Random Thoughts

20 Things Every New Mom-to-be Should Know

20 things every new mom should know.jpg

The thought of you becoming a parent can hit you at any stage of your pregnancy; whether it’s when you first find out you’re expecting or in your last few weeks.
It’s important to know that you are not alone, and all the worries and fears you may experience on this exciting {yet at the same time overwhelming} journey have been felt by other moms.

Here are some tips and points that you should know on how to prepare yourself a little better and take advantage of blossoming during the nine months. As well as add a little note about how I took this advice with both of my pregnancies.

1.Support System

Surround yourself with positive people. Surround yourself with people who will not concentrate on the negative aspects. You don’t need the extra stress from hearing about horrid experiences that other moms had during their pregnancies.

Unfortunately during both pregnancies, I didn’t feel like I had any support systems set up. No one to take the strain of dinner or house chores off my shoulders for a day. My mistake could’ve been that I never asked for support {again} because I was rejected on the times I did. 
Actually receiving the support you need takes a lot of strain off you.

2. Bonding is a Process

Some moms don’t bond from the word go. It takes a while for some to come to terms with having a baby and gelling with the idea.
It’s okay. It’s normal. Don’t beat yourself up over it. Take every day a step at a time.

Bonding does take time. With my first child, Monster, I bonded only hours after birth. We had had a traumatic experience during the birth and I wasn’t in the state to worry about bonding.
With the second one, Gremlin, the bonding also took a few hours because I suffered from some or other allergic reaction to medication in the theater and I didn’t want to be there and I cursing myself for putting myself in the situation.

Today, we are inseparable from each other. Bonding doesn’t happen from the start for some. When it does happen, it’s memorable and magical.

3. Your Planning won’t Stick

No matter how great of a planner you are, there’s no guarantee that everything will go according to it. Whether you’re expecting to have a natural birth or expecting to breastfeed right from the start, sometimes situations arise to counteract those ideas. Don’t be distraught, sometimes these things happen for safety precautions.

With the Monster, I planned. I knew what type of birth I wanted. Natural, with pain meds and hopefully quick and easy. Turned into a 12hour long session with complications.
With the Gremlin, I planned on a C-Section from the start. I went into labor on the scheduled day but the labor progressed so quickly, I had to be taken into theater three hours earlier.

You’ll be very lucky if things go all the way to your plan, it’s rarely the case.

4. Expect the Unexpected

Knowing {and accepting} that things won’t exactly go to plan is one the best ways to prepare yourself. Just know, you will be okay, and so will your baby. Prepare yourself for changes during the course, be flexible.

Once again, whatever you do plan for your big day, prepare yourself for things not working out that.

5. Mama, Go with the Flow

Sometimes the routines you set up revolving around taking care of your child don’t always fall into play. Try a more flexible routine which won’t leave you feeling strained and one that will make the time with your newborn memorable. Just because others are giving you advice they followed, doesn’t mean it will work for you.

I took advice from others on their routines and how well it was working for them. Took me two months with both kids to give them up as they just weren’t working well for my kids and myself. Find what works for you and go with that.

6. Babies are Different

Every pregnancy and every baby is different. So no matter what other mothers did with their babies and how they handled motherhood, it doesn’t mean that it will work for you. You decide what is best for you, your baby and your family!

Both of my boys are different to each other. So what worked for the one doesn’t work for the other and vice versa. Don’t compare your kids to each other and to other people’s kids. You’ll only drive yourself crazy.

7. Milestones aren’t Everything

In the first few months, my first born was judged by a doctor based on a chart he pulled out of his… Yes, sorry about that. Point is, this chart {some schools follow it as well} states your child has to do a certain thing at a certain time! I don’t think they realise, “the experts”, that every baby is different. So don’t beat yourself up with worry if your baby isn’t rolling, crawling, cooing or walking at a specific time. Give your child a break, they are just discovering their capabilities.

Gremlin hit some of his milestones earlier than what books state is the right age. Monster hit them after the appropriate age. So what? All people are different. Such is life.

8. You’re Never Alone!

Generations of mothers have gone through the same as you. You’re not the only one struggling with the stress, tears and other challenges. Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or advice if needed.

