Being a mom is no doubt the most fantastic thing ever, but some days it can be the hardest thing imaginable. In today's world, social media is in everyone's face. People only put out there what they want others to see and often being a mom seems like this flawless job when in reality it's not so perfect.
When the only thing you have to compare yourself to is the momma who managed to get out of the house with her three kids with her makeup done, hair all perfectly done, and everyone wearing matching and CLEAN outfits, it can be easy to doubt yourself. This is especially true if you're over there leaving the house in clothes from three days ago, no makeup, dried food from who knows what meal and with only ONE child ready to go in one piece.
Do not be hard on yourself. Some will downright feel like the world is about to end, but it'll get better mama. I bet you are rocking it and don't even know it!
It's hard not to question your "mommying" abilities. Aside from the pressure of comparing yourself to other mamas, you also get the joy of listening to everyone's opinions on how to parent. But truly rocking being a mama is way more simple than you might think. Once you let all the pressure go, you'll find your grove.
As TV actress Deborah Mailman said it best: “Motherhood is wonderful, but it’s also hard work. It’s the logistics more than anything. You discover you have reserves of energy you didn’t know you had.”
15 Placing 100% Value In Herself
Once you become a mom, your entire world becomes about someone else. This perfect little human is your responsibility. Suddenly you become put on the back burner and often don't even feel human anymore. It's important to value yourself enough as a person and to take time for yourself every once in a while.
Resets are crucial for sanity. Taking time for yourself will help you be a better mom. It is entirely okay to make yourself a priority too.
If you have a little one, a full spa day out of the house or a weekend at a tropical paradise might be a stretch. If you can swing a day away, then the more power to you. Taking time for yourself might just mean a relaxing bath after the baby goes down, treating yourself to lunch by yourself, or even curling up to take a nap while the babe sleeps. Taking time might be few and far between, so do it when you can and enjoy every moment of it. If you get a day when you feel like you're about to reach your limit chances are you just need a mama break. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs out there.
14 Having Realistic Expectations
Life expectations can be hard to be realistic about, and when you add kids to the mix, it can get even harder. From the little things, like knowing how long it'll actually take to leave the house or big stuff like finances, it can be hard to gauge what is manageable and what is pushing the limit. You will have to learn to expect the unexpected.
Plan for the blowouts during dinner out and skinned knees at the playground. Know that it is normal to not get everywhere right on time if you don't allow extra time to buckling car seats and finding shoes.
Just as soon as you think you have it all figured out the little humans you call children will change it up on you and throw your mama game off. Be okay knowing not only your limits but your kids' ones as well. If you guys are having a bad day, don't feel bad canceling plans. It's better to realize ahead of time that staying home is best for that day. Having realistic expectations includes knowing you need to go with the flow. You can't control everything sometimes you just have to roll with it.
13 Reading To Her Babies
Reading to your kiddos is not only a fun, calm activity, but it is a great bonding time. Reading time is a great excuse for extra snuggles. It's never to soon to start reading to your babies some parents even start reading to them before the baby is born, especially since it is a fabulous addition to bedtime routines.
Now you might get semi-annoyed when you have to read the same repetitive book for the millionth time in one day, that's normal. Book rotation is a great way to keep it fresh. Divide the books and in half and every week rotate them for what is out.
Reading is also a great way to teach your toddler new words. You'd be surprised what the can pick up. Enjoy reading to your babies as soon they'll be nagging you to read to you the book themselves.
According to the Washington Post: "Study after study shows that early reading with children helps them learn to speak, interact, bond with parents and read early themselves, and reading with kids who already know how to read helps them feel close to caretakers, understand the world around them and be empathetic citizens of the world."
12 Cuddle Time/Down Time
It's easy to get busy with little and end up going in what feels like twenty million directions all the time. Between weekday schedules, crazy weekends, and all the added housework on top of everything, it can be overwhelming. Taking the time for lazy days every once in a while is so important. PJ days can be so amazing for the soul. There's nothing wrong with taking a day to do absolutely nothing. The laundry and the dishes will still be there tomorrow.
Creating a before bed downtime routine will look different for everyone but the quiet time you'll find will be much needed. Set a specific time that things in your house switch over to 'downtime mode'.
Shut the screens off, dim the lights, do bath time with the kids, read stories and change into PJs, while you all get ready for bedtime. Even if you don't go to bed with them, you'll enjoy the peace after.
