When I was pregnant with my daughter I was given all kinds of advice on almost everything under the sun. There was a bounty of information coming from every which way. But sometimes I wish people were a little more candid. Sometimes I wish it wasn’t so sugar coated. In some cases my reality was so much farther from the advice I received I wondered who these well meaning advice givers were. Here’s some things I wish people told me.
- You aren’t just going to be tired, you’re going to be sleep deprived. It’s entirely different and you’ll feel like you are losing your mind. You’ll wonder what you got yourself into and convince yourself that no one has ever experienced this before. But, it’ll get better, much much better. One day you’ll forget what that felt like, and you might even want to do it all over again.
- Your body is going change in ways you cannot even possibly comprehend. Most of it will be permanent and it goes much farther than stretch marks, a kangaroo pouch and the inability to hold your pee for more than 10 minutes. You’ll try and remember what it was like before you gave birth. You’ll wish you took pictures to remind yourself that you used to look different. But it’ll be your new normal and the fact that you made another human being will feel way cooler than a thigh gap ever did.
- Your baby is going to look like an alien potato at first, but your mommy hormones will tell you it’s the most beautiful thing that has ever graced the planet. It’s okay to have our hormones (and our friends) lie to us. Months down the road you’ll look at pictures and possibly see them more clearly. Nevertheless, your human is a miracle- alien potato looking or not.
- Your baby is going to be 100% different than your best friends baby, your sisters baby, or your co-workers baby. Your baby is going to suck (no pun intended) at some things, and rock at others. You’ll feel like your friends are shoving their perfectly sleeping baby stories in your face. But they aren’t. They are probably just happy that something is going well for them and wish they could breastfeed as easily as you did- or something like that. We’ve all got our hurdles. Don’t take it personally.
- You will likely want to drive a knife into your husbands face in the first three months at some point. No matter how many breakfasts in bed you’ve been served, no matter how many late night ice creams have been fetched, no matter how much he loves and provides for you and your family and how many diapers he has changed. One night, you’ll be awake with your baby, you’ll wonder how he could possibly be asleep at this moment and you’ll imagine yourself becoming very violent with him. You likely won’t do it. And in the morning you’ll probably love him again.
- Your friendships will change. You’ll gain some. You’ll lose some. Your priorities will change and not everyone will understand. At least one of your friends will continuously ask you to hang out after 7PM as if you have no children- even after you remind them that evenings don’t really work anymore. Just be patient. One day, they’ll likely be in your shoes and get it.
- You are going to want your baby to do new things and discover the world. The wonder of development is incredible. You are going to dream of a day when your baby can tell you with words what he or she wants. Don’t. Never, wish away a stage in your babies life. The first 3 months are some of the hardest in the first year. But they will never be that young again. They’ll never need you in the same way again. They’ll never fit into those clothes again. Enjoy every stage for what it is because it is gone in a flash.
- You can’t always sleep when the baby sleeps. Let’s be real. Can you cook when the baby cooks? Read while the baby reads? Sleep upright in a chair, with a baby latched to your boob fast asleep? No you cannot. While sleep is essential, and you must get as much of it as you can, this advice is old and impractical. Sometimes, crap just needs to get done. Sometimes you need time to yourself where you catch up on being you. Sometimes, the baby sleeps and you hold him for 3 hours straight because he cries if you put him down. So, try to sleep when you can, but realize this advice is not always realistic.
- You can’t do it all on your own. You just cant. Emotionally, physically, practically, you just can’t. Don’t put that on yourself. If people offer help, take it. You aren’t a bad mother for needing help. You are a great one for taking the help. Not only will your family be better taken care of, you’ll be less of a basket case because you won’t be trying to singlehandedly do everything. It’s in everyone’s best interest for this to be a team effort.
- Your man needs you. You needed him to make this baby and now he needs you to fill his love tank. Don’t forget this wasn’t just a one ‘man’ job. This little human needs you both around. Invest in your man. The first year you are learning so much how to be a mom and it can be exhausting, but don’t leave him in the dust. He needs you too, and if you want your baby to grow up in a happy home then Daddy needs love too.
That’s it, that’s all. What are some things people told you that were inaccurate? What do you wish someone warned you about?