Parenting is a unique journey that isn't the same for any two people. Moms go through a variety of emotions and responses to taking care of little ones, and all of them are specific to each woman's situation. However, there do seem to be some universal thoughts that run through the heads of new mothers as they adjust to life with littles.
Parenting manuals with all the answers don't exist, so mom has to figure out the motherhood thing on the job. This can lead her to wonder many things, such as how do people grocery shop with a baby? Will the stomach ever be its normal shape again? Why does mom have to leak?
These thoughts are normal, and it's important for Mom to know she's not alone. These thoughts are often humorous, but they can also be startling because of how much mom has to learn about raising a child and recovering from birth. Every mom will find her path, but not before thinking some thoughts she probably never assumed would cross her mind.
Mom should stay strong and know that just about the time she has the infant thing figured out, her child will be a toddler and whole different stage of honest, hilarious thoughts will find her.
20 This Umbilical Stump is... Interesting
The umbilical cord is essential for the baby to survive in the womb. When the cord is cut, the baby goes home with a tiny parting gift known as the umbilical stump. The stump will fall out and eventually reveal the belly button, but in the meantime most moms have very mixed feelings about it.
A hard, black lump that looks painful and is trying to fall out isn't that appetizing to gaze at during every diaper change. Though mom is grateful for all the umbilical cord provided while the baby was in the womb, it's normal to want the stump to fall out because it's so weird to look at all the time.
19 When Can I Stop Wearing Pads?
Mom gets to experience the diaper experience personally because she will leave the hospital wearing protection "down there" after birth. Whether mom has a natural or surgical birth, bleeding takes place after, and it's enough to warrant strong protection.
As the days go on, and mom still finds she's leaking, she will start to wonder when this particular phase is going to end. Though they are practical in the beginning, it's hard to feel on top of life when wearing paper undies. However, bleeding can take place for weeks, and mom may not be able to transition to regular garments without protection for a while.
18 Please Don’t Touch Me
Being touched out is an experience most women have after giving birth because they are always in demand by the baby. After nursing and rocking and changing the little one, mom may not want anyone, including her spouse, to touch her. Personal space doesn't exist much for mom early on, and she will protect what she can fiercely.
It also takes time to get used to the post-pregnancy changes the body undergoes. Until mom is a bit more comfortable in her skin, she may not want anyone touching her, even if it is to express affection. This is completely fair request.
17 What About The Girls?!
Changes in the chest department occur throughout pregnancy, but when mom's milk comes in things get even more wild. This process can be painful, but it's fascinating to watch the chest grow to accommodate enough milk to keep a tiny human alive. Many women don't know what to do with the sudden swelling taking over.
Breasts may also appear to have more prominent veins, and mom may notice her entire areola is equipped with passages for milk to get through. Breast changes will continue as mom nurses and weans her little one, and she will likely be surprised at how her body transforms.
16 I Am Never Leaving My House Again
Babies are not super easy to travel with in the beginning, even on short trips. They live their lives around eating and napping, and changing a baby's diaper in a public restroom is never fun. Plus, many women get nervous about all the germs in crowded public places when their kids are young.
Mom will eventually leave the house again, but it's fine to take it slowly and relax in those early days. If trying to make a grocery trip between a feeding and nap time feels like too much stress, just wait until things feel a bit more manageable.
15 I Thought Babies Slept All the Time!
People love to tell pregnant women that babies sleep all the time. Even research reports and parenting books point out that babies spend more time asleep than awake in those early days. What they forget to mention is that babies almost never sleep that long at night and that they wake up to feed often.
Just because a baby sleeps many hours a day doesn't mean mom is going to feel rested. Mom is likely holding the baby or bouncing the baby to keep him asleep. Plus, she is likely the one feeding him when he wakes up every couple of hours at night.
14 My Mother-in-law is Annoying
This might not be the first time this thought has crossed mom's mind, or she may have the sweetest mother-in-law in the world and be surprised that she suddenly feels this way. Either way, this is usually a common feeling when a new baby arrives. It's very possible that a mother-in-law will share her opinions about raising children, whether anyone wants them or not.
It's important to remember that mom can raise her child any way she likes, and she does not have to heed the advice of outsiders, even if they are family. Excited in-laws can be super annoying, but they usually mean well.
13 Everything is so Loud
When a baby is sleeping, everything in the world suddenly sounds extremely loud. It's possible mom will even think her partner's breathing is just a little too noisy. Babies really can sleep through most things, but that won't make mom any less jumpy about loud sounds, especially if the sounds come out of nowhere and can startle the baby.
There's no way to completely silence the world, so the best mom can do is hope her little one gets used to some noise and keep her finger crossed. White noise machines may also offer some good help to shush the startling sounds. The world is a loud place.
12 My Brain Has Melted!
If mom feels like her brain no longer works, that's because it has been changed. Pregnancy and becoming a mother messes with our brains, and science has the research to prove it. Mom may feel like she can't focus or that all her attention is hyper focused only on the baby. She may wonder how she is supposed to get anything done when she feels she can't hold a thought in her head for more than a minute. This is all normal and extremely annoying.
Mommy brain happens to pretty much every mom, but no one is truly prepared. Luckily, nature rewires our brains so we are better able to keep a dependent, tiny person alive, even if we can't remember how to do anything else for a while.
