Motherhood can be a time of profound joy and happiness. After those seemingly endless nine months, mama finally gets to meet her precious baby. There’s nothing like watching a brand new mom and baby bonding and getting to know each other. It truly is a beautiful thing, motherhood.
Being a mom can also be seriously intimidating. There are so many unknowns. Deciphering the baby’s cries – Is the baby hungry? Tired? In need of a diaper change? It’s hard to know what to do the first time the baby is sick. Sometimes it’s just hard to tell if the baby is sick, teething, or having a growth spurt. Motherhood has its fair share of gross moments, as well. Ever had to fish poop out of the bath tub? And as both newbie and veteran moms know, there are times when motherhood can just make you want to say… WTF?!
As moms, we all wind up eventually having similar experiences. Like freaking out the first time the kid gets sick or hurt and having to deal with constant, unwanted parenting advice. We may have trouble with breastfeeding and struggle to find the energy to take a shower… or the time to eat a warm meal.
It’s a great feeling when a mom finds other moms to connect with. It’s a relief to find someone who shares the same anxieties, worries, and fears. We’ve compiled a list of 18 Tweets that all new moms (and even experienced moms) can totally relate to.
18A Girl’s Gotta Eat
As long as you didn’t have to do battle with morning sickness, you probably enjoyed eating throughout your pregnancy. Maybe before the baby came, you and your partner were able to unwind with long, leisurely dinners out at the best local restaurants. You might have had some weird. cravings when you were pregnant, but you knew that you had to eat enough to nourish that baby growing and developing inside of you. So you ate with gusto!
Now that you’re a new mom, you probably have days where you would kill for a hot meal. Sometimes it’s just easier to slap together a sandwich or slurp down a bowl of cereal. And there’s always the options of heating up a frozen dinner or having a pizza delivered. Some days you find yourself having to decide between eating, sleeping, or taking a shower.
And while you may be feeling stressed about losing the baby weight and getting your pre-baby body back, you need to eat. It’s important to stay hydrated (especially if you’re breastfeeding) so drink lots of water. Don’t forget your fruits and vegetables, and make sure you’re getting lots of fiber!
17A Baby’s Gotta Eat, Too!
It really is amazing to think that a woman’s body is capable of producing the food that their baby needs, and altering it at different times of the baby’s life (and changing its caloric content between day and night, or when the baby is sick) to be just what the baby needs.
You can take breastfeeding classes and read books to help you out, and you can have a nurse or someone show you different holds and techniques, but your body is preprogrammed to make milk and dispense it to your little one when they need it!
However, while some women take to breastfeeding easily, others struggle. Some babies might have difficulty latching on, some moms might not produce enough milk. Some moms pump breastmilk with great ease and success, other women don’t like the feeling of being hooked up to a machine. And some women don’t do either and formula feed their baby from the start. It doesn’t really matter how the baby eats, as long as they eat!
Before you had your baby, you and your husband probably didn’t talk about poop a whole lot. It’s a normal bodily function, but a lot of people don’t exactly sit around, openly discussing their bathroom habits with their partner…
But then you have this baby, and you find that you’re having conversations about poop constantly. At the dinner table, even. How many times a day does the baby poop? How much poop can a tiny little baby possibly make? And what the heck was up with that weird color? How many times a day does the baby poop? How much poop can a tiny little baby possibly make? And what the heck was up with that weird color? Most new parents can be pretty surprised by the contents of their baby’s diaper.
The good news is, there’s a wide range of normal when it comes to baby poop. You should be concerned, however, if your baby has blood or mucus in their poop, has recurring diarrhea, or if the baby’s poop is a strange color, like black, red, or chalky white.
15And So Does Pee
Like lots of women, when you were pregnant, you had to go pee all the freaking time because the baby was doing jumping jacks on your bladder. You peed a million times a day and probably got up several times every night, too.
Now that you’ve had the baby, peeing presents a whole new set of problems.
- You cough, you sneeze, you laugh too hard – and pee sneaks out.
