A new mother has just spent the last few months planning for her new journey into parenthood. She has read the books and articles about what to do in certain situations, engaged in forums, Google has become her best friend and might even know which college her child will attend. The maternity bag is ready and waiting by the door, the baby’s nursery is perfect and it's only missing one important thing... or so she thinks.
When parents finally bring their baby home, they have a silent understand that expectations and realities are two different things. It is only when they are finally responsible for a child that they realize how much of a luxury it is to have a shower and wear clean clothes. Sleeping eight hours a day and wearing a nice lingerie will feel something she did in another lifetime.
Having a baby is, indeed, an overwhelming experience. Parents will feel joy, exhaustion, unconditional love and an urge for some alone time. But, it is important for all new mamas to remember she is not alone and many other women out there are experiencing the same struggles.
Here is a list of 15 things all new mothers do after they've finally come back home from the hospital.
15 Meet My New Best Friend, Dry Shampoo
Remember the time when you had a morning routine and were able to get ready in a quiet environment? Your morning schedule would have included waking up on your own, possibly having a long shower, washing your hair and shaving your legs, putting on clean clothes and starting a pot of coffee. Perhaps you even had a playlist of songs where you could dance from the bedroom to the bathroom, to the kitchen, and into your car on your way to work.
All new mothers, having to choose between taking a shower and getting a few extra minutes of sleep before the baby wakes up is probably something you've had to juggle with, at least once. There is an excellent chance that dry shampoo has become your new best friend because you've skipped showering more times than you allow yourself to admit to. In fact, do you remember when the last time was that you had the chance of taking a shower? I mean a real one.
It is common for moms to develop their own techniques and pretend they had a shower. Certain ways would include wearing hair bandanas to hide that oily hair, applying deodorant under each arm, multiple times throughout the day, and using baby wipes to remove your makeup and clean your feet.
14 Staying Awake While Standing Will Be A Difficult Task
Sleeping in will be a thing of the past. And we can't forget to mention the habit of lying in bed, trying to fall back asleep or checking your social media newsfeed, is now a thing of the past. According to The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s research, thirty-three percent of parents have sleep troubles. Unfortunately, the number increased to forty-three percent in cases of single parents.
The truth is, if your baby is awake, so are you.
It means that you will wake up a few times during the night and get used to taking power naps throughout during the day. It means you will be tired a good chunk of time and will have to force yourself not to fall asleep while breastfeeding or to check your phone. Most likely, you will probably fall asleep with your baby curled up in your arms, while you rock him back to sleep for the fourth time that night.
13 Grab A Sleeping Bag And Sleep Next To The Crib, Just In Case
For any regular guy or gal, a nighttime routine may consist of taking a bath and watch a movie, before falling asleep and getting a full 8-hours of sleep. But, when your a new mom, and your baby has finally fallen asleep, you may think this is the perfect moment to have a rest yourself, right? Wrong. It is very common for mothers to be afraid that her baby will wake up hungry, lose his pacifier or simply stop breathing during the night.
Every half hour, she will keep checking on her baby to make sure he is breathing throughout the night.
It might sound ridiculous, but SIDS is one of the greatest fears amongst new parents. It is responsible for forty-three percent of infant deaths and does not show any signs or symptoms. Unfortunately, doctors cannot explain why this happens to babies.
There are a few things you can do to create a safe sleep environment for a newborn. Avoid putting the child on his back when he is going to sleep, soft surfaces and plush teddy bears should be avoided when putting the baby to sleep, and choosing the right crib is essential.
12 Disinfecting The Entire House Will Be The New Norm
Long before a newborn arrives, an expecting mama has cleaned and re-cleaned everything. Every piece of clothing have been properly washed, bottles have been sterilized and pacifiers have received a rub down. When a baby has finally arrived home, mothers will make sure that all teething toys and accessories have been cleaned. Germs will be a parent's worst enemy.
However, is cleaning really that necessary? Of course! We know babies' immune systems are not fully developed yet and it will take some time until their bodies can deal with infections in a more effective way. However, breastfeeding a child and keeping him away from germs will cause him to grow antibodies. The milk a mother supplies will protect him against many diseases.
The best thing any new mother can do is to use common sense. Things must be cleaned, carry a hand sanitizer with you (and baby wipes for your baby) and avoid people who are sick, regardless how old your child is.
