Becoming a mom for the First time Is life changing and overwhelming. It’s not about you anymore. You have brought new life into this world. Having a baby is possibly the most exhausting thing I’ve experienced but it’s also the most rewarding...
Being a mother truly does come naturally, you just don’t always realize it at the time.
I was so excited to be a mommy. It changed me so much and I see the whole world in a different perspective. It’s amazing how one can change without even realizing it. Sometimes I’m still so amazed. Motherhood has been a dream come true and it has made me see my worth as a woman. But as we all know... good things don’t come so easily... it’s a beauty and a blessing in disguise!
So Here’s some reminders to the Newly Moms...
I can’t say this enough! Rest and sleep has a complete different definition after you have a baby. As a mom your natural instinct is to be selfless! I remember feeling like a zombie almost every day for at least the first 4 months. Try to take little naps in between the day when baby is sleeping. I breastfed on demand so I co-slept which helped, but u still needing to wake up during the night to feed. You will never experience a full 8 hours of sleep again. Say goodbye to those days. So take any chance you have to sleep, because it does not get any easier. You going to need your rest to stay healthy and sane.
BREASTFEEDING IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.
Breastfeeding is not only tiring for the body... it’s emotionally exhausting too! I felt like my baby sucked the living day out of me! I even looked the part. Don’t forget that You need to continue to take your vitamins like you did when pregnant. You will need it more than ever now. Otherwise you are going to feel drained and look like you are dying hahaha (like in my case) But Don’t worry... it’s just part of the change and process. You will find your feet and yourself in-between it all. You get super thirsty, so always keep water or liquids nearby to keep hydrated. I remember my skin eventually becoming so dry.. It looked like powder. Always Make sure you breastfeeding with support under your arm and behind your back. This will definitely help you.. even if you don’t feel any strain in the beginning. Always feed baby at a good angle to minimize sagging breast as well. That’s not all... your nipples start feeling like they going to burn away... so don’t underestimate a nipple cream!! On top of sore nipples... your breasts get painfully full .. so baby needs to drink it.. and then there’s the leaking. So yes breast pads will be your new go to! Find a brand and size you like. As some can be quite irritating and never sticks or stays in place. I remember waking up most mornings smelling like a milk factory. Your favorite bras will also be spoiled, so do not wear them. Get yourself some cheaper comfy bras or nursing bras. I’m probably making breastfeeding sound dreadful... but it’s extremely exhausting and if you don’t prep yourself and have everything you need to keep you going, it can be overwhelming and emotional. But trust me it’s normal to feel that way and you doing something great for your baby!
FEED & NOURISH YOURSELF
Don't forget about YOU! I fell in that trap. It’s so easy to get swept away with this new bundle of life... and keeping him or her healthy and strong... that you forget about YOU! You will be too tired to even see to your own needs... or you will feel as there just isn’t enough time for both of you. Yes mothers are selfless, but always remember you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of your baby the best way possible especially if you breastfeeding as well.Baby steps! Take small steps in seeing to yourself. Start by getting as much rest as u possibly can. Try afternoon naps with baby. Don’t forget to take vitamins! Stay hydrated! When u eventually have time to shower, take a hot bath rather with some oils in it to keep you relaxed and your skin moisturized. I remember doing that as I never had time to rub myself out with some lotion.
LET YOUR PARTNER TAKE OVER!
Never ever turn down help from your partner. Whether it’s evenings only, or mornings only... it will give you time to do what you need to. And make this a habit from the beginning already or they tend to get comfy in your routine.
APPRECIATE THESE MOMENTS
Through all the stress and emotions... don’t forget to take things easy, take a step back, breathe and appreciate all these finer moments you going through with your baby.... both good and bad. Time flies... it really does! You will experience this first hand. So in all this chaos.. don’t forget to also appreciate everything and take in all the special moments... because it’s those moments which makes everything else so worth it!
DON’T FEEL GUILTY
Don’t let anyone else make u feel guilty for doing nothing... - I remember laying and not doing anything for the first month or 2. My body was just sore and exhausted. The house would be a mess, including myself lol... but baby was perfected every day. I would have friends and family coming over and the house was not in good shape. Sometimes I’d see the judgmental looks even though they never actually said anything. Luckily I am a person to not worry too much about what others think.. but it is hard to go through something so challenging as a new mother and then get people judging you for not cleaning the house, or looking at you like you lazy to lay in bed. Try not to let it get to you. You are, possibly more than anyone in the household, entitled to lay and do nothing when you finally get a break. You, your body and mind as well as your baby has been through a lot. Allow yourself to relax and not worry about everything else. Never feel guilty about that.
