I can remember talking about having children with Mark very early on in our relationship. We knew as soon as we got married we wanted to start a family. Once I got pregnant I continued to fantasize about the mom I would be and what life would be like after having a baby. I envisioned this beautiful, happy life where myself and kids were almost always happy. I was a “cool” mom. I did all the fun things with a smile on my face and thrived at staying at home with my baby. The truth is I felt like that was robbed from me and I didn’t know how to adjust.
I am writing this blog post to show mamas, new and old, that you don’t just have to survive motherhood, especially the first year. There is so much talk about how motherhood is nothing but non-stop, messes everywhere, and running on exhaustion and coffee. While some days that may be true, motherhood is so much more than that. So, if you’re a new mama, don’t let those memes and negative talk scare you. For you seasoned mamas, remember not to get caught up in the mundane tasks of motherhood.
As women I believe we all have these expectations of how we will raise our kids and the kind of mom we want to be, assuming you want kids that is! Once you get pregnant your views may change a little bit, but ultimately you still fantasize what your new life will look like. I know I did (and sometimes still do). The thing is when we put too big of expectations on anything, we tend to get let down. Of course, it is healthy to have goals and a basic understanding of how you want to parent, but if there is anything I learned in this first year of motherhood it is this…
5 Lessons I Learned
in My First Year as A Mom
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
I remember feeling like I had to do it all because I was the only one who could do it right. I was mama bear and I was the only one best for my baby. While those emotions and feelings are valid, you do not have to do it all. It may take some learning and training your mind but ask for help when you need it. Start small like asking a friend to watch the baby while you shower.
Don’t worry about what others are thinking, saying, or doing (and stand your ground).
Chances are you will feel like everyone is staring at you when you go on your first solo outing with you newborn. Can people tell I’m new at this? Do I look like I know what I’m doing? Do other moms know how I’m feeling? Meanwhile, there is another mama with a screaming toddler thinking the same thing. This applies to parenting advice and the choices you decide to make as a parent. Stand your ground, follow that mama instinct. You know what is best for your child so don’t let anyone tell you different. It’ll be hard at first to not let it get under your skin, but I promise it’ll become second nature. All of it will.
Don’t buy into the crap.
Figuratively and literally. Don’t buy into all of the old wives’ tales or what some acquaintance told you on Facebook. And also, don’t purchase all of the unnecessary stuff. I promise babies need less than we think they need.
Soak up every single second of motherhood.
This may seem like an obvious one but it’s important. As I mentioned when I started typing out this post, it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day craziness. Don’t let that stop you from soaking up your new life. The good, the bad, the messy, and everything in between, because one day your kids will be grown, and you’ll be asking yourself where has the time gone.
Love yourself harder than you ever thought you could.
It is so easy to pick apart your body after you give birth. It’s even easier to assume you’re failing as a mom and that you in fact don’t have it all together. After your baby is born, you are born again too, as a mother. There is always so much talk about how to care for a newborn, but what about the new mama? The mama who just had her second baby? Third baby? The list goes on. Somewhere along the way we as mothers get swept under the rug and neglected. Those first several months are a vulnerable time, so give yourself some grace. Take whatever time you need, ask for help, cry- let it out, and most importantly give yourself a hug and remind yourself you are amazing.
Share your thoughts with me! Comment below or head to my Instagram page (@iamdevonjade)!