It has been about a year now since I’ve learned I was about to be a mom.
I had so many thoughts and emotions when I learned I was pregnant. I only had 7 short months to learn how to be a mom, how was I ever going to be prepared? I was scared because holy crap, now I have to be responsible for a little human. I was overjoyed and excited to meet him.
I was nervous to give birth. I was curious about what he’d look like. Would he have his dads height? My eyes? I was overfilled with love, despite being nervous and scared and unsure how to be a mother. I knew I was going to have to learn, and learn quick.
Six months after having him, here are 5 things I’ve learned about being a mom!
1. I’ve learned you’re never going to feel ready, until you have to be, and then you just are.
I was convinced while pregnant I needed to learn as much as possible about babies and motherhood, to get his nursery together, and to purchase all the things I might want or need for him. My partner kept telling me he would get the nursery together while I was in the hospital, but I was having none of that. I needed it done before! We had to be ready! What kind of mother would I be if his nursery wasn’t done well before he came into the world? I’m here to tell you that’s nonsense. I wasn’t “ready” for him until I had him, when he was first placed in my arms with my partner, Shane, standing next to me with our sons fingers wrapped around his one. I found this to be true for every situation we’ve run into with him since he was born.
I wasn’t “ready” for the first time he was sick, until he was and we handled it. I wasn’t “ready” for him to explode out of his diaper, until he did. I wasn’t “ready” for him to get his first set of shots, until he had to get them. I wasn’t “ready” for him to grow out of his newborn clothes, or his 0-3, or 3 for that matter. I certainly wasn’t ready to hear my child has a medical condition that requires surgery. No matter what comes, I know that we will be ready when it happens.
2. I’ve learned you don’t need all the stuff they say you need for a baby.
I researched for weeks and stressed about getting my registries JUST right because I simply needed everything right away. Do you need a lot of stuff for your baby? Absolutely. Did I need 10 different pacifiers before I knew whether my kid would even use them? Nope. My little boy won’t touch them anymore and now I have a dozen of unused pacifiers, some not even opened yet. Did I need to have his crib up? Nope. He won’t sleep in his crib. We currently use it as a changing station for him. Did I need all those baby hangers? Not at all. I’m so busy and tired from being a mom, I’m lucky if his clothes make it to his dresser from the laundry basket let alone on cute little hangers. I would have done much better to wait and see what my kid will actually use before buying everything they say you need.
3. BUT I’ve learned there are some things you definitely need for the baby.
Diapers, clothes, clothes, clothes, as many blankets as possible, bottles – because breastfeeding may not work out, – wipes, a Boppy pillow, car seat, stroller, diaper bag, swing, a set of baby medicines, and thermometer were just a few on my list of things that I needed in the first few days, weeks, and months. My best piece of advice is ask other mothers what they considered their must haves and make sure you have those things! Everyone told me a swing and a bunch of receiving/swaddle blankets were a must have and dear Lord they were all right.
4. I’ve learned there is no such thing as “perfect” or the “right” or “best” way to do anything. Only what’s “best” for your baby.
There is a lot of literature out there that says what is “best” for your baby. I heard plenty from family and friends about what is the best way to feed the baby, that I should breastfeed at any cost, the hospital and doctor’s office beat “safe sleep” into my head, that I should stimulate his mind from the beginning, that I can’t give him acetaminophen until he’s 4 months old, even though that’s what they give your baby in the hospital.
My kid won’t sleep flat on his back, never has since the day he was born. I tried for the first couple of weeks and then again when he was around 3 months old to try to get him to sleep flat on his back in the bassinet pack n’ play, but he wouldn’t. He would stay asleep for tops 10 minutes. A baby that’s not sleeping means mommy and daddy aren’t sleeping which makes for a grumpy baby and grumpy parents. I gave up on trying to get him to sleep like that because it didn’t work. Don’t get me wrong, I make his sleep as safe as possible, but we’ve stopped stressing about it. After all, a sleeping baby is best. I got a certain amount of flak and warnings about his sleeping, but we do what is best for our child, and I’m sure you will and have done what is best for your baby.
5. I’ve learned there is no true love like the love you have for your child.
He’s number one. It’s that simple. I will do anything for him. I don’t even have to question the lengths I would go to for him or how much I love him. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love him. He is my heart and my special little man.
So, those are my 5 things I’ve learned about being a mom. What are some of the things you learned as a new mom or dad? What was the BEST and WORST advice you got about having your own baby?
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