There is always so much advice that other people will give you when you’re a first time mom.
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
Don’t spoil her by holding her all the time.
Get the diaper genie.
Don’t waste money on the wipe warmer.
Mostly all of the advice you hear will conflict each other. And honestly, I’m learning that it’s good to take it all with a grain of salt, because most of it won’t work for you or your child.
Most of the time, you figure out what really works on your own. Mostly it’s after failing a few times or making a few mistakes, or feeling really bad and wanting to give up. But I guess that’s how you really learn – through experience.
But what I’m getting at is.. yeah, eventually you will learn the basics of taking care of your child. You will learn when they are hungry or tired. You will figure out how to soothe them when they are crying. You will eventually get a hang of what each of their distinct cries mean.
But no one gives you advice on the other aspects of how motherhood changes you.
How really your entire life is completely difference once that baby is out of your body.
That you are no longer you but rather a different version of you.
That the old you is gone and never coming back because they are the you without child, and this is the new you, with child.
I don’t say that as a bad thing either but it’s true. You are never the same person you used to be before becoming a parent.
And this change or this process of adjusting is not to be taken lightly. I compare the feeling of what you will go through to grieving, because in reality, it’s pretty much what it feels like.
You say goodbye to the old new, as you are becoming something completely different. Taking on a new role that you will never take off.
And it brings upon so many different emotions that sometimes scare us when we feel them. Fear, anxiety, sadness, just to name a few.
I mean we’re literally being tossed head first into the role of motherhood. We don’t know what we are doing. We are literally learning as we go. And on top of that dealing with healing from birth, adjusting to our new lives, maybe dealing with how the child is affecting our relationships, dealing with our own emotions, among so much else all while trying to figure out how to take care of this helpless baby.
It’s quite amazing if you think about it that, we, as completely new mothers, can navigate through this period and actually thrive.
I keep wondering to myself, when does it actually start to become easier? When do I start to feel like I actually know what I’m doing?
Just when I feel like I’m starting to get hang of it, another curveball comes my way, and I start all over again. Re-adjusting. Re-feeling like I’m not good at this all over again.
But the truth is… and my one piece of advice… is that eventually the unknown and the unfamiliar becomes your new normal.
It’s an endless cycle but eventually you get the hang of it or you at least make it work enough to keep going. And by that I mean, your child is fine, healthy, growing, loved and you are doing a great job as a new mother.
It’s hard for me sometimes to believe my own advice but it really is true. Like a faithful equation.
There are good and bad days. But you realize that you just have to take it as it comes. Say goodbye to schedules or plans, because with a newborn, there is no such thing. And you’ll find that the more you try to force one, the more you will find yourself frustrated.
At least that’s what I’m learning from my daughter. And let me tell you, I am one of the biggest control freaks that love to-do lists, schedules and plans. So maybe it’s another reason why I am having such a hard time adjusting. I like predictable and my daughter is quite the opposite, just like my husband. But they say opposites attract, right? Haha
The other thing that no one will tell you about motherhood is that it will literally test you constantly.
I thought marriage was a test. I thought marriage was the test that showed you how selfish you truly are because you are literally faced with a facing yourself on a constant basis. Putting another’s needs above your own, as we read in the Bible. Having a servant’s heart. It definitely comes into play in marriage but it reallllly comes into play with a baby.
Their needs must be above your own at times because they rely on you for survival. Sometimes you have to forget about taking a shower every single day for 30 minutes like you used to and getting to blow dry it and flat iron it after. Sometimes you have to wait to eat. Sometimes you have to hold in your pee. Sometimes you need to endure the cold so you can be the warmth for your little.
And the more you give, the more they benefit and grow and feel secure.
Of course you do have to take care of yourself too, because you can’t fill another’s cup with a vat that isn’t already full. But you’ll find the the routines you used to have are not as simple to get to like they used to be. And that’s ok.
It’s all part of the new you. And it’s ok to grieve that. To let it go. So that you can work on finding your new normal and feeling comfortable again.
Motherhood is one big uncomfortable journey but then it gets better.
The other piece of advice that I am trying to listen to that everyone gave me is that it does get easier.
Children grow. They get out of their hard phases and they’ll go through new ones. But it gets easier to adjust and adapt because you learn to do it faster.
And the other thing you must remember, is that they don’t always stay this little. So enjoy them.
That’s what I’m going to do.
I’m going to enjoy it all. The hard moments. The smiles. The days I literally want to cry because I feel like I am just sucking! And the days when I’m really happy and grateful because my husband and I made this beautiful little girl that cracks open my heart each and every day and fills it with her joy.
That’s what you have to remember when you are right there in the midst of it.
That motherhood is very, very hard…but also very, very worth it.
Mama with grace