It's no secret that having a baby for the first time changes things. Not only your body but sometimes your personality or outlook on life in general. That could be a good or bad thing, depending on every new mom, but as it stands, it's just a simple truth that being a mom changes your life. And for all of the things new moms go through, it's safe to say there are a select few that are almost universal.
Obviously, just like every pregnancy is different, so is every new mom, but motherhood at its core is all about your life changing for this new tiny human being who was brought into your life for a very special reason. And what all moms go through when having a baby for the first time proves that moms need to stick together. It's a beautiful thing to become a mom, but sometimes it comes with the sort of new mom woes that are just unavoidable.
15 Not Feeling Like Yourself At First
It takes time for any new mom to get back to feeling like herself. Physically, yes, but also mentally. Just a few days ago, you were your own person, doing what you wanted, for all intents and purposes, and now you have another human being depending on you for every single thing. Now, you have to change everything about your life, and it's easy to feel like a stranger to yourself when you're taking care of a baby for the first time.
14 Hating Your Body
If it wasn't enough of a struggle already for women to accept their bodies in today's society, having a body makes it even harder to deal with self-esteem issues that were already there. Having a baby changes your body in ways that are sometimes irreversible because those creams aren't exactly reliable for stretch marks. Going up and down in cup sizes isn't great for your chest. The important thing to remember is that your body has just done something amazing by bringing life into the world, and that is the sole reason for these body changes.
13 Feeling Left Out of Friendships
Especially if you're the only person you know who has a baby, maintaining your friendships that were once so strong pre-pregnancy becomes increasingly hard to do. On top of that, you may be dealing with seeing your friends who are childless go out together or spend time together without you, which only adds to your feelings of isolation.
Finding Mommy and Me classes can help in feeling more involved with other adults socially, or even putting yourself out there to make plans with your friends themselves instead of waiting for them to come to you.
12 Breastfeeding Woes
Whether you opt for breastfeeding or not, chances are, you will deal with some sort of breastfeeding issues. If you decide not to breastfeed, you'll likely deal with the judgments of others who tend to be all too vocal about their feelings about your breastfeeding choices. And if you breastfeed your new baby, you could still be dealing with issues, such as not producing enough milk or failing to have your baby latch on properly.
11 Becoming Obsessed With Baby Poop
The color, the consistency, the frequency it comes from your baby--all of that will suddenly be of utmost importance to you, more than ever before. And that totally makes sense because what's in your baby's diapers determines their health at such a young age. Hard and dense is not so good. And the softer or more watery, you tend to worry, too. There is some special middle ground of baby poop that all new moms tend to look forward to.
10 Struggling With Finding a Routine
When you're a new mom, you have to stay on top of how everything changes once your baby reaches a new stage. One month, you may have a routine set and down pat that involves their bedtime and eating habits, and the next thing you know, they reach that six-month mark and are totally backward with their sleep schedule and pretty much everything they can do. Fun, right?
9 Leaving Your Baby for the First Time
No matter how long you wait to have a sitter watch your baby, leaving them for the first time will have the same effect on you. It will be hard, and you'll get that mom guilt we're all too familiar with. You've spent so much time with your baby. Now, leaving them with a sitter or overnight with family is the time the baby spent almost solely with you. It's totally normal to feel sad or even be worried when leaving them for the first time. Just call it another mom-ism.
8 Hearing "When Are You Having Another?"
Remember the time before you got pregnant with your current kid? Family and friends were likely super quick to ask about when you would be having a baby at all and as annoying as it became, you will be longing for those days now. Because once you have one kid, they'll be back at you asking when you'll be having another baby. Even though you're still getting used to parenthood with one kid, somehow, family and friends think having another soon after is just a given.
7 Feeling Those Hormones
After you have a baby, your influx of hormones is so great that your emotions may be even more out of whack than when you were pregnant. This is mostly due to the fact that your estrogen and progesterone levels significantly drop after having a baby, causing your emotions to be all over the place. Mostly, you may be dealing with sadness and lethargy following the birth of your baby, and all new moms can attest to these strong hormonal feelings.
6 Unwarranted Advice From Almost Everyone
Before you had your baby, you probably had to deal with all sorts of "When I was pregnant..." sentences or "You know what you should do is..." from different people in your life. But after you have a baby, it keeps on going. Everyone seems to have input about whether you should breastfeed or formula feed, go for cloth diapers or disposable ones, introduce co-sleeping or stay away from it. Suddenly, it's as if everyone else has a baby, too. Only, all they do to contribute is give you a bunch of advice you didn't ask for in the first place.
5 Figuring out Your Next Career Move, If Any
Before you gave birth, you may have had a solid plan for your work-parenting balance but things change. You may have originally planned to be a stay-at-home mom but now that you are parents, you're getting a little too stir crazy to totally commit yourself to that. Or, your previous plans to go right back to work kind of fly out the window when you take one look at that little cutie baby of yours. Either way, deciding what to do about your career after having a baby is no easy feat.
4 Judgments From Other Moms
This one is a doozy. As a mom, you naturally look to other parents as examples of what to do "right" or how best to go about potty training or sleep training. But moms tend to do this awful high school thing as they form little cliques, judging moms who practice different parenting styles. The truth is that no one parenting style is necessarily the best. Every mom is simply different. Still, it's never easy to feel judged by a mom peer.
3 Finding Time With Your Significant Other
Finding time for yourself is hard enough without the added adjustment of being able to find time for you and your partner to be alone. Of course in the first few weeks, that is virtually impossible, and rightfully so. But as time goes on, most parents find ways to adjust to their new lives as parents and set aside time for romance or just quality time that isn't about talking about dirty diapers and rash cream.
2 Dealing With Changing Sleep Patterns
One week, your baby is sleeping in until 9 a.m. and freaking you out as you wake up before them. The next, they're waking up every two hours on the hour, in the middle of the night, crying out for you. Everyone says that sleep changes once you have a baby and how right are. But it's just another one of those things you get used to as a mom. You learn to roll with it as it changes every few months or weeks.
1 Feeling No Support
While sometimes it can feel like you have too much support or input from family or friends, other times it can feel like you have none at all. No, your own mother shouldn't be calling you every day to see if you need help changing diapers, but just emotional support from those around you can make a huge difference in this new chapter of your life as a parent.
Getting used to life after having a baby is a challenge for any new mom. But being a parent also means rolling with the punches and learning to go with the flow every step of the way.