11 Getting Away With Wearing Dirty Clothes
A new's mom schedule is quickly building up. As she pays attention to sanitizing her upcoming baby's belongings and making sure her child's clothing have that gentle baby soap smell, it is understandable that she may forget to give herself some of the same love. We have already discussed how a simple shower can be extremely difficult.
So it is no surprise that some mothers also find it difficult to get laundry done so she can wear clean clothes.
When you become a parent, you will find out that babies are the cutest things in the world. Obviously. But, they also come with messy diaper blowouts and spit up will be on every piece of garment you may own. Don’t feel ashamed, or surprised, if you notice that your clothes are never cleaned and you have to go commando a few times a week, even though your washing machine is now working overtime with all of the baby's belongings.
10 Are You Looking At Me?
According to a C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital survey, released in 2017, nearly sixty-four percent of all mothers feel as they are being judged for their decisions as a mother. Most of them felt the criticism came from their own families. Astonishingly enough, seven percent of mothers said that they were judged on social media.
In fact, the moment people realize a woman is pregnant, they feel as though they have a silent invitation to say what they think about pregnancy, what she should do as a parent and may even make rude remarks about her child. Spoiler alert: It is not ok!
Having a baby is a whole new experience, but it is up to the parents what they decide for their pregnancy and their child. Decisions like when they will start potty training the baby, how long the child will be breastfeeding and the baby’s overnight routine, are all things only the parents can decide. Anything else, from anyone else, is simply a suggestion even though they don't phrase it into one.
There is enough pressure a woman goes through when she becomes a mother. So, for the outside world, just give an advise if the mother asks you something. And remember, if you have nothing nice to say, then it is best you don't say anything at all.
9 But... Don't Judge Other Mothers Either
Sadly, there is the other side of things. Mothers normally feel an unfair amount of pressure to be the perfect parent and do everything exactly as it says in books. However, there are times when we don't feel our best selves and we lash out at other women. A sense of know-it-all may be something you need to check. Just because you spend the last months researching everything kind of birth, every infant product and have mastered baby-proofing the house, does not mean you have any right to tell another mother what to do.
Like you, that woman is also learning and trying to make the best decision for her baby.
Don’t be the type of mother who thinks there is only one path to raising a child. Use your energy to lift up other moms. It is also a great way to teach your child to respect someone’s else choices and feelings.
8 Nursing Bras Are The New VS
There was a time when women spent hours in a store choosing the perfect lingerie for a special night, or just to feel fabulous. She also had the time, motivation, and don't forget the extra bucks, to look up new collections on the internet, searching for ideas for her next big purchase. It all feels like such a long time ago! After she has a baby, the lingerie she wore some months ago seems as though they belong to someone else. “Did I really fit in it”, she may ask.
She may fit back into them again, in the near future. But if she doesn't, who cares? Right now the nursing bras will be her best friend. And if she's not nursing, tank tops and sports bras may be the best thing she can invest in, until she fits back into her regular garments. Really! They are practical and comfortable. They give the right amount of support for the girls and will hold nursing pads in place to keep her nice and dry, in order to avoid an embarrassing leaking scenario.
7 The Baby Isn't Really Sick, She Just Didn't Want To Go
It might not sound very noble, but your baby can be the perfect excuse to get out of some plans you weren't really feeling in the first place. Maybe you were invited to a super boring social event, or to see people you didn't really want to see. It happens, right? You can always say you have to take care of your little one who has a cold. Perhaps you were invited to a late dinner party.
Well, look at that, the babysitter just "canceled!"
Are you trapped in a really boring conversation? “ Excuse me. I have to change the baby's diapers.” This is your chance to run away and never come back.
Those small white lies won’t hurt anyone. And the struggles mothers go through every day (remember the topic about wearing dirty clothes?) it's normal you may just want to curl up next to your baby and watch 'The Lion King' for the fourth time because it simply soothes his cries.
6 She May Wet Herself And That's OK!
Women, you were aware that pregnancy would change your body. You, for sure, knew about the stretch marks and your gals weren't going to be the same either. But, I bet you didn't know about certain changes happening inside you - literally. During pregnancy, the baby’s weight can weaken your lady-muscles and they can stretch during delivery. As a result, a new mother can lose some of her bladder control. And mothers of more than one child, you already knew this was going to happen.
