Motherhood is absolutely beautiful. It’s also exhausting, exhilarating, and incredibly scary at times. When it comes to the emotions and thoughts a new mom faces after the dust of childbirth settles, there’s no limit to what one can experience. It’s a momentous time in a woman's life, and the feelings she deals with are guaranteed to be as big as the love for her new child.
The anticipation is over but an entirely new type of nervousness and excitement for the future sets in. Every day brings new adventures, and a new mom might find herself experiencing feelings she never expected.
Her precious baby is finally in her arms, and despite countless hours of planning, research, and preparation, it’s normal for mom to find herself at a loss from time to time. The fact is that tiny humans are very capable of baffling even the savviest of caregivers. Regardless of whether a woman has never held a baby in her arms, or if she's very experienced with caring for newborns. The situation becomes entirely personal and hits closer to home for mom when that newborn is hers.
The idea of being a mother cannot be tangible to someone who has not given birth or has not become a parent. The reason being that only a fellow parent can understand how truly dependent babies are on the care and decisions their parents make on a constant basis. This is a humbling realization. It’s one that we understand and anticipate as we prepare for baby, but nonetheless it has the ability to bring us to our knees when it actually happens. The following is a list of 15 unexplainable feelings new moms have that are in fact completely normal. Just ask another mom...
15 Am I Doing This Right?
Oh, the doubt. The doubt is powerful for first time mothers who are getting the hang of motherhood. It does not mean they’re not cut out for it, and it definitely doesn’t mean they’re doing anything wrong. Think of it as human nature’s way of making sure mothers are careful and attentive to their little boy or girl. Usually a worried mom is a great mom.
It’s actually very normal for moms to second-guess themselves as they care for their child. After all, mom is taking care of a helpless baby who can’t express to her what’s wrong or even right in their big new world. It will take nothing but time to begin to learn the patterns and unique preferences of a baby. After all, babies are as unique as their parents are in their likes and dislikes, and they tend to have a very loud way of showing it.
14 It Takes Time To Feel Love
In the first few days, weeks, and even months of caring for a newborn, moms often times find themselves overwhelmed by the care and attention a baby demands. This is normal, but it can also cause a feeling of doubt as to whether or not mom is feeling enough love and devotion for her child.
Trying to overcome the exhaustion, excitement, and fear to feel love is daunting. In reality, love, even for one’s own child, can take time. Many moms share about how they knew they loved their babies immensely from the moment they learned they were pregnant, but they actually fell in love with their child slowly as they got to know them. Every day with a newborn is an adventure, and as they develop and grow, your love for them will too.
Infants are tiny people with their own personality, so if a mom doesn't feel all warm and fuzzy instantly, that's ok. She can take the time she needs to get to the warm fuzzies.
13 Having So Much Baby Stuff
When preparing for a new baby, it’s so easy to get caught up in the world of advertising and feel as though you won’t survive without the newest baby gadgets and gear. In reality, there’s very little you’ll actually need for a newborn, but that doesn’t mean you won’t experience a feeling of doubt in your decision not to buy that swing or vibrating bouncer.
Not to mention you'll have friends and family members telling you how they couldn't possibly have survive early parenthood without the aid of a certain baby gadget that saved their sanity.
It’s very normal to feel the need to continue shopping for the baby, even in the midst of caring for your new bundle. As you experience little challenges with your child, you’ll feel as though there must be product out there to help make life easier. Chances are, there probably is, but it’s not likely to be a magical cure of any kind.
12 Dealing With Breastfeeding Woes
We know you’ve heard it before, but it’s so important that it’s bares repeating...breastfeeding can be tough work. It’s not something that comes beautifully and naturally for many moms, and the feeling of frustration is completely normal. There can be issues with milk supply, the baby’s ability to get a good latch, nipple problems, pain, and many more.
The feelings of failure or inadequacy if breastfeeding isn’t going well is completely normal but also unfounded. Your ability to breastfeed your child or not is not an accurate representation of your love and care.
