I’m so excited for Erin as she is about to have her baby! Becoming a mom is by far the best, most exciting, exhausting, scary and joyful thing I’ve experienced. Almost seven months in there are days where I look at Addilyn and still can’t believe she is my daughter. While I am no expert whatsoever, I thought I’d share a few things that I learned at the beginning of my role as a mom. And most of these things I’m still learning!
1. Soak up all the holding, sitting, and snuggles possible. Honestly I could probably count the amount of times I set Addilyn down when she was sleeping for the first few months at least. I seriously held her all the time. I didn’t do much around our house and I don’t regret it one bit. There have been a few times I’ve wondered if that is part of the reason she is a poor sleeper but I stop myself from thinking that as fast as I can because even if that was the case I don’t regret it one bit. I waited a long time for a baby and I soaked up every snuggle and sleeping moment I could get. And I miss them already. I want them back and I wouldn’t change the way I spent those first few months.
2. You will forget it. While I was in the hospital I truly thought I would not walk again, I was in so much pain after labor and delivery. I thought there would be no way I would want to go through labor again, despite people telling me otherwise. My recovery was rough and I still have lingering issues from my long labor. But I would do it again in a heartbeat. I pray that I get to experience childbirth again and can’t wait until I have another baby and get to live those moments when I meet my baby for the first time again.
3. Remind yourself that this is always a phase. I feel like as soon as I figure out some schedule for Addilyn or we get into some kind of routine, it changes. This goes for her temperament too. We are so lucky to have a generally happy baby, but she’ll have days of fussiness or times when she doesn’t like to be put down any point of the day. But I am learning that everything is a phase. And I’m pretty sure this is going to be the way parenting is forever, right?
4. Stop comparing. Stop second guessing. I think this is my biggest struggle as a mom. I read so many baby forums, articles and other bloggers monthly updates and my first thoughts are comparing my mothering or Addilyn’s habits to what I just read. I’ll second guess what I’m doing and wonder if I am doing it “right.” I know that there is no right or wrong way for a lot of these things, like sleeping training, feeding and schedules; but I can’t seem to not wonder if I am doing it the best way for Addilyn. I need to constantly remind myself that I love Addilyn more than anything and am doing what I think is best. And that is what matters.
5. Be honest with your feelings. When Addilyn was born the first few weeks were really hard. Baby blues, hormones, whatever it was, I experienced more than I thought I would. I think I thought because I wanted a baby so bad I wouldn’t have as many overwhelming or anxious feelings. But I did. And I felt guilty sometimes. I felt guilty for not being appreciative and grateful every minute that I was a mom. I felt guilty for feeling that it was incredibly hard. Once I shared my feelings with a few of my mom friends I felt much less alone and realized those things are normal. And that they don’t make me ungrateful.
5. Be grateful. This seems a little opposite of what I just wrote, as I still have days where I feel overwhelmed and wishing for a day full of relaxing and baby free responsibilities, but I think one of the biggest things that came from our struggle with infertility is an overall grateful heart for Addilyn. I am constantly reminded that we are so lucky to have a baby. There have been times I’ve been up for the who knows how many times in the middle of the night, and I feel frustrated and exhausted. I’m reminded of the days or nights when I was awake, where I longed for a baby to take care of. I longed for that kind of exhausted because it meant I was a mom. I think of all the people I know and have met through this blog that are longing for their baby and I feel so lucky that Addilyn is ours.
Thanks so much for having me Erin! I can’t wait to “meet” your sweet baby and follow along your journey through motherhood!