Motherhood is not always chocolate and roses. In fact, it’s a full-time job in itself, with its own challenges and tough times. This is something first-time mothers discover as they start their motherhood journey.
Here are some lessons you’ll learn along the way.
Breastfeeding Can Be Difficult
Don’t be fooled by photos of glamorous women who make it look easy to breastfeed. It is not always smooth and easy. In fact, many first-time mothers find it difficult to produce milk and hold the baby for a long time. Often, they ask for a lot of much-needed rest periods during the first months. Adjusting to this change is emotionally and physically taxing, and the first few months will drain the energy out of you.
In reward, however, your baby will receive all the nutrients your breastmilk provides and enjoy a stronger immune system.
Adjusting to Your New Body Could Be Challenging
Changes seem to happen so fast. Just a few weeks ago, you were strutting down the beach in your two-piece as a newlywed, enjoying her honeymoon. Now, milk is dripping on your shirt, stretch marks become extremely visible, and your body gains considerable weight. Your tummy has loose skin after bearing a baby for months, and it would take time to get you back in shape.
Body image issues are common for women who have just given birth, and it’s difficult to love and accept your body after it has gone through a lot of changes. Focus, however, on the positive work your body is doing; you have helped your baby grow and develop. That’s a miraculous feat, in itself.
Sleep Is a Luxury
The first thing you lose when you have your baby is hours of sleep. There’s a round-the-clock change of diapers, feeding, and other parenting duties.
The consolation? It becomes easier over time because you’ll adapt. You’ll learn that the best way to have some me-time or to do other productive work is when the rest of the house is asleep. It’s not the prettiest set-up, but your sleeping patterns could change, and your baby will have more peaceful nights as he or she grows.
Mom Guilt Is Real
You may already be stuffing your home with items and toys from baby boutiques in Phoenix. But there’s still a mountain of things to do, to buy, and to subscribe to, so you could be called a good mom.
No matter what you do, though, you still feel like it’s never enough. Stay-at-home moms may feel guilty for not contributing to the family income. Working moms may be bothered that other caregivers spend more time with their kids. Whatever the situation, many moms share the guilt of not doing enough or not being a good mother.
The truth is, most moms plagued with mom guilt are doing a tremendously good job. They’re only bogged down by the apple-to-orange comparisons with other mothers.
Your Time Is No Longer Yours
At this point, you cannot just go on a vacation randomly. All your travel plans, meetings with friends, and your activities will be weighed in light of your motherly responsibilities. It’s normal to always choose to be with your baby. After all, at this point in his or her life, he or she needs all the support and time he or she could get.
Motherhood is a difficult but rewarding journey. A tiny human that looks up to and relies on you is the ultimate motivation for a mother. Once you have your baby, you’ll learn that motherhood isn’t always pretty, but it’s the mess and the challenges that make you an ever better mother for your child.