- You sit down to nurse (or give the baby a bottle, or pump) and you have to pee.
- The baby FINALLY curls up on your chest and falls asleep. But you have to pee.
- You’re holding the baby and suddenly feel a warm, wet sensation spreading down your chest. The baby peed on you.
- You have a boy, you’re changing a wet diaper, you don’t get him covered up in time, and bam – pee on your shirt. Or on the wall.
Babies drool, everybody knows that. But drooling is also an early sign of teething, and teething…
…seems like it can last forever. Some babies can start teething as early as a few months old, and teething can go on until the two year molars come in. Those last teeth come in, you guessed it, somewhere around your little one’s second birthday.
Teething can be rough, but it isn’t always terrible. There are some babies who drool like Niagara Falls, chomp and gnaw on everything in sight (their feet, their hands, YOUR hands!) and have trouble sleeping. And then there are some babies that pop a tooth (or teeth) through with nary a complaint. Every kid is different, and so is every tooth. Your baby might have a heck of a time with those first couple teeth, and then the next ones might not give her much trouble. It’s thought that the few days before a tooth pops through are the worst, and that once the tooth finally breaks through the gums, the pain and pressure eases up at last.
13Sleep When The Baby Sleeps… Yeah, Right!
As a new parent, a question you are often asked is “Is the baby sleeping through the night yet?” It’s like a goal that all parents can’t wait to finally achieve. We read books about it, we surf the Internet comparing sleep philosophies, we compare strategies with other parents.
And then when the baby finally does sleep through the night, some new moms JUST CAN’T. Everyone says, “Sleep when the baby sleeps!” but try telling that to a new mom who’s used to waking up every three hours on the dot so that she can feed her wailing little one.
Your baby probably has a special bedtime routine, and so should you. Take a warm soak in the tub to relax and unwind before bed. Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable. Avoid caffeine in the evening – make sure your last cup of coffee, tea, or soda is earlier in the day.
12Dry Shampoo: Your New Best Friend
Showering is a daily activity that a lot of us moms took for granted. We used to shower pretty much every day without really giving it a second thought. Sure, on most days, showering was just a basic necessity that occurred first thing in the morning, after a workout, or just before bed. But there were those times when we took ridiculously long, hot, steamy showers that turned the bathroom into a sauna and fogged up all the glass. We carefully shaved our legs, deep conditioned our hair, and exfoliated and scrubbed ourselves to a glossy, glowing sheen. We emerged feeling refreshed, like a whole new person.
Now we’re lucky if we can find the time to get in, suds up, and rinse off. Shave your legs? Hahaha! Nope. Wash your hair? And blow drying? Or straightening? Who has time for that? Dry shampoo is a new mom’s best friend.
11So Much Stuff…
Chances are, when you started your baby registry, you didn’t know where to start. Then you probably ended up registering for the whole store. It seems like babies need a whole lot of stuff, but they really don’t. And although it might be tempting to register for every cute outfit, cuddly stuffed animal, and educational toy that you see… you don’t need them. Or at least, you won’t right away.
Some things that you REALLY WILL NEED right away:
A car seat to get the baby home from the hospital
A place for the baby to sleep
Bottles and formula if you plan to go that route
Diapers, either disposable or cloth
A first aid/baby safety kit
You will probably wind up receiving a lot of clothes, blankets, and little toys, even if you don’t register for them. Receiving blankets are a pretty standard shower gift, and everybody loves little baby clothes, stuffed animals, and rattles!
10Do I Have To Leave The House?
The thought of leaving the house with a baby for the first time can be anxiety-inducing for a new mom, for sure. You’ve got to make sure you have diapers, milk, and other baby gear. You have to deal with the “one click” stroller that doesn’t fold up as easily as advertised. You can’t remember if you packed an extra outfit for the baby. You wonder if you should have packed an extra outfit for yourself.
And then you have to figure out the best time to go. Should you plan your outing during baby’s awake time? Or should you try to line up your drive time with baby’s nap time, since he always falls asleep in the car, anyway?