11 The Soft Spot Has a Pulse!
The soft spot located on the baby's head is both fascinating and daunting. Mom will realize that besides being super careful so it doesn't get bumped, she will also have to decide if she wants to watch it pulse. The visible throbbing makes many moms feel queasy.
The soft spot doesn't stay soft forever, but it can be nerve wrecking while it is. Besides pulsing, the soft spot also causes panic simply because it exists, a visible sign of how vulnerable babies are in the beginning. No matter how strong or healthy a baby is, this space reminds parents to be careful.
10 I’m Never Going to Wear Clean Clothes Again
Mom's clothes will be covered in a variety of fluids, such milk and spit up. It feels like there is no way to keep anything clean in those early days, and that's pretty much true. Wear old clothes when caring for the little one.
One day mom will be able to put on a nice blouse without worrying about someone having a diaper blow out on it, but those days are in the future. Right now, the baby is explosive from every end, and most of what he releases will land on mom. It is part of parenthood.
9 What Happened to my Stomach?
If mom isn't ready for reality, she does not need to look down in those early days. Just because the baby is no longer in the belly doesn't mean the belly is back to its normal size. It most certainly won't be for a while, if ever.
Stretch marks and loose skin greet most moms after their babies arrive, and that is perfectly okay and normal. However, it may take mom a while to get used to what her new stomach looks like, and she will likely wonder how one tiny person caused all that change. It's a big adjustment.
8 Sleep Deprivation Is Not Okay!
There is no sleep deprivation like the kind mom will experience in those early days of parenting. Even good sleepers don't sleep that long, and many moms find they have babies who only want to sleep when snuggled close. This makes sleeping a challenge for mom, and it can cause stress.
We need sleep and not getting it does feel like a type of torture. Our minds don't function as well, and neither do our bodies. Mom's mood may be off because she isn't getting shut eye. It's important to ask for help and sneak in naps when possible to stay sane.
7 I Have No Idea What I’m Doing
Every parent has this thought. Yes, it's tough for mom to realize she's been entrusted with a little human and has no real idea what to do, but it's a totally normal feeling. Honestly, mom does have instincts that kick in to guide her, and it is absolutely fine to ask for help.
Every time a child changes stages or goes through something new, it feels like starting over again trying to figure out what to do as a parent. Mom will find her way, and she'll figure out how to parent the right way for her crew. It just takes time.
6 Showering Was a Major Accomplishment
Taking a shower is something most of us do on autopilot everyday. That is, until we have children. Suddenly, taking a shower feels like a Herculean task that is only accomplished by advanced planning and crazy stealth.
If there is no one to watch the baby, most women have to figure out a way to keep the baby in the bathroom while they get clean. It is sometimes possible to get up super early and shower while the baby sleeps, but this isn't easy. Showering becomes that one thing on the to-do list that will make mom feel very accomplished if she can check it off.
5 I'm Annoyed By My Husband
Mom likely won't really dislike her partner, and she will be grateful for the way he contributes. It's just that mom may end up feeling a bit of resentment when she is the food source for a person who is always hungry. Mom will also probably be the person the baby wants in sight the majority of the time, leaving her partner free time that she does not have.
Plus, women are the ones who have to recover from childbirth, and doing this while keeping an infant safe is not easy. It's normal to be upset by the fact that the person who needs the most rest to recover is likely getting the least rest.
4 This Kid Was Calmer in the Hospital!
A baby born in a hospital gets used to the sounds and rhythms surrounding her, so mom may be in for a treat when she takes the baby home. Suddenly, the child has to adapt to a new environment, and mom doesn't have help from hospital staff while she recovers. This can make the transition home startling for everyone.
Some babies cry often when brought home, and many parents wonder if the hospital was more comfortable. That's not the case, but it can take a baby a while to adjust to a new environment and parents who are likely a bit more stressed now that they are on their own.
3 Why Did We Baby-proof?
Baby-proofing is important once the baby can move around. However, mom will likely wonder why she spent so much time and energy baby-proofing while pregnant because newborns don't get into anything. They cry, sleep, and eat, but they aren't digging through the medicine cabinets or trying to mess with electrical outlets.
Same goes for decorating the nursery. Sure, it's nice to have a beautiful space for the baby, but the only place the baby will probably want to be is held in mom's arm. Everything else is simply decorative. Mom can rest before the baby is born instead of running around trying to do things that won't really matter in the beginning.
2 I am Wearing Maternity Clothes Forever
People can say what they will about maternity clothes, but mom will likely end up loving her comfy, loose pants, even after the baby is born. Maternity clothes offer tons of grace and comfort during that weird period of time where there's no baby inside mom's belly, but it still kind of looks like there is.
Many women will milk the maternity-clothes wearing experience for all it's worth, resisting the pressure to slide back into the pre-pregnancy jeans. That is fine and a right every mom gets to exercise. Wear what works, especially in those early days when comfort is rarely found.
1 It’s A Good Thing Babies are So Cute
Every mom thinks she has the most beautiful, cutest baby, and she will fully understand why that's necessary after the first few weeks home. A person who screams a lot, doesn't sleep well, and is constantly in need of support needs to be cute. It's the only way babies can get away with that newborn behavior.
Mom will likely vacillate between frustration and absolute awe at how precious her baby is, even when he makes her crazy. The way babies are designed is nothing short of genius. Mom will find her child adorable throughout life, no matter the number of tantrums he throws.
Sources: Todaysparent.com, Mom365.com, Parents.com