Being a mother is something I always knew I wanted. I honestly believe it’s the only thing I was certain about when it came to my future.
When I became pregnant at 19, I was overloaded with emotions. It felt like everything (the fear, the love, the happiness…) was all rolled into a ball and stuffed inside my chest. All of a sudden everything I did was not for just myself. I had a little human to think about.
The emotions definitely won’t end there. You’re going to feel so vulnerable once your baby finally enters the world. You’re going to feel love and helplessness like you’ve never felt before. It will all be worth it, mama. Here are a few things that I have learned as a first time mother that might just help you out.
When people say, “It takes a village.” It’s no joke. Accept the help.
It’s okay ask for help when you need a break. When you haven’t showered and your hair is getting knotted from being in a bun for the past three days, but your newborn only wants to be held and your husband is at work, call someone up. Call your mom. Call your sister. Ask for help. Moms need the opportunity to take a break and care for themselves in order to care for their little one. The easiest way to get that is to ask for a helping hand.
Motherhood can get very lonely at times.
You know those posts you see on Facebook that say something along the lines of Want to know who your real friends are? Get pregnant.? Well that’s because a lot of the time you start to notice you will spend what used to be your “free time” with your new family. You’ll find you won’t be seeing your friends as much as you used to see them. You’re all living your own lives and all of a sudden it’s become super hard to just make plans in the heat of the moment. Arrange a kid friendly lunch with some friends. Plan a game night for after the baby is in bed. Get a babysitter for the night. Don’t let being a parent stop you from getting out and spending some time with your friends.
Join a local mom group!
I joined a mom group called MOPS when my son was 8 months old. I wish I would have known about the group sooner. I would have joined when I was pregnant had I known back then. I personally don’t get out much, so I love having that group to look forward to every couple weeks. MOPS is worldwide and if you’re interested in finding a group near you, click here.
Create a birth plan, but expect it to not go to plan.
The whole point of making one is to let the doctors and nurses know how you hope your labor goes. When I went to the hospital in labor, I didn’t think I was in labor. I came so unprepared and my birth plan was left at home in one of the bags I didn’t bring to the hospital. As I was in labor, I realized creating a birth plan was so much more than just putting together your wishes. It’s about education. You learn a lot about childbirth that you may have never heard of before.
Almost nothing about parenthood is textbook.
Your pregnancy. Your labor. Your baby. Your parenting style. There are so many ways that things can go there is no right way or wrong way. You could go your whole pregnancy without morning sickness, whereas your friend has been sick for nine months straight. Your baby might be measuring a little small for his age, but he’s following his own curve. You just have to remember that we are all on the same ball field, but looking at it from different perspectives.
Everything is going to be okay and you’re doing a great job.
Every mom needs a little reassurance sometimes, even that mom who posted that picture of her three kiddos hugging on Instagram with #grateful and #blessed in the caption. She definitely looks like she’s got her ducks in line, but what she doesn’t put on there is right after she took that picture Bobby pulled Brittany’s hair and Brittany slapped Joey thinking he did it. None of us are perfect and that’s okay.
Relax. Breathe. Sleep.
That basket of laundry isn’t going anywhere. Take a break while the baby is sleeping or preoccupied. Don’t worry about the toys scattered all over the living room floor. Nothing will be able to replace the time you have with your baby. Don’t waste it worrying about silly things