Women often say they wish they would have known a lot of things before they had their baby. You know that having a baby is going to change your life forever, but what do experienced moms wish they’d known before little ones came along? Here are the top five things moms have told us they wish they had known before baby:
1. Enjoy your sleep now, like seriously.
I think we all know that you will not be sleeping very much when you have a baby. But I believe that some soon-to-be moms don’t understand how difficult it can be to function on only a few hours (if that) of sleep day in and day out. Don’t get us wrong, it’s the best reason to lose sleep, but it doesn’t make it any easier. And even if you have a baby who is a good sleeper, all of a sudden, you’ll be a very light sleeper! You’ll be checking to make sure that he or she is breathing throughout the night. So sleep as much as you can now and enjoy it. It’s a beautiful thing. And once baby is here, do your best to sleep when the baby sleeps.
2. Babywearing is a lifesaver.
I’m sure you’ve heard that mothers learn how to do everything with one hand. And it’s true! But it is so nice to be able to have both hands to get things done. When your baby is begging to be held, but you need your hands free–babywearing to the rescue! Once you find the right carrier for you and your baby, practice a few times, you will be so happy that you did. And did you know that your baby will cry less? Not only that, but you’ll also have more confidence in your parenting abilities the more you wear your wee one. So what we’re saying is give it a go. I promise it’s not as scary as it looks.
3. It’s okay to ask for help.
I think this is the point that mothers have the most challenging time learning. They are afraid that asking for help is admitting to others that they are incapable of being a good mother—which is not the case! Parenting is hard, and we shouldn’t have to do it alone. I think we often forget that there are so many family members, friends, and even acquaintances who would drop what they’re doing to help us. It’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to get professional help, too. You’ll be a happier mom for it.
4. It’s okay not to be totally in love with your baby immediately.
This may sound crazy to some people, but plenty of mothers struggle to feel happy after having their baby. This does not make you a bad mother. You may think that you will be completely in love and so happy once you have your baby, but that doesn’t always happen. Some mothers do become madly in love with their child, but other mothers don’t. Both experiences are normal. But if you aren’t feeling very happy or “in love,” talk to your doctor. Again, you are not a bad mom. Baby blues and postpartum depression are real, and they are curable with help, but you have to talk about it to get help and feel better. And as they say, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
You have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of your family. Just know that you are not alone, many mothers have felt the feelings you are experiencing, and things will get better over time with proper care and treatment. I promise.
5. You will receive a ton of advice.
During this time, you will receive more advice than you will ever receive in your life. Everyone has an opinion, and sometimes it might feel like the whole world thinks it’s okay to tell you what to do. They will tell you how to be pregnant, how to parent, what you are doing wrong (in their opinion), etc. Just remember to breathe and that it’s almost always well-intentioned. Listen to them, take what you want, and leave the rest. In the end, trust your gut. You know what is best for you and your baby.
Those are our top 5 things we think every mother should know before having her baby. What are some things that you wish you would have known before you had your baby? We want to know!