This kept me going. Every time I wanted to complain about something, I remembered how many women have already gone through this and they were fine. I placed this thought in my head, picked myself up and carried on.

9. Tiredness Becomes You

Don’t undersell how tired you will be. Trust me, in the first few weeks, you might not be able to tell day and night apart from each other. You will be more tired than you can imagine. Remember to not drive when overly exhausted.

10. Coping with Sleep Deprivation

Not all children are born with the ability to sleep through the night. That’s life. The little piece of advice “Sleep when your baby sleeps” doesn’t work. Dishes, laundry and dinner doesn’t make itself happen. However, if you need the break and you need to sleep, then take your nap when the baby is asleep. You need to think of yourself as well as your baby.

Both my kids were {Gremlin still is}  bad sleepers. I barely had three hours of sleep in. When you have a chance to rest, take it. Don’t burn yourself out because you think it’s your responsibility. This is where your support system comes in – use it!

11. Mommy Guilt

All mothers feel this and feed off this. It’s normal. Guilt makes you human, and also shows that you care about what you are doing and that you are doing everything right. Also don’t feel guilty if you feeling overwhelmed and need a break. It doesn’t mean you love your baby any less. It just means you are human and you need downtime as well.

Mommy guilt is something I believe never goes away. I still struggle with the guilt. Even those moms you look up to that seem perfect and look like they have their shit together. Trust me, they don’t.

12. Your Relationship

As your baby takes over your whole world, your relationship might climb onto the windowsill and stay there dormant. As much attention as your baby needs, you need to carry some of it over to your partner too. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, after your baby has gone to bed, try to spend some quality time with your partner.

My husband has never been home much with both pregnancies and thereafter, I cannot comment on what a normal relationship is and how it should function.

13. Your Home, Your Rules

Always do what works best for you and your family. Don’t always fall for someone else’s advice because it works well for them. If it’s not your cup of tea, don’t drink it.

In my home, my rules go for my kids. They work for me, they work for them. Why should anyone else have a say about it?

14. Do What Makes You and Baby Happy

Focus on things that make you and your baby happy over following of advice. You can’t keep everyone happy but wouldn’t the best be to focus on your family first?

I’ve only recently started ignoring what other people have to say about my parenting style, and I already had my second child. Set your mind straight about it from the start and save your sanity.

15. Those Mommy Instincts

Read the books. Read more. And some more. Then throw them out. Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.

I read a lot of books. A shitload of books. I wanted to prepare myself as much as possible for what was waiting for me when my kid arrived. The day my kid I arrived, I couldn’t remember a single word I had read and I went on my instincts. They work; trust them, use them.

16. Common Sense

It is easy to throw out all there is to common sense and replace it with the advice you found in books. However, if you follow your baby’s “signs” and listen to your gut, you’re doing it right!

Common sense, trust it! Hand in hand with your instincts, you’ll do great!

17. Enjoy Every Moment

The first weeks are crazy; most are a blur and some you won’t even remember getting through. With all this kept in the back of your mind – leave it there and enjoy every moment. Those weeks slip by very quickly and when you wipe your eyes out, your used-to-be newborn is now a crawling machine, trying to climb uneven surfaces and pulling down everything in their reach. Savor each and every moment you have with them.

18. You’re A Woman!

Forget the stories about men being the stronger species. Women endure a lot more. Moms have the full-time job of cleaning, cooking, work, school activities, school homework, being the drivers, the therapists; the One in Alls. If you’re ever feeling overwhelmed, just remember that you are a WOMAN and you are STRONG!

19. Signs of Postpartum Depression

Some new moms believe the PPD sets in right after their babies are born. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Some moms experience PPD a few months afterward, some experience it a year after the birth of their child. It’s normal to experience after a baby, your emotions are all out of whack. Many women before you had it, many women after you will have it. You’re not alone.
Here is a checklist for you to check. If these feelings bother you or you feel that you might be a danger to yourself or your baby, seek help immediately.

20. It’s Okay to Ask for Help

It’s okay to reach out to others for help. You don’t need to do it all alone.

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