Two babies later and Im finally writing this. Yes, I am the master at procrastination but honestly, this post only came to me not too long ago due to a slew of new mommy friends I’ve recently made. It has been almost 3 years but I remember having Cassidy, my first born, like it was yesterday. It was wild and amazing but also kinda terrifying. I was really among the first of friends to have a baby so there were plenty of times I felt alone. I remember having moments where I second guessed my role as a mom. However, it was once I had a little experience under my belt and had my second, Spencer, that I realized everything I felt at first was COMPLETELY NORMAL!
That’s why I wanted to write this article. For something so common, as having a baby is, these few things are often forgotten. So please, if you’re an expectant or first time mama, please continue on.
1. Love at First Sight Doesn’t Always Happen
I know you’re reading this and thinking “wait, how could I not love my baby?” Easy. Put it like this, do you love every new person you meet? Probably not. So keeping that in mind, please know that if you don’t feel this “total love” for your new baby, that is OKAY and more importantly will change!
Now I can’t speak for all because I honestly think the whole “love at first sight” moment with your child really depends on the person and situation. Using myself for example, I learned this with my daughter Cassidy. I knew I loved the idea of her but her birth was traumatic. I didn’t really have an opportunity to get over the shock of birthing a baby, I didn’t get to do skin-to-skin and I just never got that initial feeling of pure love because there was no time before she was brought to the NICU. With my son though, it was totally the opposite and the love at first sight was strong. Spencer was born during a stress free elective c-section, we got to have skin-to-skin and the whole shock of having a baby wasnt too big of a deal because I had already done it once prior.
This is a lesson I really wished I had known before having my first. I felt like I had always heard from others about how wonderful this “love at first sight” experience was. So as you can imagine when that didn’t happen, I thought something was seriously wrong with me. BUT after taking some time, holding Cassidy as much as possible, studying her, nursing her, etc., that love came quick and hard. Like I said in the beginning, meeting your baby is like meeting someone brand new. For some it comes quick while for others they just need to be eased into the introduction. Either way, no matter your first feelings, whats most important to remember is that the love will come and when it does, you’ll never be the same!
2. There Are No Stupid Questions
Once you have a baby, its not like you are bestowed with a litany of knowledge. You can read all the books and blogs you want but at the end of the day, you will come across times where you just have zero clue as to what you are doing. Trust me, I am two babies in and I still have my moments where I say “oh shit, let me call me my mom, my doctor, the ghostbusters.” Yes I know, I’m hilarious.
Anyway, its okay if you don’t always know what you are doing. Sure, we have our mommy instincts but there are just some situations where those instincts don’t cut it. Hence the reason I want you to ask all the questions especially if you think they are stupid. Chances are, they’ve been asked before and probably not as stupid as you think they are.
Start right away in the hospital and take advantage of your wonderful nurses. Then move next your pediatrician, your mom, your friends, anyone and everyone involved in your babe’s life. And heck, if you still don’t feel comfortable, message me here and I’ll answer anything with ZERO judgment. Pinky promise!
3. Your Baby Crying May Make You Frustrated and No That Doesn’t Make You a Bad Mom
Okay this one is something that needs to be talked about more. I feel like if a mom admits that they are annoyed/frustrated with their babies/kids, they are immediately shamed. “Didn’t you want this baby?” or “didn’t you know this is part of the job?” or “Babies cry.” Gosh it goes on and on. Yes we know these things but we are also human and tired and trying to do our best so a little empathy would be highly appreciated!!!
I remember the first time I experienced this feeling of frustration. I was stuck in bumper to bumper traffic with Cassidy, who was maybe 4 months old, hungry and tired. It was a recipe for disaster. She screamed like never before and being that I was driving there wasn’t much I could do. Let me tell you, it ate at me and I think I yelled and the moment I pulled into our driveway, I told Keven to take her because I needed to not see her and take a breath. I wasn’t proud and honestly, I felt terrible and like a real failure. I mean, what type of mom gets made at her baby for crying? Here is a quick and simple answer: a good mom does.
Why? Because that frustration is your instinct. It’s your response to your baby and when overloaded, tends to go haywire a bit. It means your body knows what its doing. A lot of the time it can managed but sometimes it can’t and that is okay!! However, this is when you need to have a support system and open communication. You need to make sure you have a community, a spouse, a friend, or parent to hand your baby off to when it just gets to be a little too much. It doesn’t mean you are doing a bad job or over your head. It just means you need to take a moment and catch your breath so you can continue to do your best.
4. Worry Will Come & Go (and boy is it a bitch)
7 am, 2 pm, 1 am. Seriously, it will come and hit you at random and most likely, it will be over nothing. I was always warned about the worry that comes with motherhood but I am telling you, it’s not anything like you’ve heard. No, actually it’s worse. This is coming from a pretty non-anxious person too. It’s not all the time (if it is, then please let someone know because this worry should never run your life) but when it comes, it is usually random and can be over the most absurd or obscure things. Literally, the color of your kids poop can send your stomach into knots. It’s ridiculous at the best of time, annoying and exhausting but it’s normal and again, just another reminder that you’re doing great mama!
5. You Are Going to Fall In Love Harder Than Anything
This is something I’m sure you could already assume but let me just tell you, this love you are about to have is unlike anything you’ve ever had. You are about to learn things about yourself you never knew. You’ll be pushed to new limits and tested daily. You’ll have your weak moments but I promise you will never be happier. Trust me, motherhood is unreal and unbeatable. It’s hard but so rewarding and I can’t wait for you, sweet mama-to-be reading this, to see for yourself.