Becoming a mom for the first time changes everything. I’m not sure there’s really a way to completely prepare for that. I’m getting ready to have my 5th and 6th babies, so I feel like I’ve got the newborn thing down pretty well at this point (of course two at a time may throw me a curveball).
There are so many things I wish I could go back and tell myself as a new mom about those first awkward days of motherhood to make the transition easier. The little details about changing diapers without getting peed on and figuring out how to actually leave your house when you have a baby sort themselves out eventually. These are the big things:
Sleep deprivation won’t kill you (it will just feel like it will). One of the hardest things about the newborn stage is lack of sleep. It’s amazing what you can get used to, though, and it’s over before you know it. Get creative. Sleep when you can. Don’t beat yourself up if your house starts to look like an episode of Hoarders in the meantime.
You don’t have to listen to all the parenting advice you’ll get. When you are a new mom, EVERYONE has advice to give. Some of it may be good. Some of it just might not work for you. Listen but don’t let other people make your parenting decisions for you.
You don’t have to be perfect. It’s tempting to try, I know. But you’ll fail. And then you’ll beat yourself up for it. Just know going in that you are going to make mistakes, and it’s okay. Your kids won’t care . . . they probably won’t even notice. Just focus on what’s important, and everything will work itself out in the end.
Don’t compare yourself to others. There’s no way to live up to all the awesome moms that are probably in your life. We all have our strengths. We all have weaknesses. Don’t compare your weaknesses to another person’s strengths.
They REALLY DO grow up so fast. It’s not just something more experienced moms say. I blinked and my 5-pound baby is a giant 11-year-old boy with stinky feet who knows how to use the electronics in our house better than I do. Don’t miss out on the little things. Slow down and enjoy your kids.
What do you wish you’d known before becoming a mom?