are terribly long, but the years go by so quickly. If there is one thing you need to remember, it’s this: the days might feel long, but the years go by so quickly.
I want you to cherish, embrace, and love each moment, even though you might not like every experience.
The truth is that every baby grows up, every toddler steals our heart, and every moment passes from us as if motherhood is merely a blissful dream.
The important thing is that you stay for the journey.
What are your thoughts about becoming a mom? I’d love to hear! Share a comment below.
- 8 Awesome Sleep Tips For New Moms, Even If Baby Won’t Sleep
- Prepare Your Mind & Tribe For A Beautiful Birthing Experience
- Your Post-Pregnancy Body; 10 Facts You (Don’t) Want to Know
Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.