What No One Tells a First Time Mom

photo: myfriendroxy at flickr
photo: myfriendroxy at flickr

I'm not trying to be pessimistic, but there are several things that I wish I knew before I had a baby. Of course no lesson is truly learned without firsthand experience, but here are a few eye-openers for you to ponder while growing your little bundle of joy...

You will get through those first two weeks, two months, two years, and live to tell about it.

You may feel very lonely when you're feeding and burping at 4 AM and you hear the newspaper hit the driveway. It seems like you're the only person on Earth that's awake besides the paper carrier and you can envision tumbleweeds rolling down your street. Just know that you aren't alone and it will get easier.

You will eventually run out of your surplus of diapers and wipes. They won't last as long as you think.

Even if you get back down to your pre-baby weight, nothing will ever be in the same place as it used to be. It's like your whole body shifts around and clothes that used to look good will not fit right anymore. Upside: you get a new wardrobe! Downside: your breasts may sag, even if you don't breastfeed. Ugg.

You will eventually get tired of looking at the adorable theme you've chosen for the nursery, cute as it may be.

You'll have so many one piece body suits that your baby won't ever have to wear the same one twice. For some reason, everyone finds it necessary to give you these and before you know it, you've filled an entire armoire. My advice: exchange at least half of them for some newborn t shirts (the ones with the snaps, available in short or long sleeves.) In the first few weeks of life, your baby's umbilical cord will need to be exposed to air to help it dry out and not become infected. The one piece body suit can irritate the cord and prevent drying.

Use the term "normal" loosely. From the moment your baby is born, you will find yourself asking, "Is that normal?" Of course there are things to be concerned about, but don't sweat the small stuff. Each child is unique but if you're in doubt, consult your pediatrician.

Your feet may get bigger and stay that way. I'm talking about going up a half or even a whole shoe size! What can I say, like everything else, feet expand. Again, upside: you get to buy new shoes!

Get your baby on a feeding and sleeping schedule as soon as possible. The nurses at the hospital should start this process, but try to stick with it once you're home. (i.e. Feed every three to four hours, etc.) It will help you and your baby become more comfortable and know what to expect if you have a routine.

No matter how many times you tell yourself you won't become that annoying parent who has a story about their kid to tell anyone who will listen, you will become that person. And you will be proud of it.

You won't do everything right the first time. You'll have regrets, but learn from your mistakes and move on. Parenting doesn't come with a manual and until you're face-to-face with an eating/pooping/crying/sleeping factory, you won't necessarily know what needs to be done without a little trial and error. Just do your best, ask for help when you need it, and before too long, you'll be a pro, offering advice just like me.

Most importantly, give your new baby love and attention and you will gain more in return than you ever knew possible!

photo: cc6aft at flickr
photo: cc6aft at flickr

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Comments 21 comments

RainbowRecognizer profile image

RainbowRecognizer 8 years ago from Midwest

Fantastic hub - expectation meets reality every time and first time motherhood is exactly as you described for many a Mom! :o)

amy jane profile image

amy jane 8 years ago from Connecticut

Love this - so true! The biggest surprise for me was how completely and hopelessly in love I fell! I said to my mom, why didn't you tell me it was going to be this way? I knew I would love her, I loved her when I was pregnant, but after she was born, it was an entirely new love experience :)

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

RainbowRecognizer: Thanks for your comment! Sometimes it helps to know you're not the only one feeling a certain way. We moms have to unite! :)

amy jane: I totally agree! It's amazing how love has no boundaries, especially when it comes to your baby! Thanks for your comment!

Lela Davidson 8 years ago

Hey MasonsMom - great Hub! This is so true. I'm sure you're going to help a lot of moms. (Sorry I never told you all this stuff....)

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

Yeah, thanks a lot, Lela! You could have warned me! (haha)

No, really--if this helps even one mom, I would be proud!


Tessali profile image

Tessali 8 years ago from United States

I have to laugh. Everything you say is so true. So true! There are so many things that is never told to the new mom and I think it is because it is overlooked. So much is going on and so much worry is happening over the birth. The huge things such as mere survival and changes in the body are not really discussed.

I'm sure this will help a lot of new moms. Good going there, MasonMom!

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

Thanks, Tessali! You're right, there's so many other things going on that you just try to keep your head above water! :)

lacyleathers profile image

lacyleathers 8 years ago from US

I so agree with your hub....it's nice to know one is not alone...!

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

Thanks for your support, lacyleathers!

Gadzooks profile image

Gadzooks 8 years ago from United Kingdom

I recently became a father, I don't think my wife has had half of these problems... but maybe that's just cos, as a man I don't see it!

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

Congrats on the baby, Gadzooks! I hope your wife has not experienced any of these negative little things that can accompany childbirth, but I must say that I doubt my husband knows about some of these either :) The good news is that they are mostly small annoyances compared to the wonderful child you've brought into the world!

Blogger Mom profile image

Blogger Mom 8 years ago from Northeast, US

These things are so true. Especially the one about feeling lonely at 4am, like no one else in the world is doing what you're doing. Now that my kids have gotten past that stage, I can honestly tell new parents that the newborn stage goes much faster than it seems when you're in it! And my favorite phrase "this too shall pass" has gotten me through many rough days and nights. Great hub, MasonsMom!

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

Thanks, Blogger Mom! I LOVE that quote as well!

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

Great article. it's been a lon time since I have been there, but a lot of this rang true to life. I came straight out of college into motherhood. With no car and a husband who was going to school and working full time I felt very alone after being used to being surrounded with people at school. Thank heaven for, Mom who helped keep me sane.

Sanity, or a semblance of sanity is helpful. Your advice is valuable.

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

Thanks, Rochelle! I've been thinking about doing a follow-up to this one. There's tons of stuff that mothers-to-be don't know yet. I'm still learning everyday myself!

Dottie1 profile image

Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

I have a son in college now and a daughter starting in the fall. One thing I learned I can pass on "some days will feel like years and some years will feel like days". If I did it, you can too! Many great hubs to learn by and the making of many great friends. MasonsMom great article, great tips.

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

Thanks for your comment, Dottie1! I can identify with that one for sure!

Julie A. Johnson profile image

Julie A. Johnson 8 years ago from Duluth, MN

You sure learn a lot being a mom, don't you! God hub! I invite you to read Important Lessons I Learned From Children"; I think you'll appreciate it. Keep writing! Julie

MasonsMom profile image

MasonsMom 8 years ago from U.S.A. Author

Thanks for commenting, Julie. I'll go check that one out...

trimar7 profile image

trimar7 7 years ago from New York

So true. My children are almost grown but I remember all of these feelings.

RhondaJ 2 years ago

Hi. Thanks a lot for the headup. Am 5 months pregnant this is my first baby.

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