When we asked our dear friend and new mother, Kartika, about the first two weeks of motherhood, she talked about the magic. In the midst of horror stories of sleep deprivation, cracked nipples and postpartum anxiety, we are always so happy to hear that there’s magic to be found by new mothers.
We’ve heard that becoming a mom for the first time is like entering a foreign world beyond anything we can ever expect our prepare ourselves for. We’re just going to have to take their words for it because to be honest, none of us have gone down that path before. However, we love to share. And we especially love sharing in this community! So, we talked to several moms (new and seasoned) about their first few months of motherhood and we want to share the knowledge here, in the hopes that those soon-to-be-mothers can feel encouraged.
Here are six things that new moms wished someone had told them before their babies arrived:
- You need to stay hydrated. Water does wonders for your energy level. So drink lots of it. It will help with that zombie mom feeling.
- You will feel like a total failure. Motherhood will send you on a rollercoaster ride – emotionally, physically, intellectually. It will launch you into a dark abyss where you can hardly recognize yourself. You will feel confused, disoriented, clueless. But take comfort in knowing that this is completely normal and it will not stay like this forever. Cut yourself some slack, for your journey has only begun.
- Your body will hurt. No matter how you delivered your baby into the world, be it vaginally or through a c-section, your body will hurt. It will hurt when you move, it will hurt when you sleep, it will hurt even more when you start nursing your baby. Your body has been through a lot, and it’s still adjusting to all the change. Show your body some love. A little (or a lot!) of relaxing massage will do wonders.
- You need to ask for help. It takes a village to raise your baby – more so in the first few days of his life. As you adjust your routines, your house, your family, and your whole life, accept help when it’s offered and don’t hesitate to ask when it’s not. A lot of new moms have taken comfort in dinners brought by neighbors and mothers moving in, even for just a while, to help out with the new baby.
- You don’t have to listen to every advice given to you. It sounds harsh, we know. But people are problem solvers (or at least they think they are), and they love to give you advice, whether you asked for them or not. Don’t be discouraged by unsolicited suggestions, especially those that bring you down and make you doubt your ability to actually parent your child. Instead, educate yourself. Read books. Hang out with seasoned mothers. They might not always have the answer, but they’ll give you a pretty good idea about how you might want to raise your child.
- You need to always look for the magic. Even when it’s hard, even when you feel like you suddenly moved into zombie-land, even when you’re exhausted beyond anything you’ve ever felt, remember that there’s still magic to be found in this new adventure that you’re on.
Motherhood can be a bumpy road to travel, but with a little veteran wisdom and support, we hope that you can be better equipped to enjoy every precious minute of your child’s first days of life.
To our dear friend Kartika, congratulations on your first month with Baby Oliver. We’re believing with you that it can only get better from here on.