Creating downtime mode will help you all unwind from the crazy day. Downtime doesn't always have to be before bed sometimes during the day downtime is needed as well and perfectly okay to put tasks aside and snuggle up to a movie or some reading time.
11 Reading Labels
When it comes time to feed your baby, you will want to read the labels. Not all baby products are made equal a lot of the packaging can be deceiving and seem healthy when in fact, they are not. Familiarize yourself with things to watch out for and avoid when buying packaged food items for your little one.
Not only does reading labels come in handy with food but have you ever stopped to think about what you are putting on their skin? A lot of marketed baby products for bath time are filled with chemicals and can do more harm than good. Reading labels comes in super handy here as you want to make sure whatever you are using on your babies skin is as natural as possible.
Did you know harsh chemicals are in cleaning products & laundry soaps? It's probably a given, right? But did you know there are plenty of natural cleaners on the market that is way safer for your family than a lot of the mainstream brands out there? It is amazing what you will learn once you start taking the time to read labels and learn about ingredients. You obviously want the best when it comes to your family and that can start with the products you are bringing into your home.
10 All About Making Memories
Once you have kids, going out and doing things is never the same. Everything is ten times more work, and things get expensive fast. But making memories is so important, not only for you but for the kids as well. Don't hold back on doing things.
Plan a fun staycation. Take the time out of your busy life to make memories and spend quality family downtime and unplugged from the outside world.
Making memories while can be expensive it doesn't have to be. Instead of planning that dream trip to Europe take a road trip a few hours away to a place you have never been. Hit up your local beach. Become a tourist of your own city. You would be surprised how much you will have when you stop to realize the fun things around you, even if it is something as simple as exploring a new local park with a picnic lunch.
Have traditions that you can look forward to every year. Pull some things from your childhood you always looked forward too and included them in your new family. It's so fun to see the different traditions of families especially when both parents can bring pieces from growing up.
9 Taking Selfies With The Kids
Stop making excuses not to be in the photo. Your kids won't care in 15/20/30 years when they are looking back at the picture if you hadn't showered that day or maybe even gotten a chance to brush your teeth. They sure as heck won't care if you haven't lost all that baby weight yet. Live in the moment capture the real-life moments with your kids.
The moments that go by so fast that you will wish were still happening in a few years. Moms are often the ones taking the photos so speak up! Ask for someone to take your photo even if you have to ask a stranger to do it.
Now that you have taken the photos do not forget to print them. While digital backup programs can be great, there is nothing like a printed photo to be able to look at, cherish, and one day hand down to your babies.
Social media often makes everything seem so perfect, people only post what they want. Motherhood isn't picture perfect. It's messy, crazy, and totally amazing. But don't worry about capturing that 'picture perfect' photo. Capture YOUR picture perfect which is moments as they happen. Keep it real!
8 Asking For Help
Asking for help is weird. It is almost like a failing moment. It totally shouldn't be. Be a mom is hard and why make it harder on yourself when people want to help. Asking or help or even just saying yes when someone offers can be a huge stress reliever. Sometimes, the best thing is just having someone come over and talk to you while you fold laundry. Or play with your kiddo in the living room while you deep clean a bathroom or two.
They don't have to take over your life with their help but just allowing some help in so you can a few things are done can be a fantastic feeling.
Because let's face it even though you are saying 'no I've got it' doesn't always mean you have really 'got it.'
Making sure you are communicating with your partner as well when you need an extra set of hands is so important too. Often they think you have everything under control when you feel like you are drowning. So speak up when you need their help. Be specific and mention a timeline. If your partner is anything like mine, he/she will need very specific instructions.
7 Keeping The Romance Alive
Once the baby comes, your relationship no matter how strong it was before is bound to change. You are in a sense adding a third wheel to what used to be just the two of you.
That third wheel might poop on your dinner date (literally) or start screaming in the middle of intimate time. It will be hard especially at first to keep the romance alive, but you'll figure it out. You will soon be able to find your new normal and grow as a couple from there. Keep communication lines open always.
Speak up when things are bothering you and ask for the help when you need it. Don't forget to take time for each other. Even if a fancy date night isn't in the cards plan a nice quiet stay in date at home once in a while.
