Being a first-time mom is a rollercoaster ride. It’s filled with so many emotions and experiences. One minute, the first-time mom is completely elated and over-the-moon, the next, she’s confused, scared and wondering, “What the hell did I get myself into?” I think it’s safe to say that all of us moms have had these feelings. I know that I sure did when I became a mom for the first time.
For me, it didn’t really hit me how intense being a mother is until the day we brought our first child home from the hospital. My family was over, and as the door closed behind them when they left, my son started to cry. In that moment, I realized that I was completely, 100% responsible for that child.
I mean, I knew I was before that, but that moment when they left and my little guy started crying, the realization of being completely and totally responsible for another human being kind of slapped me in the face. And from that moment on, I truly realized that life would never be the same again.
There’s no doubt about it; being a first-time mom is a learn-as-you-go experience. No matter how many books the new mommy has read, how many classes she has taken, or how many experienced moms she has spoken to, a new mom is never fully prepared. She can hear a lot of information that can help to get her ready for the experience. However, it’s an experience that she has to go through to really understand what it’s all about.
Because being a first-time mom is so intense and so eye-opening, here is a look at some of the confessions from 15 women I spoke to.
15 “I Felt Like I Had Become A Bottomless Buffet…”
Janelle P. said confessed that she was astounded when she realized how much her newborn baby ate.
“Of course, I knew that babies eat a lot; however, I didn’t realize how much ‘a lot’ meant. I felt like I had become an all-you-can-eat buffet! I felt like my little girl was on my breast 24 hours a day. And, when she wasn’t nursing, I was pumping. There was always something attached to my breast."
"One day, as I was pumping, I looked down at my breasts, at the contraption that was attached to them, and I just started crying. I had no idea that feeding a newborn was going to be so involved and so intense. I cried because I was overwhelmed and because, quite frankly, in that moment, I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. Of course, I got through it, but breastfeeding was definitely one of the most challenging things for me.”
14 “Mom Guilt Is Real, And It’s Powerful”
Shaneese Z. says that mom guilt is one of the hardest things that she has ever dealt with.
“I had no idea how powerful mom guilt would be. One day, I had about 7,000 things to do, and all I wanted was for my baby to take a nap so that I could get my list of things-to-do knocked down a bit. He wouldn’t fall asleep. He just wouldn’t. And I got so mad. I said to him, 'Why don’t you understand that mommy has so much to do and just can’t always attend to your needs?'"
"He was 6 months old, so he didn’t understand what I said. However, I understood what I said, and I felt horrible about it. Taking care of my son’s needs is my first priority always, and I felt so guilty and ashamed by what I had said. When he finally did fall asleep, I missed him and had to fight the urge to wake him up.”
13 “I Always Look Like A Hot Mess…”
Kathy T. admitted that since she has become a mother, she always looks disheveled.
“I was always well put-together. I never left the house without my makeup and hair done, or without wearing an outfit that I carefully thought out. Yeah, all of that changed once I became a mom. I traded in my designer jeans for yoga pants, and I can’t even tell you the last time I did my hair. It’s not that I don’t want to look good, it’s that I just don’t have the time."
"And you know what? It really doesn’t bother me n the least. Jeans are so overrated: Yoga pants are much more comfortable and practical. And, at least I can say that my daughter always looks absolutely adorable in her perfectly matched outfits and her perfectly coiffed hair.”
12 “Nothing Grosses Me Out Anymore”
Laura T. admits that since she has become a mother, nothing grosses her out.
“I never realized the grossness that comes with children. Dirty diapers, spit up, snots… The dead worms that I found shoved in my son’s pocket when I was doing the laundry. Yep, kids can be pretty disgusting. I think the grossest thing that I have ever experienced as a mother, though, was when I went to work after changing a poopy diaper."
