What have I learned as a new mom is a question I began to contemplate recently. On August 1, my little bean, my bundle of joy, my precious baby boy was born, and made me a mother. And I’ve been a mom for three months now so I am very much a new mom. I know that being a new mom is overwhelming. Babies are super demanding, and having a baby really does change your life. Just last night it occurred to me that I have to care for my baby when he’s not a baby–when he’s a ten year old, a grumpy teenager, a young man even because moms just don’t stop being moms. I mean, I’m 41 and my mom is still mothering me. And the realization that I would have to mother a teenager gave me chills. And all of this on top of changing diapers, feeding the baby nine hundred times a day, doing laundry every single day–yes, EVERY day–is very overwhelming. But in these three months I have learned quite a bit. So I’m totally sharing. The stuff you need to know and some things I just think are interesting.
The Unconditional Love for Your Baby
We all know moms have an unconditional love for their children. If you have a good mom, you say she’s the best mom because she really is. And I think that those of us who look forward to becoming mothers think we will have insta baby love once our baby is placed in our arms. And it’s true you love your baby like you love no one else. But I didn’t experience an overwhelming burst of emotion. And that is okay! Because the love I feel is so deep, so real, that it’s just woven into me. I was certainly awed the first saw my baby, and couldn’t take my eyes off of him but the love feeling was not what the media and blog posts make it out to be. It was just there. And every day it grows more. I feel it every time I look at Baby J, every time he smiles at me, every time I change his diaper. The unconditional love is very real, but it’s not a magic bolt of lightening that strikes you. I learned as a new mom that not to be hard myself in not experiencing what I thought I would based on media representation, and you shouldn’t either.
You Can Never Have Enough Baby Clothes
I got gifted a lot of baby clothes. Like, a lot. The drawers of my baby’s dresser were PACKED. I honestly thought, when is this little baby going to wear all these onesies and jumpers? I thought, he’ll outgrow them before I can use them all. Boy, was I wrong. I am not advocating that you buy a baby department’s worth of clothes by any means, but honestly, you will use a lot of clothes. Babies spit up. A lot. Even after they are done feeding and burped and spit up, they keep spitting up. Yesterday alone my baby must have gone through seven or eight changes of clothes. No joke. Which is why I’m constantly doing laundry. So while less is usually more…in this case you might start to believe that more is…better.
People Are Absurdly Interested in How Baby Sleeps
Now, this is something I’ve learned as a new mom that I never thought would be a thing. I didn’t realize how often I’d be asked about how my baby sleeps before I became a mom. I mean, I know a lot of people are just being polite because if baby doesn’t sleep, you don’t sleep, and they are asking after you as much as baby, but…it’s still weird. Some people are genuinely glad my baby sleeps through most of the time. Others look as though they are irritated. Which is also weird. I still can’t figure out exactly why next to perfect strangers are asking me about how he sleeps. Why don’t they show the same interest in his bowel movements or whether he’s smiling? Or how he eats?
You’ll Have Strange Worries About Baby
When I brought my baby home, I began to have crazy fears about him. That I’d drop him on the brand new, super hard porcelain floors. If he slept for longer than the usual three hours, I was afraid he was dead in his cradle. And I wasn’t really worried about SIDS at that point–that came later–so this fear seemed…out there, and out of character. I believe I have read these fears and thoughts are normal for new moms, but they were unpleasant. I can report however, that these fears do fade away after the first month. Although, once my baby started moving move, I did start worrying more about SIDS. I removed all blankets and stopped swaddling and I use a sleepy sac instead.
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You Will Sing Silly Songs All Day Long
While you might think of parents singing their baby a lullaby, you likely don’t realize that parents sing silly songs to their baby all day long. Babies love song, and any time I sing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, he calms right down. Both my husband and I find ourselves singing to him all day long, making up songs, and it does get silly. I sing to him about his poop, and if that’s not silly I don’t know what is. Then again, it does keep him from howling through the whole diaper change–I had no idea babies hated getting their diapers changed this much. I knew, but I didn’t know, if you know what I mean.
Your Baby’s Face is the Best Thing In the World
This is the best thing I’ve learned as a new mom–how awesome my baby’s face is. I love my baby. I love his little feet, and his cute sounds, and his sweet face. I mean, he’s adorable. He’s my baby, so of course I think so, though I will say, strangers stop me on the street to tell me how beautiful he is. Honestly, they do. But, your baby’s face is going to be the best thing in the world, not just because he’s your baby but because babies have the best expressions. Every thought and feeling is uncensored and passes over their face. Delight, sadness, confusion, annoyance–it’s all there on his face, and it’s hilarious. And adorable, and delightful, and fascinating. I could honestly watch him for hours.
The past three months have changed my life, and yet my life remains very similar to what it was before. I am blessed to have a supportive family, a husband who is very interested in being a dad, and a baby that is super healthy and content. Especially that last one, because babies can be fussy and cranky and Baby J is not. I cannot believe how fast he’s grown–something else I’ve learned as a new mom, you blink and they change. It’s been fun, but it is tiring at times, especially that first month to six weeks. But your journey as a new mom is going to be amazing no matter your circumstances. Remember to enjoy it; take lots of pictures and cuddle your baby.
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