Seeking professional help from a registered lactation consultant is a great idea for any new breastfeeding mom, but also realizing that the feelings you’re experiencing are common can help to calm nerves and make for a more peaceful breastfeeding journey altogether.
11 Becoming Completely Scatterbrained
Realizing that you put breast milk in the cupboard and left your car keys in the fridge might seem like a far-fetched mix up to those who don’t have a newborn at home, but to the rest of us, completely normal and understandable.
Feeling scatterbrained in the early weeks and months of bringing home baby is very normal. You’re focused on caring for your child and maintaining some semblance of normality in your home. The result is that the finer details of life tend to slip away at times.
Don’t worry, it will improve slowly as you adjust to life with the baby, and you might even remember to switch that laundry out to the dryer, so that you aren’t forced to rewash it several times in a row because it sat too long and got stinky. Also completely normal.
10 Feeling Frumpy and Grumpy
Many new moms find themselves overwhelmed by how scarce time feels in all areas of daily life, especially when it comes to personal hygiene and appearance. Let’s face it, showering, dressing, applying makeup if one wears it, and styling hair is just not a priority when caring for a newborn.
The new babe does not care at all if your hair is still in a bun and you’re rocking your pajamas at four in the afternoon. That said, it’s normal to feel like you should have been able to have found the time to spruce yourself up a bit. This feeling will eventually fade, and you’ll become more confident in your ability to multitask.
Once you master the art of caring for yourself when you can fit it into your routine, it'll become a cake walk. It's just getting to that point that might feel like an eternity of yoga pants and t-shirts.
9 Wanting to Have Mommy Friends
They warned you. They loaned you parenting books and smiled knowingly. They even called to check up on you when the baby was only a few days old, but you were still thriving on adrenaline and sheer joy, so you told them you were great. They are your mommy friends or family, and now that the reality of parenthood has started to set in, you’re finding that you are longing to connect with other new moms on a whole new level.
You feel a connection to them and wish there was a way to spend more time together. This is completely normal, and feeling as though you don’t have the foundation of friends in place to support this longing is also normal. Some women are fortunate enough to have many friends nearby that they can connect with, but others are separated from family and friends by distance or circumstance, and the feeling of longing for companionship from other moms is very normal.
8 I Want My Mommy
Depending on your own unique relationship with your mother, you may or may not look to her for wisdom and support, but understand that suddenly longing to have the help of a maternal figure when caring for your own newborn is very normal and understandable.
In fact, mothers fill the role of a postpartum doula for many families all over the world. They've been through pregnancy and delivery and they know what their family needs, so they naturally help the family out in the ways they need in the days following the birth of the new baby.
After all, they are the ones who raised us, and they must know some tips and tricks, so wanting their reassuring presence at one of the most challenging and rewarding times in our lives is to be expected. If you find that you’re yearning for support from your own mother, be sure to reach out. Grandmas are generally thrilled to share in the joys and tribulations that come with caring for a new baby.
7 Developing Some Serious Sleep Envy
Many new moms find themselves marveling at their partner’s ability to sleep through everything. It seems as though they can saw logs peacefully through a baby screaming, the dog barking, and the mailman incessantly ringing their doorbell. It’s a talent, you think.
Not really. In reality, nature has programmed new moms with the ability to thrive on reduced sleep by the effect of different hormones rushing through her body after childbirth. Loved ones around a new mom simply don’t have the same drive and attention to detail in caring for a newborn that mom does, but this doesn’t mean they get a free pass all night.
Ask for help in sharing duties, and understand the irrational jealousy you feel when watching your partner sleep peacefully while you feed the baby for what feels like the fifth time in an hour. In fact, this is completely normal.
6 Feel Like Pets Have Been Neglected
While this issue might not seem like a big deal for first time moms as they only have one baby to care for, there’s often times other people and even animals in the home that can demand attention and cause stress. Family members and pets alike might feel a little less love in the early weeks of a new baby being home.
