Are there any first-time moms here? What have you read about being a first-time mom? Sure, you have a checklist of all the things the baby needs. You might already have shopped for all of them, and you can’t wait to see the baby pop out of your belly. You can’t wait for the day when you can finally hold your little one’s hands. But before you welcome this new bundle of joy in your lives, have you asked yourself how mentally prepared you are for its coming?
You won’t only be taking care of the baby for the first year and until he/she learns how to walk. You’ll be taking care of this kid for the rest of his/her life. It’s hard to imagine how clingy they can get when they reach the tender age of three or four. You won’t only be taking care of him/her, but you’ll be literally stuck with your child that it’s going to be hard to even go to the bathroom for a break.
The stories are true. You will care for that baby more than you think it is possible to care for another human being. Your hands will share during that first time you wash the baby. As you hold them tenderly while wrapped in a soft, hooded baby bath towel, you will feel so overwhelmed with a lot of different emotions—joy, fear, love, and tenderness. But you haven’t even understood the impact this baby is going to have in your life. That will come a few months after when everything begins to settle.
Lack of Sleep and Time
Somehow, you can’t seem to catch a break with the baby. You’re always lacking time and energy. You barely sleep and you barely have time to do anything for yourself. The amount of sleep that you lack will become borderline funny. Yes, you have to function with only three hours of sleep at times. You’ll have to report to work without taking a shower or smelling like your baby’s barf.
Babies don’t establish their sleeping patterns until they are three months old, though you are usually lucky when that happens. Some kids cannot complete a 10-hour sleep cycle until they are in their first year. So, imagine having to wake up at ungodly hours because the baby needs milk, or the baby pooped in the middle of the night.
You will always feel so tired even in the morning when you’ve just had a miraculous six-hour sleep. The exhaustion will not stop anytime soon. You’ll feel that until your kid is old enough to go to school and you finally have three relaxing hours in the morning to do what you should. It’s a different type of exhaustion mothers feel when the baby finally arrives. You don’t only lack sleep, but you’re all out of energy, too.
Because you don’t have the time and you’re exhausted, your house is always messy and untidy. Even after trying to keep everything organized, you’ll find small patches of dirt and grime. That’s not counting the fact that your kid hasn’t reached toddler age yet. When they are three or four, they’ll begin having toys scattered all around the house. That’s when you realize your house can never be clean until they leave for college.
You will not have time for good food, too, which means you have to prepare meals in advance when you get the chance. On the weekends, instead of lounging around the house wearing pajamas, you have to roll up your sleeves and prepare meals in advance. That is if you want to eat nutritious and healthy ones for the rest of the week. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on Chinese takeouts. But once the kids are ready for solid food, you know you can’t give them fast food items every single day. Better hone those culinary skills as early as now.
But Your Heart Will Grow in So Many Ways
But despite the exhaustion and the lack of time, what many new mothers don’t realize (and they don’t get much advice about this one) is how big their hearts are going to grow. You never know your heart can accommodate that much love for one tiny human being. This baby is going to be the center of your world whether you like it or not. The kid is going to fill your life with love, laughter, and an impulse to protect him/her from everything.
First-time moms can be blindsided by the realities of having the baby home because of everything they see on social media and the internet. While the relentless and overwhelming love is there, it’s also important to remember that raising a kid is hard work. If you need to take a break, do so. It’s okay to complain and cry. You’ll dust it off soon enough and face the music again.