A year ago, I was a first-time mom when I had my daughter. Everything was new territory for me. Sure my mama was a nurse , I have a few mom friends who've given me so many wonderful advice and I've read What to Expect When You're Expecting but nothing really prepared me for motherhood.
1. Labor is painful. I thought the screaming part during labor happens only in movies but I was wrong. I remember asking my best friend how much labor and giving birth hurts. She said it was painful but as to how much and up to what degree or level I could only just imagine until I had to go through it myself.
Yes, having a baby may have meant less time going out with my husband or getting coffee with my girlfriends but somehow I found myself just wanting to stay at home with my baby. This doesn't mean I became a boring person. It just means now, I know that my life is no longer my own. I think it's OK to be be less of who I was before because now I am a mom and a whole new better person.
3. Sleep and sometimes taking a bath becomes a luxury. The first few months is really tough because there were so many sleepless nights. I was too tired in the morning so I try to catch a nap whenever I can and I have never appreciated the power of power naps until now. This was also the time when I learned to appreciate the little things like a simple bath because this is the only time I get all to myself everyday so I try to relish it as much as I can.
4. You will feel like shit and in some occasion smell like one. There were days when I just felt too lazy to fix myself but being a new mom is not an excuse to let yourself go. Yes, your baby's poop might end up on your clothes or elbow or chin so don't forget to take a bath and doll yourself up.
5. Watching the news will never be the same again. Since I became a mom, any news about babies being abandoned or mistreated made me so emotional. I started to be afraid for my daughter and to worry about the future. I also found myself getting extremely mad at rapists, kidnappers and even politicians. TV Patrol suddenly became more important that the lifestyle channel.
6. You will gain weight and stretch marks. Only a few gifted and very lucky mothers out there never gained weight or never had stretch marks. If you are part of the unlucky ones don't feel so bad. It's NORMAL , you are NOT ALONE and you are NOT UGLY.
7. Motherhood is a learn-and-go kind of thing. You are not expected to know everything all at once. Just take your time and don't be too hard on yourself when you sometimes can't soothe your baby or when you spill milk all over the floor.
8. People will give you unsolicited advice. There will be so many family members, relatives and friends giving you their own tips and tricks on how to raise a baby. Don't hate them. They all mean well. Some advice will be based on experiences, rules and even tradition. It's OK to break rules and traditions. You don't have to follow all of them. Just do what feels right for you.
9. You will get mad at your partner. Having a baby can be very stressful. Lack of sleep and hormones may get the best of you and just make you lash out on your partner. This happens but just try to remember that your partner's support and your relationship is very important. You need your partner's help around the house, when you're too sleepy at 4 am and the baby is awake or when everything is just too overwhelming and you just need a hug or a tub of ice cream. You need all the support you can get and remember that you are the only one feeling all the stress.
10. Mommies have play dates too. I learned that its not bad to have time for myself. I needed it for my sanity. My husband takes me out on a date once a week or I schedule a coffee date with my friends. So, do not feel guilty. It's good to break the habit once in a while because if you feel good about yourself then you can take better care of your baby.
11. Babies DO grow up so fast. They do grow up really fast. One day they're these little delicate creatures you hold in your arms and before you know it they have become these little walking critters you'd have to chase around the house. It may be really difficult for first-time moms but trust me when I tell you that things get better. Just enjoy every moment with them. Cuddle and kiss them as much as you can because one day will come when they're too big and don't want to be cuddled and kissed anymore.