And what if the baby falls asleep in the car on your way home? Can you get him out of the car seat and into the house without waking him? Maybe you should just leave him in the car seat so you don’t disturb him. But is that even safe?
It really is just easier to stay home.
9Amazon Prime FTW!
Shopping used to be a fun way to spend an afternoon. Now, leaving the house requires too much effort. Online shopping to the rescue!
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can have things delivered to your door in two days or less. You can use Amazon’s Subscribe and Save feature to set delivery dates for your frequently used items, and you can get discounts on eligible items. You know what that means? You can have stuff like diapers, wipes, diaper ointment, and baby wash delivered to your door every month and never have to buy it at the store! All of your basic baby needs can met with Amazon!
Hate going to the grocery store? You can shop for groceries online with Amazon’s Prime Pantry. You can get a box of food items delivered to your door for a flat delivery charge of $5.99. Depending on the shipping speed you choose for other Amazon purchases, you could even get an offer code for free Pantry shipping!
From the moment you announced you were pregnant, you probably received heaps of unsolicited advice from well-meaning friends and relatives. What to eat, what not to eat, how to dress to flatter your expanding figure, what to buy, where to shop, what to do during delivery, what not to do during delivery…
And it doesn’t stop once the baby gets here. It may seem like everybody will want to help you out and throw in their two cents. You’ll get advice on breastfeeding, burping, diaper changes, getting the baby to sleep, and more.
Despite receiving all of this advice, there will still be times where you’ll turn to a baby or parenting book or the Internet for help. Be wary of looking for advice on the Internet. The Internet is a mixing bowl of conflicting, sometimes inaccurate parenting philosophies and opinions, with a lot of judgement thrown in as well.
When surfing the web for baby advice, use trusted sites and sources. If you have a question or a situation that you can’t sort out on your own, then call your doctor. The Internet is no substitute for the advice of a qualified medical professional.
7What Day Is It?
Remember the days before the baby came along when you used to think you were SO BUSY? Even if all you did was a couple loads of laundry, go out for brunch with the gals, and watch a couple episodes of your favorite Netflix show, you probably felt like like your Sunday was jam-packed! Now you’re lucky if you know what day it is.
Here are some great time-saving tips to help you out now that baby is here:
Wash the entire household’s clothes in the same perfume- and dye-free detergent, so that you don’t have to wait for a separate load of baby clothes to pile up. (Although it does add up quickly!) Also, try to get a load done every day, so that you don’t wind up swimming in dirty clothes.
Let the dirty dishes soak. It might sound gross, and the dishes sitting in the sink might be an eyesore, but letting them soak helps any cooked-on crust fall off more easily when you come back to clean them.
Keep a toy box or basket in the living room (or wherever you and the baby spend most of your time together) so that before you go to bed at night, you can just toss everything in one spot and the room looks a little neater.
Everybody loves buying baby clothes as shower gifts and presents for the new baby. As much as you may want to, you probably shouldn’t even register for them, because you’ll end up receiving a ton anyway!
But those tiny outfits are so adorable and hard to resist! When you do buy baby clothes, it’s always best to go a size bigger. A lot of babies are born big enough that they don’t even get to wear any “Newborn” size clothes and instead they go right into 0-3 month sizes. You can always put a baby in clothes that are a little too big, but you don’t want to squish a baby into a onesie that doesn’t snap!
It’s hard to pass up a sale, but when you do any sale shopping, make sure to consider the coming months/season and the size your baby may be when the seasons change. For really big savings, check out baby consignment sales and thrift shops in your area. As you’ll probably learn, babies sometimes grow out of clothes so quickly that they hardly wear some of them – and they still look brand new!
Your baby probably has a bigger wardrobe than you do right now. That little one probably has clothes in a wide range of sizes, so that when she needs to move up a size, she can – and she won’t feel guilty about it, either. And her stuff is probably a lot cuter than those Gap Maternity yoga pants you’re still wearing three, no four, months postpartum. (But they’re just so COMFORTABLE!)