This is absolutely normal and will adjust itself with time. Your four legged pal was accustomed to being doted on by mom, and it’s important to still give them quality care, but feeling like you’re neglecting them is very normal and not a reality. Remember, they’re adjusting to the new family member too, and they’ll learn to share the love.
Once everyone adjusts to the changes, the feelings of being overlooked will start to fade. some people try to help their pets adjust to the idea of not being alone by spending more time with children leading up to the birth of their own baby. That way the pets get an idea of what's in store.
5 Mama Bear Has No Shame
If you’re feeling like a bit of a control freak about your baby, try to relax and understand that it’s a normal feeling, and it will improve with time. Many moms report feeling as though they’d rather do things on their own with baby, even through the exhaustion, because at least that way, they’ll know it was done right.
Think bath time, diaper changes, bottle preparation, medication administration, etc. Husbands, partners, and grandparents are eager to help, but mom politely refuses and insists that she’s got it handled. If this feels familiar, know that it’s normal, and ultimately it does help to let family pitch in, because eventually they will have to aid in baby’s care.
These feelings might have something to do with hormones or the motherly instincts are going haywire now that the baby is born. Either way, it's ok to let friends and family members into that close circle and allow them to care for you and the baby too.
4 I’ll Never Leave You
It’s also very normal for new moms to feel like they’d rather quit their jobs than ever leave their tiny baby. Regardless of whether you plan to return to work, will be staying at home, or have alternate plans, some moms are very bothered by the future notion of separation. Try not to let this concern rob you of the enjoyment and quality time spent with baby during your leave.
If you find yourself wondering how your family might make ends meet with one less income, or pondering how you can sneak your baby into work with you after your maternity leave is over, you’re in good company. At first, it’s normal to feel as though you’ll never be able to part. You’ve firmly established a bond with your child, and the love you feel can be overwhelming.
The anxiety that comes with knowing you’ll part for a even a few hours can be overwhelming, but it does improve with time. As with all things mommy related, trust the wisdom of others who have done it and know that it gets better and easier as you practice. So go get that pedicure and leave baby at home with grandma when you feel ready. You’ll be happy you did.
3 Forming Bad Habits Early On
In the first few week with baby, life can feel a bit like an effort just to survive and keep everyone from crying. You might feel concern that a few of the things you’re doing to keep your little one content are not in fact good habits to be forming.
Relax, and trust that it’s virtually impossible to form bad habits with a small baby until much later (think six months old and beyond as a general rule of thumb). With obvious care and attention placed on safety and well being, it is okay to try some of the things you might have sworn you wouldn’t prior to having a baby.
Pacifiers really can save your sanity at times, the swing is an option if you need a quick shower, and sometimes a little nursery rhyme video can provide a glorious ten minute break to grab yourself a sandwich.
2 Just Let Me Google That First
We live in the age of technology and information, and this means we’re parenting in a day and age where there’s a wealth of baby related information at our proverbial fingertips. We don’t have to call the pediatrician with basic questions, or search out a friend by telephone for advice. If you feel compelled to research online prior to big decisions, or when faced with an unknown topic, it’s okay.
Having information can make many moms feel more empowered about the decisions they’re making for their little ones. Relax and read away. Just keep in mind that you can and should trust your own instincts and always check with your child’s pediatrician immediately if you have any concerns regarding their wellbeing.
Not everything published on the internet will be helpful, in fact some topics are mired in controversy and opinions rather than facts and science. Just be wary of what you're reading and where the information is coming from.
1 It's Hard Not To Feel Lonely
And, lastly, it's important for new moms to know that it is completely normal to feel a bit lonely in the early days and weeks of caring for a newborn. Nights can seem long and desolate when you feel like the only adult human being awake in a fifty mile radius. It is all to be expected. You rapidly went from being an individual, responsible only for yourself, to a new mother with a child depending on her at all times.
It can leave moms feeling alone, even in a household full of people. Remember is absolutely acceptable to get help from others if they’re able to provide it, and reach out to your loved ones. They’re your personal support team after the baby arrives, so let them help you any way they can. After all, a happy mama makes a happy family.