TAKE IT EASY
Don’t over do it. I decided to work from home after having my baby. And it’s not as easy and relaxing as it sounds. Not at all! I remember only being able to get work done in the evenings... until I realized I should be getting some rest in this time. Don’t over do yourself.. it will only make things much harder than easier. We not Supermoms, even though we wish we were.
DONT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP
After having your baby, you will soon realize other sides of people... sides that’s perhaps not going to be too pleasant. My baby was still so small, but everyone wanted to touch and kiss and see etc. I don’t know about you, but when I had a baby I didn’t feel like being bombarded with so many people. It was frustrating to me. I was tired, not in the mood, and also stressing over where their hands were and germs for the baby etc... not mentioning waking up the baby when they sleeping. Gosh... it was so frustrating for me. And of course if you say something... it doesn’t reflect so well on you. Overtime I came to realize that it’s fine to speak up in the proper manner. If they think anything negative from what you saying... so what right? You asking politely for people to wash their hands first, or to not wake the baby up... or even just to say you exhausted and tired and not up for visitors. People also need to respect boundaries. Yes babies are a celebration of course, but when the mommy is ready 🙂
MOMMY KNOWS BEST
YOU truly know the best! Not Aunty or mother- in law or sister or uncle... or even the stranger in the mall who had so much to say..... only YOU! Yes sometimes advice is needed... but you always know best. So trust your maternal instinct... and don’t be forced into doing things a certain way when you feel otherwise. This is a really common thing for first time Mommies. You will get it from ALL ANGLES! Telling you what’s best, telling you what to do and what not to do... sometimes it’s so absurd and funny! Just remember you the mommy, you have the final decision.. and you know what’s best for your little one.
KEEP A DIARY OR BOOK
I bought a baby book but never had the time to fill it in. And I regret that. You don’t remember all those special moments as clear as you did in that moment of time. So if you someone like me who loves memories and photos etc ... keep a diary and just jot down everything you experience. You will be so grateful you did that in the long run!
DONT FORGET ABOUT YOUR PARTNER
After all you have been through the last thing you want to do is be intimate. Men don’t understand this. They say they do.. but deep down they don’t really. How could they? So on top that causing them to feel left out... you also don’t really have the time to be there emotionally for them.. coz let’s be honest, we need the emotional support right? Lol... but always remember that women are stronger beings, and we’re built to handle and understand more. So even though we deserve the emotional support and affection, we shouldn’t forget to give that to our partners. It’s easy to forget them when baby arrives... but even a kiss & hug or some affection will do the trick every now and then. And if they been helping you quite A bit with baby... don’t forget to show appreciation so they don’t have reason to create anything in their minds 🙂 ... 1 less worry! Trust me ... you do not want to add anything extra onto your plate right now!
BODY ISSUES ARE NORMAL
I was lucky enough to get my flat tummy back naturally after birth. However I didn’t fit into any my jeans. My hips went wider and my bum lol. So the fact that none of my jeans was fitting me made me feel fat. Gosh don’t even mention the cellulite. I use to get so many compliments about my body and how I got it back so fast... mean while I couldn’t fit into my jeans and I had this cellulite on my legs that just made me so upset! And somehow my knees also got fat. So yes my tummy was flat.. but my knees got fat. Haha! We all will find something we don’t like... or some part of our bodies will be bigger than before. Also completely normal... and does not have to be permanent if you do not want it to be. But remind yourself what your body has been through. Your body takes a full year to completely heal itself. It’s been through so much.. so give it a break!
Tap yourself - if nobody is cheering you on, tapping you on the back or just complimenting you... acknowledge it yourself! Don’t wait for your efforts to be noticed... do it yourself. You the only one who will truly know what all you have been through and the amount of effort you’re putting in. So tap yourself on the back and remind yourself you’re doing a good job and compliment yourself. Be proud of the mommy you are becoming.. through all the mess.. it’s truly such a beautiful transition.
At the end of the day, we all will go through our own experiences, emotions, hardships and special moments.
We all come from different backgrounds, cultures and circumstances. So if you walking around like a zombie like I did... it’s ok... cherish those zombie moments ... you will have some good memories and it will all be worthwhile I promise! You are the world to your baby... and through their eyes you can do nothing wrong!
Just know that... being a mother is a gift... your little baby is a miracle.
Love them the best way you can... with all your heart and don’t hold back!