I remember when I was pregnant, I knew I had it figured out. In my mind I was prepared for motherhood. I was auntie of the year to over a dozen nephews and nieces, and I knew all about babies. There’s literally a new baby born in my family every year so I figured I was covered with experience. It wasn’t until I had Brave, got home from the hospital, and all of my ‘support’ left to go home that I realized, I wasn’t prepared.
While I love my son with every single fiber of my being, there are still times that I doubt myself, question my role as his mom and how I am handling the biggest responsibility of my life –nurturing a whole human being into an amazing man. These are all normal thoughts, might I add. If someone says otherwise they are completely lying. Here are 10 things that no one told me about before I became a new mom.
- Your emotions will be all over the place for a while, and it does not necessarily mean you have postpartum depression. It’s crazy how you can go from one extreme to the next in a matter of minutes. Some moments I feel a burst of joy from being someone so incredible who made this perfect little human. And in that same breath I feel like I am drowning with not-so joyous emotions. These feelings come and go, and that’s normal. I’ve learned to give myself grace to have the emotions, acknowledge them, and let them pass. After all, my body has been through a lot in the past year from making, housing, and birthing a human, to nurturing and physically caring for that human. If you ever feel like your feelings could be harmful for you and your baby, please reach out to someone. Postpartum depression is real.
- Everything jiggles and you become so soft. I didn’t gain any weight during my pregnancy, this is common for a lot of plus size women. I think I gained about 6 lbs the week I had Brave which my doctor confirmed was mainly water weight. I’m 5 months postpartum and I am just as jiggly as I was the day I delivered Brave. One thing HD can’t stop talking about is how soft my body is now. He loves it haha. I tell him I think it’s because as a new mom you literally become a human couch. Who wants a hard couch? lol!
- Sometimes you will feel isolated and alone. Not only is your body physically changing at an astronomical rate, but mentally you’re going through a lot too and not everyone can relate which leaves you feeling lonely. For me, while I had the support and help, no one really knows how you truly feel inside. Your body can be doing the craziest things, from heavy bleeding, healing, or maybe you had a traumatic experience with birth like I did –that alone makes you feel lonely.
- Breastfeeding is an ongoing marathon. In my mind I thought I had the concept figured out: a few days later after delivering my milk would magically come in and I would live in the overflowing land of milk and honey. WRONG. The truth is breastfeeding is an ongoing-exhausting journey but it’s totally doable. You will go through all of the milk woes… an oversupply, to low production, to feeling like you may not be able to meet the needs of your baby’s hunger cries. And. it. doesn’t. stop. I find myself going through these mixes of emotions day by day and my son is 5 months old. My best advice is to take it one step at a time if you plan to breastfeed. Every day is a new day. You may have a tough nursing day but don’t take that energy into the next day. You will look up and be surprised at how far you’ve made it feeding your baby from your own body. It’s MAGICAL.
- You CAN survive on little to no sleep. I know it sounds insane, but for some reason your body adjusts to the new life you’ve chosen to live. Mentally it’s exhausting and extremely taxing on your nerves but physically you figure out how to run off of sleep in 3 hour increments, if you’re fortunate enough to even get that. Despite the lack of sleep, it’s the cutest thing in the world when your baby wakes and gazes into your eyes. There’s no better feeling.
- You will GAIN and LOSE friends. The truth is, having Brave showed me who was really in my corner. While I’ve had my fair share of friends growing up, I never knew I needed people so much until lately. Surprisingly not many of my friends supported my like I thought they would –but the ones that did, really stuck their guns and landed themselves in the friendship hall of fame lol. Those friends that come in town for the weekend just so that you can take a shower, have a nice nap, and check in on your well-being. And the new mom friends that you text at 3am because they are most-likely nursing their little ones back to sleep, too. Forever grateful for the way my life shaped and transitioned my friendships.
- You will love to see your husband in his new role as daddy, and your marriage will be tested. When I tell y’all, HD is the GOAT at this dad life. He had no experience with babies before Brave. He’d never changed a diaper, never held a newborn, never fed a baby –but when Brave came into the world, it just clicked! He is the middle of the night feeding, let me sleep in on weekends, daddy-comedian, MVP. I wouldn’t know where I would be without HD. He and Brave have an irresistible bond, it literally makes me ooze with love. But with that being said –having a new baby in the house can and will totally test your marriage. HD and I are absolute best friends, we’ve always respected, valued, and loved each other as equal partners in our marriage. But when a baby comes along, you’re both exhausted and have very little patience –things can get rocky. Frustration builds. Attitudes change. And things can go from zero to one hundred really quick. So pray over your marriage during these testy times and allow yourselves grace to learn this new space your in. Try your best to carve out time for each other. DO NOT leave each other hanging. It’s so easy to get caught up in your new role as a mom and dad, that you forget you were a husband or wife first. The last thing you want to do is look up and realize your an excellent parent, but you forgot how to be an excellent spouse. You have to do the work and be conscious about your marriage or relationship.
- Intimacy gets BETTER after baby. I always hear that sex is amazing while pregnant, and it was! But boy … let me tell you, it gets BETTER after baby. Now this may just be me because I had 4th degree tears and practically got a ‘face lift’ down there –so my junk is basically brand spanking new. But it is the absolute best part of sparking my relationship back up with my husband post baby. I’m 100 percent sure he would agree with me.
- You will learn to be okay with your never-ending todo list. The reality is there’s no way you can get to everything without hiring an assistant and a housekeeper. So something will lack. You cleaned today, but you may not get to meal prep, and that’s okay. Count your victories and merge what you didn’t finish to tomorrow’s to-do list.
- You will never believe you’re actually a mom. I probably say to myself “I can’t believe I have a baby” at least twice a day. It still blows my mind that I made, housed, produced, birthed and am now nurturing this little boy that actually looks like me and has his daddy’s mannerisms. It will never really sink in honestly. I still stare at him all day long out of pure obsession and complete shock that he’s mine.