If you’re anything like me, you’re a parent that missed the memo on all the unexpected things about being a parent, the things you should know about being a mom, and the things no one tells you when you’re pregnant. Everyone likes to give unsolicited parenting advice but no one likes to really cover the issues faced as a new mom. I don’t know if it’s a gross oversight or just something that people gloss over when talking about how glamorous parenthood is but, either way, we’re pulling back the curtain, shattering the illusion.
Believe it or not for the first three months of your little one’s lives, they will sleep all the time, 16-18 hours a day to be specific. But, it will be broken up. So, everything about your sleep schedule is about to change. Your child will be up every 2-4 hours to eat which means you will be up every 2-4 hours with your baby. Everyone tells you about lack of sleep but no one addresses the deeper issues of it like depression, worse hormone surges, over eating to stay awake, and all out exhaustion!
Your first instinct is always going to be to buy the most state of the art, intelligence-developing toy. Guess what? Your baby would rather play with something that isn’t a toy. For instance, measuring spoons, keys, and even empty boxes are a favorite among most babies. Save yourself the mom guilt later on from having tons of toys baby won't play with.
It doesn’t matter where you are going, it doesn’t matter what you are doing, going out will never be the same. Simple things like going to the grocery store now require a diaper bag, snacks, a bottle, and more. If you ever have the courage to go to a restaurant again you’ll need 37,985,785,873 things to keep your little one entertained. I miss my mom because she was always able to help me navigate this aspect extremely well!
Everything that your baby does will be the most adorable, funniest, or weirdest thing you have ever seen, so no matter what you will always want to have a camera. And you’ll want to share those pictures ALL THE TIME. Even if you thought it was annoying when your friends did it with their babies, you will quickly fall victim to what I like to call "camera hands."
For the first few months of your little love’s life you are going to hear from everyone all about when little Johnny did this or that or a million other things. I am here to tell you that no matter what you hear, milestones don’t actually matter all that much. If your baby isn’t rolling over at 4 months, don’t sweat it. Your doctor will tell you when you need to worry. Until then, enjoy the time when your baby isn’t getting into everything.
Sometimes, you will need a break. And that is okay. But, you will feel guilty even if you’ve never taken so much as a bathroom break away from your baby. I can’t tell you how many times I have gone to the store alone or taken a long shower and immediately felt guilty for not having my kids. My mom always makes sure to remind me that I can’t always be super mom (**love you mom**) and that having a mental break is healthy for everyone's sake. Besides, your baby will need to get used to the idea that you may leave from time to time but you’ll always come back.
Now, advice is okay and it’s great to read up on parenting techniques, but, no matter how great the advice is, every baby is different. Parenting is trial and error (leaning heavily toward error). So, don’t worry! You’re not failing because your baby doesn’t sleep through the night even though you tried everything that your mother has told you. Sometimes advice from other moms doesn't actually work and that's OK! What's important is your baby is growing up healthy and happy.
It may seem a little bit like parenting is going to be more trouble than fun but, nothing is better than having a baby. The great moments outweigh the bad and the moment that your baby smiles at you for the first time everything else is going to fade away. So moms out in the blogosphere, what are some of the surprising things you would share about parenting? Anything you were taught you that makes you say I miss my mom?
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