- Family and Parenting
What No One Tells a First Time Mom
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!