Having a baby is a life-changing and beautiful blessing. It is so amazing what our bodies can do and what we go through to give these tiny humans life. Though it is an incredible gift, it isn’t all flowers and rainbows like a lot of women paint it out to be. Don’t let that women with the perfect hair, perfect house, and perfect life fool you, motherhood is downright hard! And that’s okay!
I LOVE being a mom more than anything in this world and I learn something new from my son every single day, but there are a few things I wish I would have known before I started my journey with him.
I wish I knew that the second you announce your pregnancy, everyone seems to invest themselves into it. “Enjoy it now, you’ll never sleep again,” “I hope you did everything you wanted to because you’re life revolves around the baby now,” “You shouldn’t be able to find out the gender, women today are so entitled” (yes, that last one seriously happened! (insert facepalm)) At a time I was trying to build excitement for Ronan’s arrival I felt like everyone kept telling me how hard it is and mentally that was not helpful. Thank goodness for my mom and my mom groups who were a huge support!
2. THE CHANGING TABLE DILEMMA
I wish I knew that a lot of bathrooms do not have changing tables and you will often have to change the baby in your car! It is awful how many places do not offer this and he is way too squirmy to change him on anything other than a flat surface.
I wish I knew about pregnancy/mom brain. I forget everything! I can be talking and mid sentence completely lose my train of thought. I leave something behind almost daily so I’ve found that keeping a list on my white board helps me remember! I’m not sure how long it’s supposed to last, but I hope it doesn’t last forever.
4. ALONE TIME
I wish I knew that alone time would be so rare. 5-6 days a week I work and on Sunday’s I get to enjoy the day with Ronan. I knew being a single mom would be hard, but I didn’t anticipate that my son would be so attached to me and that I would never get time to myself. “So spend some time to yourself after he sleeps,” they say, but fail to realize my son won’t go to sleep without me and I’m normally so exhausted I go to bed with him. My “alone time” now consists of the 30 minute lunch break I spend in my car pumping each day. For someone who was used to living independently and alone, it’s been a huge adjustment.
5. SLEEP REGRESSION
I wish I knew about sleep regressions. Those fun times where your baby decides a schedule is for the birds and staying awake is so much more fun! As a single mom, I’m lucky if I get half a night of sleep, so these sleep regressions are a real nightmare when they come around. Sometimes it is due to teething but other times it is because Ronan has learned a new skill and would rather practice that instead.
6. BODILY FLUIDS
I wish I knew how often I would be covered in bodily fluids. Having worked in the medical field, fluids do not bother me, but I was shocked at how much can come out of one tiny body. There have been nights my son has woken up sick and continuously just vomited all over me all night long. I’ve thrown away many outfits due to unsalvageable blowouts that had to be dealt with in the tub. I’ve been peed on more times than I can count. I find random boogers stuck to my boobs and on mine and my son’s clothes, and the amount of bibs we go through thanks to drool overload is crazy!
7. NURSING STRUGGLES
I wish I knew that nursing is a complete nightmare in the beginning. Most women go in with the mindset that they will breastfeed then never make it out of the first few weeks. It HURTS in the beginning as your body is adjusting and your baby is learning to eat. It’s tiring, frustrating, and not as glorious or magical as it’s portrayed to be. But let me tell you, once you make it out of those first few weeks, it is an incredible experience. I honestly didn’t realize how strong my bond with my son was until the breastfeeding side of it clicked for us.
8. DIAPERS MATTER
So many people told me pampers, pampers, pampers so I stocked up. Guess which diapers Ronan leaked out of the worst? You guessed it, Pampers. I ended up exchanging all of them for Huggies. We also tried Parents Choice and they were on him for about 20 minutes before they almost chemically burned through his skin. His booty was blood red and he was screaming by the time I ripped it off. Every baby is different in sensitivity and fit so I personally wish I would not have stocked up on diapers and waited.
9. MOM GUILT
I wish I knew that I would feel guilty about spending money on myself over my son. We barely break even so when we do have a little extra, it always goes to my son. Aside from the basics he always seems to need something and it’s come to the point where I genuinely feel bad about spending any money on myself. Instead of splurging on makeup or clothes like I used to, I find myself constantly thinking of things he needs which, I’ve accepted, is just part of the transition into becoming a mom! As long as he has everything he needs, that is all the matters to me.
10. THE STRONGEST LOVE
I wish I knew how incredible the love I would feel for him is. I never imagined we would be so attached to each other and that I could love someone so much. He has made me a stronger, more confident, happy, and loving person! Before I had him I was constantly asking myself what my purpose on earth was and what I was supposed to be doing with my life and he completely filled that void. It is a love I am so blessed and thankful for.