Once you settle into your new routine and start getting into the groove of this whole parenting thing, you might notice that some things feel . . . familiar. Sometimes you might feel like all you do as a new mom is have the same thoughts or activities with no end in sight. The days blur together, and the nights feel eternal. It might be hard to feel like yourself again when it seems like you’re starring in the remake of “Groundhog Day.”
These feelings can be hard to process, and while you’re overwhelmed with joy about the arrival of your newborn, it’s also true that you can be plain old overwhelmed. This season of life is filled with ups and downs and everything in between, so remember to be gentle with yourself as you navigate the roller coaster ride. But as a new mom, you might feel like sometimes all you do is . . .
Then nurse again. And once more for the babies in the back. But seriously, breastfeeding is no simple task. You might feel like you are auditioning for the latest raunchy comedy with the amount your breasts appear in your household daily. Your baby will settle into a routine, and you will likely become more efficient with your feeding sessions. But for a while, you might feel like you are starring in “Girls Gone Wild” at every waking moment.
This one is a given. Have a baby and change diapers. But in those early days, you will change those diapers more times than you can count. Bonus points if they are blowouts that require an outfit change, too.
I mean you, new mom, not your newborn (although they will do plenty of crying, too). You will cry a lot in those early days. Everything can feel so new and scary, and your hormones are all over the place. Allow yourself to cry and lean on your support system as much as you need.
Babies require outfit changes all the time, especially in the early days. The spit-up, the blowouts, and outfit changes can make laundry build up faster than you can ever imagine. Stay on top of it if possible but be kind to yourself if it piles up. Those clothes will eventually get washed. But folded and put away? Now you’re pushing it.
Clean Bottle Parts
You might feel like you are constantly putting milk in bottles if you are formula feeding or pumping. Some bottles have more parts than others. However, the constant washing and rewashing of nipples, bottles, and caps can quickly get old.
The Internet can be an incredible place. But it also can be a scary rabbit hole that might do more harm than good, especially for a new mama who is sleep deprived amid another late-night nursing session. Try to stay off Dr. Google and stick to more lighthearted scrolling.
Plan Milestone Events
The mental load of this one is heavy. There is always an upcoming holiday or milestone. You might feel like your brain is constantly ready for what is coming next and making sure you and the baby are prepared. Prep as much as possible, but remember that not everything needs to be an elaborate event.
Organize, Buy, and Change Clothing Sizes
Your newborn is growing rapidly, and they might already be busting out of newborn clothes. As a new mom, you may constantly rotate clothes, put away those small ones, and swap them out for the next size up.
No matter what, your house is never truly “clean” with a newborn. There is stuff everywhere, and after spending every waking moment with the baby and every other moment trying to catch a few minutes of sleep, there is not much time left to scrub down the kitchen. You might find yourself picking up around the house all night. But no matter how often you do it, it still looks like a tornado blew through.
Hold the Baby
This one seems like it might be a good thing, right? It can be, and soaking up those newborn cuddles is one of the best feelings in the world. But it also can be overwhelming and challenging to have a newborn who never wants to be put down and doesn’t allow you a minute to yourself. While it’s easy to remind yourself that you will undoubtedly miss those cuddles one day, it can be stressful when you need a break and a shower in the worst way.
Sterilize Pump Parts
If you are pumping, this is a whole added aspect of your day as a new mom. You will constantly feel like you’re sterilizing your pump parts in time for the next session. Do yourself a favor and invest in two or even three sets of pumping parts. That way, you don’t have to wash quickly between sessions.
Look for Your Coffee or Heat It 100 Times a Day
If you’re a new mom, you know the battle of sleep deprivation wreaking havoc on your body daily. You might feel like coffee is the only thing getting you through the day. But you might also misplace that mug as you tackle the million other items on your to-do list.
Search for a Clean Pacifier
If you have a baby who takes a pacifier, you might constantly search high and low for this magic tool. You might also find yourself on all fours under the crib, desperately searching for it to soothe your crying baby.
Stalk Websites for Formula
Sadly, we are dealing with the fallout from the formula shortage. It can leave you anxious about where the next can of formula may come from. You might feel like all you’re doing is scouring your local Facebook page for someone donating a can or refreshing a site that promised a restock at midnight.
Rock the Baby to Sleep
This is one of the best feelings in the world. It can also be fraught with stress and anxiety as you are sleep-deprived and begging your newborn to get some sleep so you can, too. You might feel like you are making grooves on your floor with all the pacing that is going on as you silently plead for your little cherub to realize how good sleep can feel.
Worry If the Baby is Eating Enough
It can be stressful making sure that the baby is getting enough breastmilk or formula and gaining the appropriate amount of weight. You will be at the pediatrician’s office more times than you can count, getting weight checks and completing well visits to ensure your baby is on the right growth curve.
Walk Around the House in Circles
You might start walking into a room and forgetting what you’re doing or pace around the house aimlessly as you tick off your to-do list of items in your head. Regardless of the reason, it is just one of those things that happens once you become a mom. I can’t explain it.
Care for Others
You might feel burnt out as you enter the new world of parenthood. It can be the best feeling in the world to welcome your baby. However, constantly remembering that you are responsible for another life can be an overwhelming thought. Factor in that you may still have a partner looking to you for time and attention, which can get overwhelming quickly. Take the time you need, and remember to carve out time for yourself. Easier said than done, I know.
With all the joy that comes with a new baby and parenthood, it also is accompanied by a level of fear that you may not be familiar with as a new mom. The worry can feel overwhelming, and if it impedes your ability to enjoy your life and be present with your family, please reach out to your support system for help.
You might feel like a clown as you smile at your baby all day, hoping to get that elusive first smile. It can get exhausting trying to entertain a newborn. Remember to pace yourself and know that they love cuddling up in your arms as you calmly snuggle them just as much as they love seeing you work on your stand-up comedy skills.
Not much can prepare you for the feeling when you arrive home from the hospital with your new bundle of joy. You may take every class, read every book, and scour every mommy blog and still feel like you were hit with exhaustion. These feelings are valid and genuine. You may feel like you’re filling your days with the same things, but it truly is a moment in time. And while you might feel like you do the same thing repeatedly, your baby is grateful that it is all for them.