For those of you that follow me on Instagram (@sidraandco), you know that Zizou started kindergarten last week. As I walked away from his class, I had tears rolling down my face. Tears of joy, tears of pride, but also tears of sadness because he is growing up too fast. I feel like I blinked and my son went from a newborn baby that needed help holding up his head to burp to a little man that has thoughts and opinions. Thats the crazy thing about motherhood - Every day is a battle between trying to figure out what your child needs, learning to meet those needs, and enjoying them as you race against time.
The learning curve for new moms (and dads) is steep. Here are 10 things I was told or wish I had known when I became a parent:
You will sleep again (or get used to living life without it)! The first few weeks are just nuts. I remember sitting in my bed wondering if I would ever get a full night of sleep again. Trust me you will! (it will take some time (no really be patient)). And for those lucky few, whose kids sleep right from the get go, please just lie to the rest of us.
Breast feeding is hard. There if a lot of information out there about the pregnancy stage and the actual delivery, but I don't think I was aware of how difficult breast feeding is. The first few weeks of trying to get your baby to latch properly, waiting for your milk supply to increase and then the time it actually takes to feed can be really overwhelming (and painful at times). So don’t feel like there is something wrong with you or your baby. Just hang in there! If you can't or don't want to breastfeed, please please please don't let anyone else bring you down about your choice.
Motherhood is lonely. This is odd but true. Even though you have a new baby that consumes all of your time, it can get lonely, especially during the nights feeds when everyone else is asleep. I am lucky enough to have some great friends that are moms and it really helps. They get me. Connect with other moms that are going through the same phase as you. Its amazing having that extra support (and you may luck into free babysitters ;)).
Take some time to yourself, even if it is just 15-20 min a day. I live in a city with no family support so I don't have the luxury of dropping my kids off to their grandparents and taking an evening off. But I cant emphasize how important “me” time is. I like doing my nails, calling my mom on the phone in peace, or having a cup of chai while I watch some tv - simple but just for me.
Talk about your feelings. I have noticed at times moms are afraid of sharing how they feel, either because they don't want to come across as being ungrateful or look unhappy, but it’s okay to feel tired, overwhelmed or concerned!
Capture as much as you can. Write diaries/baby books and take a billion photos and videos because they are so amazing to look back on as your child grows.
Don't feel the pressure. One of the negative things about social media is the pressure it has put on people to live perfect and sometimes unrealistic lives. After having Baby A, I noticed a ridiculous amount of posts about “getting your beach body back in weeks after having a baby” or celebrities posting pictures of their perfect bodies weeks after delivery. Do not let these posts get to you, because they are not the norm. You have just grown a human inside you, given birth to it and now spend your day consumed by her/him. Make healthy choices and give your body time.
Not everything will go as planned and that’s okay. I think this was the biggest lesson for me, accepting that with a child, there is only so much you can control. Stop trying to be a “perfect” mom and just enjoy the special moments with your little one.
Trust your gut because you know your child the best. Don't worry about what books or people tell you. Each child is different so do what you think works best for yours.
Be proud of yourself. You are doing an amazing job. Although in your day to day life, it may not feel like you are accomplishing much, but you are planting the seeds now. All your love, care and attention is shaping our next generation.
Being a mother is probably the most amazing experience of my life. It may be hard work and a constant test of patience, but it is so very beautiful. As you raise your little one and your heart continues to swell with love, you will also grow and learn in the process.
Message me if you ever want to chat more!
Until next time,
Lots of Love,