"I kept smelling poop, and I didn’t know why. I checked my hands, thinking that maybe some was stuck on them, even though I had washed them. Nope, that wasn’t it. I had poop on my pant leg and didn’t realize it. Even though I tried to wash it off, the smell didn’t go away; and, on top of that, I had wet pants, too. So disgusting!”
11 “Mom Brain Is A Real Thing”
Katie P. said that mom brain is a real phenomenon.
“I find that I am constantly forgetting things, or doing things that just don’t make sense. The other day, I was cleaning up dinner, and I put the leftover chicken in the dishwasher instead of the refrigerator! Who does that? I guess it’s because I am constantly thinking about the 800 things that I have to get done on any given moment."
"I keep a running checklist going in my mind, and I am always thinking about the next thing I have to do. I guess because my brain isn’t fully focused on the tasks that I am doing, I either forget stuff, or I do something that makes absolutely no sense. My husband laughs at me all the time. That chicken in the dishwasher thing; I’ll never live it down.”
10 “I Never Realized How Much I Would Love Going Grocery Shopping Alone”
Tammy N. admits that she feels like going to the grocery store alone is like a mini-vacation.
“When I can actually go to the grocery store by myself, I feel like I have been treated to a mini-vacation. Let’s face it; going to the store with kids can be beyond challenging. You have to get them dressed and ready to go. You have to deal with the whining and the crying, and half the time, you forget half of the stuff that was on your list because you were so busy trying to avoid having your kid make a scene, or you just wanted to get the heck out of there."
"When my husband is home and I can leave my 4-year-old son with him, I feel like the happiest woman alive. I take my time slowly walking down the aisles – even the ones I don’t need to go down – just because I can! It’s like a holiday!”
9 “I’ve Become A Stalker”
Amy K. said that she is definitely a stalker mom.
“I creep into my baby girl’s bedroom when she is sleeping and just stand there, staring at her. There are two reasons I do this: 1) I’m paranoid that she isn’t breathing, and 2) I miss her when she’s not with me. So, yeah, I have definitely become a stalker, and I don’t even care. When I’m not in her room, hovering over her crib, I am staring at the video monitor."
"My husband thinks I’m crazy. He just doesn’t get it! I mean, what if something happens to her while she’s asleep? And heaven forbid something did happen and I didn’t see it or couldn’t help her? What then? I couldn’t live with the guilt! Yeah, I know; it really is crazy, but you can judge all you want. I will continue to stalk my daughter while she sleeps for as long as I can.”
8 “I Lock Myself In The Bathroom”
Jeanie F. says that she locks herself in the bathroom when she needs some peace and quiet.
“Sometimes, when I just need some peace and quiet, I’ll lock myself in the bathroom. I love my son more than anything in the world, and I love doing things with him. However, sometimes, mommy just doesn’t feel like playing trains or building a block tower 500 times so that he can continuously knock it down."
"So, when I need a break, I’ll tell my husband that I have to go to the bathroom when I don’t really have to. I’ll close the door, lock it (which I never get to do when I am home alone with my little guy,) close the lid to the toilet bowl and sit there, scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. I’m not ashamed to admit it (just don’t tell my son and husband!)”
7 “Sometimes, I Do Spend The Afternoon Watching Talk Shows”
Jenn G. says that there are days when she really does watch talk shows all afternoon.
“There is this stigma that stay-at-home moms hate: People who think they sit at home eating bon-bons and watching TV. Well, you know what? – There are days when that is exactly what I do! When I get my son down for his afternoon nap, I’ll grab a pint of ice cream, flip on the TV and watch talk shows."
'Even though there are about 10,000 other things that I could and should be doing, sometimes, I just need a break. I don’t feel bad about it, either. The dishes and laundry will always be there, but my sanity may not be. So, I treat myself about once a week and sit there, watching TV and eating ice cream while my son sleeps. And you know what? – I’m OK with that.”
6 “I Told My Husband I Wasn’t Feeling Well So I Could Stay In Bed All Day”
Shelly R. says that she faked being sick that she could stay in bed all day.
