What mom hasn’t laughed at the lists of things you wished you had known before you had kids? Because they are so true. Appreciate the body you have because it will never look the same after childbirth. Enjoy sleep now while you can. Go to the bathroom alone and revel in that.
We laugh because, even if someone had warned us, we couldn’t have imagined what it’s really like. And we probably wouldn’t have believed them anyway. Because, before we had kids, we had all-nighters. We thought we would be different and get our pre-baby bodies back. And the bathroom thing…what IS that? So weird.
But, what about the brand-new mamas? Those who still have a newborn in their houses. I think I read a list like that when I was a new mom. One who hadn’t slept for longer than 1.5 hours in a row since her baby was born. Who could only dream of taking a shower. And I’m pretty sure that list made me cry.
Because, even though I loved that little newborn more than anything, I just wanted someone to tell me that it was all going to be okay. And so, in that spirit, here’s my list for brand-new moms. And yes, I’m going to say “he” every time I talk about the baby, because that is all I have. These can apply to girls, too.
In the style of Glamor Magazine’s Hey, It’s Okay…. made into a fun blog topic by Whispering Writer at Airing My Dirty Laundry.
Hey it’s okay….
*NOT to pick your baby up the second he makes the tiniest little noise. Babies are noisy when they sleep and they startle. So, hold your breath and wait for a minute or two to see if they are really waking up or not.
*If breastfeeding hurts like hell the first two weeks. Well, it’s not really okay because it sort of feels like broken glass is being sucked out of you at first, but don’t listen to the crazies who tell you if you are doing it right, it doesn’t hurt. IT DOES. For about 2 weeks. And then you’re fine. Hang in there.
*If you don’t breastfeed. Or give up on breastfeeding. I bf mine(even extended bf), but I’m a firm believer in “your boobs, your business.” And, wow, was I ever jealous of moms who got a break from the feedings because their husbands could take a turn. As good as breastmilk is for your child, a happy, not-stressed-out mommy is even better.
*Not to pump and dump. If you have a glass of wine right after a feeding, by the time your baby needs another feeding, it will probably all be out of your system. Pumping and dumping does NOTHING. Time is what removes alcohol from your system. So, a glass of wine is okay. Not a bottle, sorry.
*To let your baby cry for a little bit. Yes, I know that newborns can’t soothe themselves. But, when you are really frustrated, it’s okay to leave the baby for a few minutes to go brush your teeth, or go to the bathroom, or put on a clean shirt, or flop yourself down on your bed and take a few deep breaths, or get that glass of wine, anything that makes you feel human again. THEN go back and pick the baby up and soothe him. A few minutes of fussing is not going to hurt your baby. But, a few minutes to yourself could save your sanity.
*To be completely freaked out by the weird umbilical cord stump thingy. They all look weird.
*To be completely freaked out by taking a rectal temperature. But, your baby has no clue that this isn’t perfectly normal. Enough lube and they really don’t care. Go ahead and laugh at me for not realizing that I could just do this as my baby laid on his back on the changing table and thinking that I needed to have him on his belly, in my lap. Um, no, that doesn’t work so well.
*To be completely freaked out by a lot of things. This motherhood thing isn’t easy. We’ve all been there. Ask your mom, ask a friend, ask a moms’ board, ask facebook and twitter when you are worried about something. Moms love to share stories and advice.
*To think that some of the advice you get is completely wrong. You know, except mine.
*To cry a little the first time you leave your baby for the first time. And to feel a little panicked while you are gone, like you are missing an appendage. Your baby is fine. You are fine. You need this. Even if you are like me and the first time you left your baby, it was to go to the library to pick up some books to read during the endless hours of breastfeeding and you were only gone for 20 minutes.
*To be a wreck at the baby’s check-ups. Pediatricians are there to answer your questions. They are used to new moms. And all our hormones.
*To blame things on hormones for at least a year after the baby is born. I was pregnant, breastfeeding or both continuously for nearly six years, so I know of what I speak. I know, my poor husband.
*To still be in maternity clothes for months. Really, it’s okay. And then you can graduate to sweatpants and yoga pants.
*To sleep every chance you get. Forget about everything else. You can clean another time. And having a new baby in the house is the perfect excuse should anyone happen to just stop over. So, don’t worry. Just sleep.
*To want to punch people in the nose for asking if your newborn is sleeping through the night yet. This is not normal. At all. I think most moms have momnesia and forget just how tough those first few weeks or months are. And if you’re reading this and your baby slept through the night really super early, shut up, I don’t want to hear it.
*To gag a little when you change your baby’s diaper. We moms eventually get used to all the stinks and messes our kids will make, but it’s hard when you are first being initiated.
*To let someone else hold your baby. Put him in their arms and then go take a shower. Or nap. Or, oh dear God, both.
*To let a drink be your solution to everything. No, I’m not talking about wine here. Already covered that above. I think it might be because our bladders are now completely shot and we don’t want our sleep interrupted any more than it already is, but new moms forget to drink water as much as they should. And dehydration can make you crazy.
Do you have any to add? What do you wish you’d known was okay as a new mom?