So yes...there are chances you will wet yourself a little for a while.
It can occur during childbirth, or when the baby is too big. It may even happen if a woman has been in labor for too long. But the good news is it won’t last forever! Your body will recover in a few months. If you want to speed up the process, you can do those effortless Kegel exercises regularly and it will help you to have your bladder control back sooner.
5 Other Parts Of The Body Will Be Sore, Not Just The Lady Bits
In the last trimester of pregnancy, it is common for mothers to complain about pain and pressure... a lot. It will follow her during the delivery and, well, it is common that she will also feel pain after having a baby. Many women complain that breastfeeding can be painful. And there are several reasons why this can happen. For example, the latch or broken skin.
Your nether-regions will also feel different after delivery. Mamas, remember, it is normal if you have pain, you've just been stretched open. If you had a C-section, you will definitely have soreness and tenderness. Using hot compress will help with the soreness of your lady parts, and even, a healing stomach.
Backaches are also a common complaint. The abdomen is also stretched to its'maximum capacity and it will take a while until it is strong again. Women will put on extra weight on back muscles. It should go away within 6 weeks of recovery, but if it hasn't, this should be addressed with your OB/GYN at your 6th week check up.
4 The Hubby Will Be On The Back Burner... For Now
Romance will feel like a distant memory, just like the undergarments that are in the back of the drawer. For the coming months, the baby will have all the attention and parents will need time to adjust to this new routine. Which means romantic dinners, last-minute weekend trip, and alone time will have to be on hold for a while.
However, this new scenario doesn’t mean you have to grow apart. Once the baby arrives, the true test of a lasting relationship is in question. The husband and wife roles will now add mother and father to their title. Both individuals will have to share the responsibilities and as a couple, they must support each other.
Don't forget, if you're tired, he's also tired.
Of course, it is important to take care of your relationship as well. According to Gottman Relationship Institute, two-thirds of couples become unhappy in their relationship within three years of having a child. The key to a lasting relationship is communication. Be open with each other about how you are feeling.
3 It Looks Like Babies R Us Exploded
When you are expecting a baby, you take shopping to a whole new level. Everything will seem indispensable at the time. How can a 21st-century mother live without a bottle warmer or a wall projector for night-time? In fact, you can. Countless baby products on the market will be useful for a short period of time or are completely unnecessary.
Think twice before buying those products and read other parent’s opinion about it.
Another common mistake mothers tend to make is buying overdoing it on the clothes and shoes for a newborn. We know those tiny jeans and ruffled dresses are adorable, but do you know your baby will grow? Do you even have an event for them to wear it to? If you have said no to these 2 questions, you don't need them. If you buy too much, chances are your child will even not have the chance to wear them.
2 Talk About Adult Things Other Than Babies
Women are dragged into a completely new universe filled with baby bottles, diapers and a schedule that revolves around naptime. Your most engaging conversations are in mother groups online or with friends who also have children. Your new role as a mother is taking up all of your time, but deep down, you would like to be part of a conversation that doesn't include babies.
Topics such as the political situation in Brazil, the new Thai restaurant in town, Coachella's lineup, are all topics of conversation you will want to engage in. However, your friends and family will want to know how the baby is doing, is he gaining weight, has he worn the gift they bought and has he started smiling at you yet. Sometimes, you want to feel as though there is a life beyond your baby. And it is ok to feel that way.
The funniest thing about this situation is that you're probably the one who will be proudly showing baby pictures, and, unknowingly, start the conversation about him all over again.
1 Hey Siri, What Happens If A Baby Yawns?
If you think a 3-year-old asks too many questions, you need to look at a new mother. Google will become a lifestyle the moment you find out you're having a baby. You will Google everything and anything about your pregnancy and your baby. Are backaches normal? Can pregnant women eat sushi? What does an epidural needle looking like? Is this much gas normal when you're expecting?
You will research the craziest questions and you'll be lucky that no one has access to your search history.
But wait, it will only get worse when the baby is born. Luckily, there are many types of technology now that will answer your questions when you're on the go.
"Hey Siri, my baby just stretched, should I take him to the doctors?""Hey Siri, what color should spit up be?""Hey Siri, what year will my child be when he begins University?"