This article is meant for the woman who is expecting her first child. Congratulations to you momma. I am so happy for you and wish you all the best. You are in for a lifetime of happiness and joy, and also a whole lot of crazy. There are a lot of articles out there for expectant moms that talk about the joys of motherhood, or tips on how to survive, but here are the top ten things I’ve learned since becoming a mom four months ago myself. Take heart, it’s a great adventure.
Days of eating meals with your spouse are over.
If you’re the type of person who enjoys setting the table and sharing a nice home cooked meal with your husband at night, you can forget that. Once you have a baby, you can kiss mealtime goodbye. My husband and I usually do a rotation with dinner that has worked pretty well for us. He comes home from work and takes the baby while I prepare dinner. I usually prepare some cheap not homemade easy to throw together meal so that my tired husband doesn’t have to entertain our child too long. Once I get everything cooked, I bring my husband his plate and then it’s my turn to take the baby. We swap. He eats, and i entertain. When he is done eating, it’s my turn. We swap again. You get the idea. We don’t eat together. The only time that we do eat together is when we are chowing down on fast food in the car, as we drive aimlessly around town to keep our sleeping child from waking up in the backseat. Not very romantic I know, but hey we take what we can get.
There is laundry, so much laundry.
How such a tiny person can create so much laundry is something I ponder on a daily basis. I went from doing maybe two loads a week to doing two loads a day, and all we’ve added is a 14 lb, 24 in baby boy. Crazy, i know. Such a little boy however comes with many things that need cleaning…onesies, sleepers, crib sheets, pack n play sheets, blankets, sleepers, burp cloths, swaddlers, changing pad covers, towels, and so on and so on and so on. I swear the things in his laundry basket go on a mating frenzy and multiply overnight. Let me also throw this out there -that dreft, you know that cute but super expensive laundry detergent with the baby’s face on it, is going to be your best friend once you become a mom. There will be many times that you end up using it on your own laundry, because a- it smells so good, and b-you use it so much it almost makes you question whether you should just solely use that one detergent. Anyways, if your a new mom, get ready for laundry to become a big part of your life. Learn to love it. Learn to embrace it. Because if not, it will bury you alive, literally.
Your legs are almost always never shaved, and your hair is almost always in a bun.
This speaks for itself.
You buy clothes based on how well you think they would absorb vomit.
First of all if you don’t like vomit, you probably shouldn’t have gotten pregnant. I always knew babies were notorious for spitting up a lot, but now that I am a mom, I am astounded at the amount of vomit that ends up on my clothes, and in my hair, and down my shirt every single day. The fact that such a tiny cute human could expel such copious amounts of the gooey smelly mess is beyond me. I used to wake up and go to my closet, and pick out whichever outfit stood out to me that day as one that I would like to wear. Now, everything has changed. Suddenly I have become the mom who meticulously picks out her clothes based on how well they absorb and hide vomit. I look for lighter colors, as they tend to mask the stain well. Black, the color which I used to love, has suddenly become my arch nemesis. The thicker the shirt the better, and scarves have become wonderful accessories. The art of shopping has suddenly become much more stressful then I ever anticipated.
Every TV show and movie you watch suddenly becomes a sob fest.
If your a new mom I urge you to think long and hard before starting your next Netflix or Hulu endeavor. I advise you to stay off the Hallmark channel, and avoid shows such as Parenthood and movies like My Sisters Keeper. All those shows you used to watch without batting an eye or will suddenly turn you into a blubbering mess with a snotty nose. You’ll suddenly see your child in every character, from the ones who get kidnapped and abused, to the ones who end up sick with cancer. I’m telling you, just don’t do it. Think long and hard about what you watch. Your mommy filter is on now.
Your whole day becomes revolved around how you can fit in a shower.
Gone are the days of waking up and starting my day with a nice hot shower. I’m usually woken up to the sound of angry cries from my hungry baby in the next room over. My day starts as soon as he wakes up, so I start my day in my pj’s and messy bun. He tends to cry if he’s not getting near constant attention, so his nap time is the only time I have to try and fit in my beloved shower. The first nap of the day, I immediately try and take care of everything, such as emptying the dishwasher, starting my load of laundry, filling the pellet stove, and preparing his food. Nap time is usually a race against the clock, so I do these tasks in superhero time, hoping to give myself enough of a chance to shower. Some mornings I am lucky, and he will nap just long enough for me to dry off and put some clean clothes on (only to get spit up on a few minutes later) and other times I am not so lucky, and he will wake up screaming just as I put one foot in and turn on the water. Crap. When that happens I’m usually out for the count. His next nap time is so late in the day that I usually don’t see a reason to shower at that point, especially considering I’m a stay at home mom and the only people who might see me that day is the Walmart greeter and the bank teller. Oh well, we’ll try again tomorrow. Or not. Like I said it’s an all day mission.
You will wonder if it’s possible for a baby to be born bipolar.
The first few weeks home with my son I honestly wondered this. I didn’t understand how one minute he could be screaming bloody murder, and the next minute be full of smiles. You know in TV shows how they show a little devil on one shoulder, and an angel on the other…well they definitely were inhabiting my son’s shoulders as well. He had to be bipolar, there’s no way he could turn from this sweet angelic little bundle of sugar to this demonic satanic wretched screaming boy?! But seriously. So my advice, savor every good moment, because with the flip of a switch it could be over just like that.
“Mom brain” is a real thing.
I think that ADD should automatically be a diagnosis for women when they become moms. I know for me in just the span of a day I have thousands and thousands of thoughts cross my mind. “When will he wake up?” “Is he still breathing?” “Don’t forget to let the dog out.” “I wonder where we should go on vacation next year.” “I wish it was bed time.” “Should his poop be that color?”And so forth, you get the idea. I fill my brain with reminders, worries, questions, dreams, and memories. It’s constantly going at warp speed, and it doesn’t slow down. Ever. No wonder I can’t remember where I put my keys, or if I paid the mortgage, or heck what your last name is. I can’t remember it all, give me a break!
You reach a new level of tired.
In the early days of motherhood, you’ll wonder how in the world am i still alive? I know I did. You’ll wake up after being up all night, running on no sleep, and hardly any food, and you’ll think this is it, i’m going to die today. It’s exhausting. It’s mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. Every square inch of your body is tired, not to mention you just had a baby so yeah there’s that. Good news to you momma’s is we all survive. No matter how run down you feel, or how overcome with exhaustion you become, you will survive. You will get through.
You have never felt so much love in your whole life.
It’s true. No matter how tired and worn out or frustrated I am, I am amazed at how much love and adoration I have for my son. I look at him and find peace, and happiness. All is right in the world when he smiles. I wish I could freeze time when he giggles. I look in his eyes and all I can do is melt. My heart is full, overflowing, and saturated with love for him. Nothing, not even endless piles of laundry, and bouts of incessant crying could ever change that. He is my greatest joy.
Enjoy this crazy, beautiful journey you are about to embark on. We are all rooting for you.