“I was so overtired and overworked, and I woke up one morning before my son and husband, and realized that I just didn’t want to do the mommy/adult thing. So, I came up with a genius plan: I told my husband that I wasn’t feeling well and that I couldn’t get out of bed. He took care of everything that day; our son, the cooking, the cleaning…"
"And I stayed in bed all day, watching TV and reading a book. Every time my husband came in to check to see how I was feeling, I’d tell him that I still wasn’t feeling well. I felt a little guilty because it was his day off and I know he wanted to watch football, but I didn’t feel that guilty. I think I may actually pull the same trick next week!”
5 “Sometimes, I Just Cry…”
Paige R. says that there are days when she just cries.
“I had no idea how overwhelming and just plain exhausting being a mother would be. I run a business from home, too. So, between having to take care of my son, working and having to take care of everything else that needs to be attended to, like the laundry, the dishes, the food shopping, the cooking, the vacuuming…"
"I just get so overwhelmed with it all that I start crying. I’ll sit down on the couch and weep. I can’t control it, either. I feel weak in those moments, but I have so much on my shoulders that I just break down. I love being a mother, but I had no idea how difficult it would be to juggle everything. It’s just so completely exasperating sometimes.”
4 “I Have Become A Yeller, And I Hate It”
Rose F. says that she has yells a lot, and she can’t stand it.
“Growing up, my parents were both yellers, and I hated it. I swore that I would not be that type of parent. Well, I hate to say it, but I have. I do try so hard to curb my frustrations and to rationalize with my daughter; however, there are times when I just snap and yell."
"It usually happens when we are getting ready to leave the house. We have to get somewhere at a certain time and she is dilly dallying. She keeps playing, or she refuses to let me get her dressed so that we can get out of the door. And that’s when I yell. I hate that I do it, but sometimes, it’s the only thing that works!”
3 “I Miss My Life Before…”
Ginnie I. says that there are times when she misses the life she had before she became a mom.
“I may sound like a total jerk for saying this, but there are definitely times when I miss the life I had before my son was born. I wouldn’t change being a mom for the world. I love my son with all of my heart and he is definitely my pride and joy. However, there are times when I really do long for the days before I was a mom."
"I miss being able to pick up and go whenever I wanted to. I miss being able to sleep in. I miss being able to watch what I want to watch on TV. I miss having weekends when I can sit and do absolutely nothing if I wanted to. I miss being able to go out with my friends on a Friday night. Is that horrible?”
2 “Taking A Shower Is Nearly Impossible”
Judy O. says that she has discovered that taking a shower is one of the most difficult challenges for her.
“I underestimated how difficult something as simple as taking a shower can be. My daughter is two and if I try to shower while she is awake and my husband isn’t home, it’s virtually impossible. I have tried setting her up in her pack-and-play with tons of toys, but she screams the entire time."
"I’ve tried letting her stay out of her pack-and-play and letting her play in her room, which is right next to the bathroom, while I take a shower, but she trashes everything and I’m paranoid that she is going to get hurt. I will now only shower when my husband is home or when my daughter is sleeping, otherwise, you can bet it’s going to be a messy hair day.”
1 “Sometimes, I Flush The Toilet While My Husband Is Taking A Shower…”
Tara C. says that she will flush the toilet while her husband is showering so that he gets a shot of cold water.
“My husband is awesome, and I truly appreciate all that he does; however, sometimes, I get really frustrated that he gets to do so many things without having to worry about the kids. You know, like take a shower. So, sometimes, while he’s soaping up in a nice, hot shower, I’ll flush the toilet so that he gets a burst of freezing cold water."
"Yeah, it’s totally childish, but I just can’t help it. It gives me satisfaction knowing that he didn’t get to fully enjoy his shower. I can’t tell you the last time I took a peaceful, relaxing shower. I don’t feel bad about it either. I snicker when I hear him scream because the water went cold.”