Deciding you want to become a parent for this first time is one of those decisions that you don’t take lightly. You may have discussed it at length with your partner, decided that now would be an ideal time, and even considered all of the financial pressures, whether your home or car is big enough, and even if you are emotionally ready. It is an exciting time, and the journey from deciding to conceiving can be short or long, only mother nature knows that answer to that.
However, when you get that positive pregnancy test your heart could simply burst with excitement, I can assure you. It’s a real mix of emotions, you feel happy, you feel emotion, overwhelmed and perhaps a little scared about what’s to come. Reading all the pregnancy books is helpful, and you become an expert on each week, labor symptoms and what’s to come. But many of us don’t read beyond those nine months and suddenly have a baby that we don’t really know what to do with. Of course, that maternal instinct kicks in, even if you worry it won’t show, and you begin to slot into your new routine. Perhaps reading a parenting book does happen at some stage, maybe when trying to develop sleep routine, or learn about weaning. However, there are some valuable pieces of information that those books tend to leave out and I wanted to touch on some of them today. I hope it reassures any new mamas out there that you are doing a fantastic job.
That there will be a huge drama over how you feed your baby
The parenting books certainly don’t tell you that there may be a huge drama over how you feed your baby. Of course, most parenting books promote a natural breastfeeding method, but that doesn’t always happen for some. Breastfeeding is something that you either have a brilliant journey with, you struggle with after a few weeks, or you choose not to do it at all. However, which way you feed your baby, I am sure it is right for you and your little one. It can be heartbreaking when you are wanting to breastfeed and your baby won’t latch on correctly, meaning they aren’t getting enough milk. It can be really tough to even get the process going at all, and the best thing to do is just to focus on feeding your baby, and that might be using formula and bottle feeding. Thankfully, websites like Formuland have a great source of information to help you decipher what’s best and what you can or can’t do. But the best advice is to remember that a happy mama means a happy baby, and you are doing your very best, whatever circumstances with feeding you find yourself in.
That lack of sleep is more extreme than you can ever imagine
Sleep! You don’t appreciate it until you don’t get enough of it that is for sure. Everyone will have told you during your pregnancy to make the most of your sleep. Enjoy naps when you can and simply indulge. You may have listened, you may not have done. But the lack of sleep is a lot more extreme than you can ever imagine while pregnant. A newborn will have you on their clock, and they might be waking every two hours for a feed. Be mindful that you need to rest as well and take good care of yourself during those first few months. A lot of people advise that you should sleep when the baby sleeps, and while it may be tempting to vacuum your house or tackle some of the chores, it really can be some of the best advice that you follow.
That you will worry constantly with every sneeze and high temperature
It’s not easy this mom thing, and you will worry a lot about several different things. No matter how small the sneeze, or temperature, you will still be worrying that your baby isn’t acting normal and isn’t well all of the time. Babies can’t talk to you and tell you how they feel, so it is up to you to decipher their behavior and symptoms. Just try and not get too overly obsessive over it, and just trust your instincts.
That you will feel guilty all of the time
The guilt is real, and you can feel guilty over every little detail when you become a mom. You will worry that you haven’t given your baby enough attention during the day, perhaps feeling guilty for feeling tired and not yourself. You will feel guilty because they haven’t taken enough milk, or taken too much milk. They haven’t slept enough or they have slept too much. Do you see the picture I am trying to form here? The guilt is there, whether you do things good or bad, and so it is always just best to ride those feelings and understand that they are there for a reason. It means that you care, that you love your little one, and those feelings are absolutely perfectly normal to feel.
That you are doing the best job, even if you are doing things your way
Finally, know parenting book that tells you about routines and your baby really goes into the detail that actually you, as a mama, are doing a fantastic job. Being a parent can be quite thankless anyway. You do the things you do to keep your family moving forward, and at the end of the day, you can feel totally drained. But, what you must always remember is that no matter how you spent your day, what you did, and how you feel, you are doing your absolute best each day, and that is really all that can be asked of you. It’s easy to feel like you have to conform to being a superwoman, but the truth is you are pretty awesome just the way you are.
I hope that this has given you some insight into some of those things that aren’t covered in a parenting book.
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.