Hi to all moms or future-moms out there! I thought today I would share with you a few things that I learned in my first year as a mom and just some bits that I wish I knew before having a baby.
When I was pregnant I used to read a lot about being a mom, how to take care of a baby; I would watch youtube videos trying to picture my life with a baby. And yet – as prepared as I thought I was – I learned the most of it AFTER becoming a mom.
Because no book can prepare you for the whirlwind that is motherhood. It is the most amazing journey you will ever go through, whilst also being the most exhausting. I wouldn’t trade it for the world though and I’m so grateful for it. However, not gonna lie – I did have two cups of coffee today to keep me awake, because we’re full on teething in this house. Haha! 🙂
P.S. I also did a video on this, so you can watch that HERE if you prefer to skip the reading and just listen to me chat about this topic.
1. Everything is a phase.
I had moments when I would worry Victor’s not eating enough, then it would pass and I would feel like I’m over-feeding him. I remember in the beginning I worried I wasn’t putting him down for enough naps. Regardless of what you’re struggling with at the moment with your baby, it will likely go away on its own in time. It is kinda freeing in a way.
2. What works for some children might not work for others.
What your coworker swears worked for their baby with colic problems might not work for your own bundle of joy. Just because one baby likes to eat all finger foods independently, it doesn’t mean all babies will do so from the beginning of the weaning process. It’s all a learning curve as to what your baby prefers and now I try to take every advice with a grain of salt.
3. Your life will change dramatically.
I believe what changed the most for me was the way I chose to spend my time and my priorities. I weirdly sometimes feel like I’m more productive now that I have a baby, even though it’s harder to get things done. BUT having such limited free time at my disposal really made me realize the things that mattered the most to me and how I need to prioritize them in order to get them done. For example, I’m really into my Youtube channel and blog at the moment. So I make sure to put that on my to-do list every day and work on it during Victor’s nap time or when he goes to bed at night.
4. You are a great mother regardless of whether you breastfeed, bottle feed, co-sleep, have the baby sleep in their own crib etc.
I’m not denying how amazing it is to breastfeed. I gave my baby expressed breast milk for the first 11 months of his life. If you can do it, that’s awesome. If you can’t for some reason, that’s perfectly fine too and you shouldn’t beat yourself up for it. I think as long as you love your baby, you’re doing an awesome job. Moms really don’t need any added pressure than the one they already have in trying to raise a small human.
5. Getting out of the house and meeting like-minded moms will save your sanity.
Now that it’s winter we’re spending more time indoors and I’m definitely feeling it. It’s so much easier with a baby/toddler when you can go spend more time outside. They consume their energy in a different way, they’re entertained by various things outside and you get to meet other moms for a chat. It is so nice and relieving to have someone to relate to when it comes to sleep deprivation, your child not eating well etc. It really makes you feel less lonely in this motherhood journey. And if you can’t find moms that are on the same page as you around you, there’s always the online community that can be really helpful.
6. Some people have very strong opinions on various topics when it comes to babies.
Whether it’s breastfeeding, formula, co-sleeping or feeding your baby cheese puffs – people can be really pushy when it comes to all these things (and more). It’s ok to have an opinion and to do what you think is best for your own baby, but I don’t get why some moms (or people in general) feel like they really need to push their opinion onto you and your baby. Every mom’s trying to do their best, so I guess to each their own 🙂
7. Don’t compare your child to others.
This is actually a tough one and I’m so guilty of doing this, especially when he was a smaller baby. I used to worry he cried so much more than other babies. Now, looking back at it, he used to cry just the normal amount for his age.
For example, there was one incident at the grocery store that stood out to me. Sometimes I would go to the grocery store and Victor would get bored and start screaming, so I would hurry to get what I needed and run out of there.
I would see all these moms around me with calm babies and thought I must be doing something wrong.
Then there was a phase when Victor had just discovered he could sit up in the shopping cart and was fascinated by it, so our shopping trips would be lovely and easy. He would just calmly sit up there and look around the store as I got the groceries. One day we went past a mom with her daughter who was really unhappy and crying loudly.
As we went by, the mom said to me “oh, I wish my child would be as calm as yours”. It kinda clicked in that instant…that’s exactly how I felt before and this really put things in perspective. I told that mom that we were just having a really good day and that it’s not always like this. So just because you see moms with chilled babies around, it doesn’t mean they’re always like that.
8. You don’t have to feel guilty about taking me-time.
Self-care is important and moms need that time to themselves too. What I do is I prioritize what’s important to me. I will do pamper evenings every now and then or take the time to have a long bath after my baby’s bedtime. One other thing I like to do is my makeup. It makes me feel refreshed and like I’ve got my sh*t together, so I try to do that most days. I either do it before the baby wakes up or when he’s having a morning snack in the high-chair and I sit right there with him doing my makeup. It’s the small things that count.
9. If you hear a baby crying in a public place, don’t roll your eyes or give an awkward stare.
That mom is probably already feeling stressed about it, so no need for added guilt. Unfortunately, I have had this happen to me, but I feel much more relaxed about it now. We could all do with a bit more kindness in the world, right?! 🙂
10. You’re gonna learn most things as you go along.
Before I had my baby, I would read a lot of books and sites on any baby related topics trying to get prepared. I feel like it’s good to be prepared…theoretically. BUT you will actually learn most things as you go through them. Plus, no baby has a textbook solution to their problems, so you really only find out what your baby prefers as you go through every stage.
I have more mom life posts that you might enjoy over on this blog. If you’re a mom, let me know in the comments what you learned from your experience with motherhood.