This last week my daughter turned two months old. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been that long! I have been reflecting on my goals during my last trimester of pregnancy, and one of them was to prepare myself for motherhood. When I read that, I thought, how can anyone actually prepare themselves for motherhood? I can say now that I feel I am mentally prepared as a mother. I am willing to put in the work and do whatever it takes to take care of my daughter. But I can’t say I was there when she was first born. I cried every day for two weeks! I have several friends who are expecting and some are due quite soon, so for them, and anyone else who will one day have children, here are the five things I wish I knew when I was a brand new mom.
You will be exhausted.
Whenever I complained about being tired growing up, my mom would say: “You don’t know what being tired is until you’re a parent!” and I would get so upset by this. Well I shouldn’t have. She was completely right. Never in my life have I been so tired, and it takes its toll on you. I’m convinced it was why the first few weeks of my daughter’s life were the hardest. Just know that while things may seem bleak, eventually it gets easier.
You may not have an instant connection, and that’s okay.
When they first put Jane in my arms I was happy, but I didn’t have some instant connection with her like I always imagined I would. It took about a week before I actually began to love being her mom. There were a lot of factors that went into that, namely my difficulty breastfeeding her, but if you don’t have some instant connection with your newborn, it’s okay. You will, even if it’s not the moment they are born.
It’s okay to be scared!
Not only was I terrified when I went in for my C-section (which turned out fine by the way) but I was scared when my mom finally went home and my husband and I were on our own. Now, it feels second nature, but in the beginning it didn’t. And that’s okay.
Your baby will change your life plans.
Before Jane was born, I thought I would be able to continue school as usual. I knew a few weeks into my online class that I would never be able to take a full semester load again. I would have to break it up into chunks. This devastated me, especially because I am close to graduating. I thought, hey, I can power through and do 14 credits! Ha! Not a chance. And as hard as this was for me to accept, I did. I accepted it. A baby will change everything, and you just have to be okay with it.
You cannot afford to be lazy.
I want to clarify that being lazy is not the same as relaxing. Relaxing is when you decide to take a break and let things go undone so that you can breathe easy. Being lazy is when you are unwilling to put in the work required for no good reason. And as a mother, you cannot afford to be lazy. On top of the things you normally do, such as grocery shopping, cleaning the house, homework, a job, etc., you are now responsible for another human life which requires a lot of time and attention. Make sure you are ready to work hard and crash hard every night.
Motherhood is hard, but it is also exciting, happy, and wonderful. My main philosophy when it comes to motherhood is this: raise your children the way you want, don’t judge other moms for the way they take care of their kids, and enjoy the journey and life of each child. I am grateful to be a mother, and I’m indebted to my own mother and my mother-in-law for their fantastic examples. I hope that this article helps those who want to be mothers, or who will be mothers in the near future!