Pregnancy might be a miracle or torture, and every future mom enjoys it more or less, depending on how she feels through the nine months. No matter how this period goes by, the result is the same for every woman expecting a little bundle of joy: she finds herself facing the joys and worries of carrying for a newborn, which, unfortunately, does not come with a clear instruction manual. So, in case you find yourself in the same situation, ready to become a mom for the first time, here are six things you need to know from the start.
Your body will need other nine full months to snap back
You probably read glossy magazines and notice how superstar mamas get back into shape in maximum four weeks from childbirth, but sorry, that’s not the real world. The thing is most don’t admit a little nip and tuck job and many are Spanx-ed from head to toe for red carpet events. Don’t worry for your looks in the first months (when you are not even allowed to exercise), but focus on building your relationship with the baby.
Sleep? Whenever you can!
Probably everyone will tell you to sleep before the baby arrives, but it’s not like: a) you can keep a stock of sleep, and b) you can sleep that well in the third trimester. So once the baby arrives, try to settle him in a clear schedule and sleep whenever you can. Which will probably happen only when he sleeps, so don’t fret if it’s the middle of the day, this situation won’t last a lifetime.
Baby blues, hormones, from up in the sky and down to hell all within minutes
Once you give birth your body will have to face a hormonal explosion of major magnitude. This means your brain will probably be affected too and you’ll feel like going from extreme happiness to unlimited distress from one second to another. That pretty normal, that’s the baby blues. If it does not pass in a few days, you refuse to see or care for the baby and you have suicidal thoughts ask for help, you might deal with a depression which needs to be treated straight away.
Planning? Ha, ha, ha!
Your planning and management days are over as soon as your water breaks unexpectedly (and it’s always unexpectedly). No matter how organized you are and how much you appreciate orderliness, give yourself and the baby some time to settle in with one another. Don’t make any major plans before you get to know him well and give yourself time too to get accustomed to your new role and responsibilities. Even if management is your cup of tea, spontaneity may be something you will actually enjoy for a while.
You shouldn’t try to be the perfect mother
It’s just not natural. You are your baby’s mama, you need to be the best in caring for him, but don’t waste your time in doing everything by the book or according to expectations. Adjust to life with your baby without stressing over a stain on a onesie or of the fact that your baby is not a fan of the baby wearing system that is so hip in your mommy group.
You need time for yourself
No matter how much you love your child, sometimes you need a break. Shift roles with the father and go for a drive, for a manicure or go get a haircut – whatever makes you happy. Being a mom isn’t about slaving around the child 24/7 but about enjoying the experience and leading a happy life – an example for him. Ask for help when you feel overwhelmed and trust your partner fully.
Of course, there are so many little things that appear as bumps along the way, but it’s up to you to handle them with grace and patience. Try to enjoy motherhood from the first cry of your baby and keep your focus on him and on your family in order to keep your head clear and your mind sane.