Motherhood is the most rewarding job, they say. While this is true, there is a lot of things that I have found out along the way, that I wish I knew before Tristan made his grand entrance into the world. My son, Tristan is three now. But I still consider myself a new mom. There is always things to learn along the way, my twin sister is now expecting! Yes, she's due in September! We are so excited to be welcoming a new cub into the pack. If you know me, you know my sister and I are connected at the hip so her journey to motherhood almost has been like deja vu for me. I'm happy to be there for her and I think mainly because as a new mom, you are focused on the pregnancy and preparing for your new baby to get here. I did a lot of research before becoming a mom, but there are just some things that you don't find out until you actually become a mom. So you might ask, what things might you never expect when becoming a new mom?
Hmm... well let me tell you.
Birth Plans Ensure Your Labor Won’t Go As Planned
Your body and your baby may have a plan entirely different than the birth plan you create. Often times, a lot of births don’t go as planned and this often causes unneeded stress. The best birth plan to have, is a flexible plan that considers a wide variety of scenarios.
I tend to like to plan things, even though it usually goes the opposite way. I somewhat feel comfort in "having a plan". Especially when it comes to something so delicate as child birth. I made a plan, but like all great plans it didn't go accordingly. My son came TWO weeks early... plus, by the time I got to the hospital I was already 7 cm. So I am glad that I was pretty flexible and adapted to the situation. I am most thankful for having a safe delivery though. I would always advise any new mom to be prepared, although it might not go as planned it's always safe to have a blue print. Check out a FREE birth plan template here.
Postpartum Hair Loss is not a myth. (it happens!)
According to HuffPost, Postpartum hair loss, also known as postpartum telogen effluvium, is the shedding of hair after giving birth due to changes in hormone levels. For some women, the hair loss is minor. But for others, it can be severe. One day I was in the shower washing my hair, maybe two weeks after having Tristan and I noticed my hair started falling out. Of course, I thought it was normal because it was the first time I had washed it since giving birth. But I realized it was not normal when I started to notice my hair was thinning at the ends.
Once it became apparent that it was hair loss, I began taking vitamins, using hair growth oil and stopped putting so much heat on my hair. This continued for a couple months, but I believe that combination of the vitamins, oil, and less heat resulted in my hair not only growing back thicker, but longer. (SN: I did go to get my hair trimmed regularly, to assist with my healthy hair journey)
Time for yourself will be non-existent.
Although I imagined myself being able to have quiet time, the truth of the matter is that time to yourself after having a child is nonexistent. From the time your little one wakes up to the time they finally go to bed you will be on baby's time. Whether you are sterilizing bottles, washing clothes or tending to other daily motherly duties, it's all about baby. The good thing is that this gets better as they get older. It's ironic though I don't know if I prefer the time when Tristan was a baby and needed me to do everything or now that he's independent and busy. Lol, it is truly a balancing act. Your priorities will change but you will never be able to imagine life without them.
Breastfeeding is difficult.
Umm... breastfeeding is one of those things that you either are going to really like or dislike. Personally, I breast fed for two months and alternated between breast milk and formula. Breast feeding is not for everyone and please do not feel ashamed if you choose not to breastfeed your child. Breast feeding does have many health benefits for your child, so I encourage all moms to give it a try. (I honestly feel like it's one of the requirements before you leave the hospital now is to atleast try to have the baby latch on).
You will compete with other moms and their kids.
Now this is one of those things that I didn't really expect. But let's be real every mom has been there in mid conversation talking to one of their mom friends about their child's development and you find yourself bragging about your child's growth, what new thing or word they said and etc. In my opinion, this is friendly competition. Plus who doesn't think their kid is superior to other kids?
The relationship with your partner will change.
So I hate to break it to you, but your relationship will forever be changed after having a kid. My mom always told me, "that having a kid can make a relationship stronger or break it down". At the newborn stage of having a baby you have to identify a schedule that works for you both. For example, if you are with the baby all day your partner should understand that when they get home you need a break and should split the parenting responsibility 50/50.
You will constantly worry.
I don't know what it is about after having a kid, but for some reason you become a worry queen. From people holding your baby the improper way to hearing non-existent baby cries in the shower. I refer to the state of worry as "motherly instincts" but in all honesty it's not good to worry all the time. Check out ways to worry less as a new mama here.