Being a first time mom can be both exciting and scary, especially if you’re approaching the role of motherhood blindly. While you may think that you have everything figured out ahead of time, there are plenty of surprises in store when your baby arrives that aren’t covered in parenting books or baby classes. To help ease the shock that can come with being a first time mom, consider the following 10 most surprising things about being a first time mom and learn from these real-life experiences of other women before you find yourself in the same position as them!
I knew nothing about babies
I went into my first pregnancy with absolutely no idea what I was doing. My husband and I were completely new to parenthood, so everything about it was an exciting mystery to us. Sure, everyone told me that there would be late-night feedings and diaper changes, but I had no idea how emotional it all would be!
Bonding takes time, so don’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away
New mothers are often filled with anxiety that they don’t love their babies enough or will somehow mess up bonding. Try not to panic. You and your baby need time to get used to each other—and that takes at least a few weeks.
Toddlers are easier than newborns
While they’re both a lot of work, toddlers actually become much easier to care for than newborns. After 3 months, you start to develop a routine with your little one; when they’re six months old, they can even understand and follow some basic commands like sit down and stop crying. With newborns, everything is pretty much up in the air until they reach at least 4 or 5 months old.
I didn’t lose all my baby weight immediately
It takes a few months for new moms to shed all of their baby weight and I was no exception. Some of my most fit days were actually three to four months after giving birth when I had gotten back in shape, but that didn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary. New moms can gain anywhere from 25-40 pounds, depending on genetics and diet, so it’s not uncommon for it to take a little time to shed those extra pounds postpartum.
I was terrified to leave my baby with anyone else
This was not something I expected. When my son was born, I didn’t think twice about leaving him with family and friends to run errands or even just get a haircut. However, when it came time to leave him with daycare while I went back to work, that was another story.
Breastfeeding isn’t always easy
Breastfeeding a newborn can be very difficult and uncomfortable at first. Not all women are able to breastfeed and it’s fine if you are unable to as well. Although nursing may not work out for you, there are still ways to bond with your baby. Consult your doctor about bottle feeding if breastfeeding doesn’t work out for you. It will be worth it in order to raise a happy, healthy child!
It can be hard on your marriage too
While giving birth is definitely an experience you’ll never forget, it can be hard on your marriage too. It’s a stressful and scary time for both of you, which can lead to arguments and resentment. If money is an issue (it probably will be at some point), communication between parents becomes even more important. Discussing finances as a couple before having kids is essential, but now that you have a child, it’s vital that you stay on top of them together.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting
You may be shocked to learn that not all mothers experience pregnancy, birth and motherhood in exactly the same way. While being a first-time mom may not be what you expected, don’t worry: You’re still an awesome parent. Here are some of our favourite unexpected realities about being a first-time mom!
Feeding tubes aren’t scary (they aren’t really tubes!)
One of my most common fears leading up to having my baby was that I would need a feeding tube. My doctor assured me it wasn’t going to happen and I tried my best to believe him, but deep down inside I still had some doubts. It’s crazy how just seeing those words feeding tube conjured up some really scary images in my head. But now that I have been through it all, I am here to tell you: there is no reason to be scared!
First World Problems become bigger when you have kids
As soon as you have a baby, all of your problems become bigger. There are so many unexpected things that come along with being a parent that no one tells you about and it can be very stressful. We created this list of 10 things that will help guide you through becoming a new mom.