You start preparing for motherhood the moment you find out you’re pregnant. From delivery through baby’s first year, you may be asking yourself “how am I going to survive all of this?”
We won’t lie – being a mother is one difficult job, but a job that you’ll adapt to and figure out as it happens. It’s impossible to plan for everything at once, and learning how to go with the flow will be your new plan of action. Here’s what you’ll discover along the way:
You’re unprepared for all the changes during baby’s first year
You’ll quickly learn that you don’t know everything you need to know before the baby’s arrival. While books can help give you the low-down on certain situations, every baby is different, so you can’t go by the typical, cookie-cutter response for every problem that arises. One of the first things you’ll figure out is that you’re going to suck at parenting, while also being pretty good at it at the same time. There will good days and bad, and you’ll also do some things completely wrong. Just remember that you’re being the best parent you can be.
Your body won’t bounce back
Despite what happens to celebrities after they have a baby, your body is going to take some time to bounce back. Regardless of whether or not you exercise while pregnant, weight gain is inevitable. It’s going to take a good year before you’re back to your pre-pregnancy weight. There’s one thing to remember if you’re feeling down about your post-baby body: You grew a person inside of you. Not everyone can do this, and being a mom makes you even more beautiful than you were before, no matter what you may look like on the outside.
You have a stomach of steel
It won’t take long for you to realize that being pooped and spit-up on is no longer a big deal. Of course, the first few diaper explosions are going to cause you to cover your nose, but you’ll soon notice it doesn’t bother you anymore. The same goes for baby vomit. You’ll be surprised at how much stuff can come out of such a little person, but eventually it won’t phase you anymore.
Your baby isn’t like every other baby who’s ever been born, so don’t take milestones too seriously. They’re really just guidelines as to what developments your child is likely to be making around certain times. Your baby will never act like the books say he or she will. If you really want to get to know your little one, spend time with him or her. This means finding tickle spots or learning what sounds she makes when she’s hungry or tired.
You’re a good mom
Don’t think that motherhood is going to be easy and painless, because it isn’t. But just because it’s hard doesn’t mean that you’re doing a bad job, that’s just the way it goes. Sometimes, the things that you anticipate being hard are the easiest. Just remember that you shouldn’t equate ease with value when you’re a mother – it’s the hard and difficult parts of it all that help make you the best parent you can be.
Despite what you read in books and online, like pregnancy, most infancies go by without any incident. Although it’s important to be careful, walking on eggshells won’t allow you to enjoy this special time in your life.
Say thanks, even to unwanted advice
No matter what you tell friends and family about giving you advice ahead of time, they’re still going to give it to you. You’ll soon learn that when your mother-in-law wants to tell you how to care for your child while buying you every book on the planet, you need to just take it and go. The more you try to turn it down or snap back is only going to cause you more stress. Instead, just say thank you and smile.
Was there anything in the list that surprised you about baby’s first year? Leave your comments below!