Motherhood is a wonderful experience or a journey I should say. When you are expecting your first child, you may think you have nine long months to prepare for the baby. Yes, you have nine months to buy cute baby stuff and all the essentials but you need to prepare your heart and your mind for this wonderful yet challenging journey. Here are a few things which will help you prepare for the first few months with your new baby. I really wish someone had told me that motherhood is both joyful and difficult at the same time. It is hard work and yet it is beautiful work. You need to prepare yourself emotionally to embrace this new journey of a lifetime.
1. Be prepared for sleepless nights
I should say be prepared for sleepless nights as well as days. It is a huge sacrifice you will need to make. It’s no joke when people say that your newborn will wake you up every 2 hours or so like an alarm clock. The first few days and weeks will be especially hard with all the sleep deprivation. It may take months before you find a new routine or schedule with your little one.
2. Breastfeeding isn’t a breeze
Breastfeeding is natural but it isn’t easy. Prepare yourself during your pregnancy. Read about breastfeeding. Take a breastfeeding class if possible. Find a lactation consultant so that you can have help after the baby is born. Get a good breastfeeding pillow and nipple ointment. These are a must. You may also need a breast pump to express milk. Find out if your insurance gives breast pump for free.
3. You will be tired physically
Giving birth is natural but is exhausting. You body needs plenty rest to heal well after labor. Be patient with yourself. Don’t be in a hurry to get up and be going. Rest whenever you can and take it easy with chores. Caring for a newborn is physically tiring. Sleep when the baby sleeps is a good rule for first time moms. Be sure you have help from your husband or family or hire a helper if possible.
4. Ask for help
Let’s face it. We live in a world where we are expected to care for all our needs ourselves. But it’s not true when it comes to caring for a newborn baby. You need a village to raise a child! Mom needs plenty of rest after labor and delivery. Ask for help from family and friends. They can bring a meal or watch the baby while you take a shower and eat something. Even better if your mom can stay with you and take care of you during the first few months.
5. Your body will change
As if I needed to tell this to you. Your body has been growing a new life for nine months and there will be visible changes. Stretch marks, saggy skin are all part of this wonderful journey. Don’t expect to fit into your skinny jeans right after delivery! It will take months and even years to get back into your new, decent shape. Love yourself for becoming a mother. Don’t expect yourself to get back into your perfect pre-pregnancy size. It won’t matter. You are a mother and your baby will love you no matter what.
6. Be prepared to fall in love
Yes, be ready to fall in love head over heels over a tiny human being. You will find yourself gushing with love for your new baby. You thought you could only love your husband. Soon, you will realize your heart is bursting with love for your baby as well. Love never divides but only multiplies.
7. You will need to connect with others
Before becoming a mother, we had so much time to hang out with family and friends. Being bored was never an option. After having our baby, I realized I needed to connect with others more than before. I longed for companionship. I needed to talk to someone other than my husband. I needed good Mommy friends to talk about our joys and sorrows. Be sure to find a Moms group or other Mommy friends to lessen the burden and make the days more easy to handle.
8. Be prepared to have less of ‘Me’ time
We were married for 6 years before a newborn arrived into our lives. During those 6 years, I had lots of time to read books, pursue blogging, cook delicious food and visit wonderful places with hubby. After the baby arrived, I quickly realized I had to sacrifice my time to care for my precious little one. I had to let go of my selfish wants. I still do a little bit of stuff I like once in a while but I realize it will never be the same. My new ‘Me’ time often involves my sweet baby. We take strolls, go to the library and so on.