Dear first time Mom,
Having a baby changes your life. Let me say that again... Having a baby changes Your life. More than you would ever imagine. You will never have a true, uninterrupted 8 hour night of sleep EVER again. Those "just pick up and go" situations are a thing of the past. Being selfish or possessive about anything: food, the house, your bed, personal space, bathroom time, even your own body, is virtually impossible. I'm sure you're prepared for things to change, but I guarantee you aren't aware to what extent it will change. I sure didn't and I attended all the classes, read all the books, talked to my mom and my suegra (mom-in-law), and was still in utter shock when my first boy arrived... still am from time to time. Motherhood is a trip!
Something I've realized from all the interaction I've had with lots of different moms, not one of them realizes they can't go back to the way life is/was. A baby cannot be just an addition to your lifestyle. Becoming a mom isn't like getting hired for a new job; You are now embarking on a permanent new chapter in your life. It's not going back to the way it once was.... ever. I have so many women call me or tell me how frustrated they feel because they have to plan their trips (whether to the grocery store or cross country) around the baby and his schedule/routine, They truly believed that after the first week of baby being home, they could just do laundry, make dinner, or clean the bathroom as usual and they become so discouraged when that just isn't the case. Then I get the desperate texts that sound much like this: Why is my baby crying all the time unless I'm holding him/her? I don't think I'm producing enough because my baby just wants to be latched on 24/7! How can I get anything done around the house with a colicky baby? I have to go/do/take care of ...[fill in the blank] but I can't because of the baby. What can I do???
Wanna know how I respond to these mamas 9 out of 10 times? Take a deep breath and do your best to enjoy this moment. Soak up the cuddles and bonding and the very fact that your baby wants to be close to you. In just a short period of time, for some, only a few months, your baby will be crawling/cruising/running away from you and you will long for these agonizingly long days of stopping and soothing.
|Me with my firstborn in the thick of it. Motherhood was kicking my ass in this picture, but I was still trying to soak it all up.|
So, what am I really getting at here? I just want to raise awareness among all moms and mothers-to-be that there are some seriously long days and nights that come with being a mom, Don't be shocked when your baby is unyielding to fuss. Don't blame yourself or your breast milk. There's even some well researched proof* that most babies go through a cycle of being unhappy and wanting only mommy within their first year (also called "mamitis" by my Dominican family). The best thing you can do is wait it out and soak up the snuggles while you can.
And here's a question for you:
What sort of changes surprised you the most when you became a mom?