It can be tempting to stay in larger maternity clothes even after you’ve lost the baby weight. For one thing, they ARE comfy. They’re what you’re used to. And the thought of trying on your pre-baby clothes can be a little daunting. And even though you dropped the baby weight, some of your old clothes just might not fit the same, which is frustrating. And do you really want to go out and go clothes shopping right now? Ugh. Elastic waistbands are your friend. It’s okay.
4Sick Baby = Worried Mom!
Every mom remembers the first time their little one gets sick. If your baby doesn’t feel well, and you’ve taken him to the doctor to rule out illness, a lot of times, there’s not much you can do but hang in there and wait for it to pass. That’s way easier said than done!
Cold symptoms can last for several days, and most babies get through their early colds without any complications. In the meantime, expect lots of cuddles and try to make sure that the baby gets lots of rest. You, too! Chances are, even if the baby is sleeping okay, there may be times when congestion or discomfort disrupts sleep.
It’s important to help your baby stay hydrated and well-fed, even if they don’t appear interested in food. A baby who is on breastmilk or formula only should eat as often as they like, unless the doctor directs you differently. If your baby is eating solids, try to offer foods with high water content to boost hydration.
3Grow, Baby, Grow!
A baby usually triples her body weight by her first birthday. Isn’t that crazy?
For the first year of her life, your baby will go through several growth spurts. Just when you feel like you’re getting the hang of breastfeeding and you sort of have some schedule established, you’ll find that your baby is suddenly acting like she’s starving. As soon as she finishes eating, it’s like she wants to start all over again. Your baby's growing!
The first baby growth spurt happens somewhere between one and three weeks. Growth spurts can happen again somewhere around six-eight weeks, three months, six months, and nine months. That may seem like a lot, but your baby has a lot of growing to do. During a growth spurt, your baby may seem extra-hungry, as mentioned above. She may also be kind of cranky, and she may not be sleeping well. The good news is these growth spurts only last a couple days.
Getting frisky is probably the last thing on most moms’ minds after having a baby. Obviously, a woman’s body is put through the ringer during childbirth. Most doctors say the recovery period for a vaginal delivery is about six weeks; for a C-section, it can be a lot longer. But these are just estimates. Every birth is different, and every woman heals differently.
Having sex for the first time after the baby is born can be a little intimidating. While some women have no problem getting their groove back, for a lot of people, that first time can be kind of painful. Think about it – that area has been through a lot recently. On top of that, you have hormonal changes that can cause problems like vaginal dryness and pain. Not to mention, if you’re nursing, your body releases oxytocin, which suppresses your libido. Add to that the lack of sleep and possibly being uncomfortable in your post-baby body, and it’s no wonder sex is the last thing on your mind.
However, sex is very important for you and your partner. It’s a way to stay connected, and a way to remember that you’re more than just Mommy and Daddy... you're a couple.
1Things Aren't Always What They Seem...
Don’t be fooled by what you see on social media. While a lot of the status updates on your Facebook timeline and the pictures on your Instagram feed may look blissful and happy, they all just capture a moment, just a snippet in time.
One of your mom friends might have posted a series of perfectly posed pictures of her angelic, sleeping baby… but what you don’t see is that mom up at 2 a.m. the night before, trying to figure out why her baby won’t latch on properly. Or the baby at 4 p.m. who has hit the “witching hour” and will be fussy, needy, and wide awake for the next four hours. Your mom friend probably won’t post a picture of her poop-smeared shirt when the baby has another diaper blow-out. You probably won’t see a status update about how she snapped at her husband when he suggested that maybe she stop nursing and switch to formula so that she doesn’t have to feel so tired and run-down.
No, motherhood isn’t always like what you see on social media. It’s messy, stressful, and exhausting. But those beautiful parts, the social media-worthy ones, are sprinkled all throughout the difficult times. That’s what keeps us going.
Sources: Parenting, Parents, Today's Parent, Huffington Post, Fit Pregnancy, What to Expect, PopSugar, WebMD, Baby Center
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