You will want to show your baby what a healthy relationship looks like. Fighting is normal, and your little one is bound to see an argument from time to time but make sure they also witness the love too. Being able to set an example for your kids on what a healthy loving relationship looks like can be crucial for them with their own relationships in the future.
6 Keeping Her Kids Fed And Alive
Ever feel like a complete failure mom? House is a mess; laundry is backed up, and you have no idea what is for dinner? Well, are your babies fed and are they alive? Are you keeping them happy? Have they giggled today? Have you told them you loved them? Yes?
Then you are totally rocking it, mama! Who cares if your house isn't perfect? Often I think we forgot when we are obsessing about our house being perfect that we actually are living there.
How is a home supposed to stay in perfect condition when you have people living in it every moment of the day?
Learn to let the little things go and enjoy the moments that matter most. Sometimes, taking the time to appreciate the small things, which are actually big things like you have a healthy family and a roof over your head are huge resets. Take the time to be grateful for every moment and don't stress about the silly things because in five or ten years will those dishes in the sink really matter? Some days the only thing you need to concern yourself with is that your kids are alive and fed bottom line.
5 Trusting Her Gut
Mama knows best isn't just a cute quote. Being a new mom sometimes it is hard to gauge the 'helicopter mom' worry or actual concern. A great base rule is to always follow your gut because mama knows best. If you feel like something is off or just isn't right with your little one, don't ignore that worry. You are the one that is likely with your baby the most so you will be more in tune with them than anyone in the world. Do not ignore feelings of concern when it comes to them for any reason regardless of what anyone says.
An anonymous mama gave me great advice: “Never discredit your gut instinct. You’re not being paranoid. Your body can pick up vibrations, some better than other, and if something deep inside you says something’s not right about a person or situation, trust it and keep it pushing.”
Always do what you feel is best especially when it comes to your babes. There are certain things a mom can feel that make not makes sense to anyone else. Learning to trust your gut can be a hard lesson to learn but it is an important one in the world of being a mom.
4 Setting Boundaries
Having to set boundaries once you have a baby with certain people in your family and friends circle can be super awkward. Having talks ahead of time with your SO can make things a bit easier. Making sure you both are on the same page will be super important when it comes to enforcing these set boundaries. Oftentimes babies can bring up a lot of family drama surrounding your parenting styles.
Be okay telling those people to take their opinions elsewhere. Other than outsiders setting boundaries up even with your SO can be super important to like what medical information regarding your baby should be shared with family.
Or setting boundaries with your SO around who and when people can come over to see the baby.
Be okay saying 'no' to people. If a family member or friend wants to take the baby out for the day but you know it'll cause you more stress than anything be okay saying that. Have a smoker in the family? Be okay telling them they cannot hold your little one. It's okay to speak up and create boundaries that are comfortable for you. Speaking up sooner rather than later can help avoid awkward times in the future as well.
3 Researching To The Max
Some moms before they even find out they are pregnant start researching everything. You will find your google search history filled with crazy questions that sometimes come to you at 2 am when you can not sleep. But are you researching the right things? Though I'm sure, the 'is this type of discharge normal' question set your mind at ease but are you also researching hot topics like car seat safety, vaccines, routine circumcision? Even though some of these things are deemed completely normal & 'safe' it's so important to do your own research.
Look up side effects and videos of any medical type thing for your baby, read the inserts. Watch the car seat safety videos. Learn how to correctly install a car seat and know how to buckle your baby up in the safest way possible.
Research things like breastfeeding vs. formula and all the things that go along with that. Find stories from real mamas and learn about what to expect. Once you start digging, you will be in shock of all the amazing things you will learn. Researching things will open your eyes to a lot and might end up changing your views on some things for the better of your baby.
2 Putting Your Kids' Needs Before Your Own
There is nothing like putting yourself on the back burner like having kids. They will forever come first now. Even though putting your kid's needs before your own comes naturally to most it is not always easy. There will be some days your babies will need you so much that you have to forget about yourself but when the days come that you have a few free moments remember it is still important to take time for yourself and not completely forget you are a human too.
There is nothing more exhausting than putting someone else ahead of your needs. Some days, you won't get food until 3 pm for the first time, or you might stop and realize you haven't had any water all day. It is easy to forget about yourself when your busy taking care of little ones who aren't big enough to do things for themselves.
But slowly things will change. They will start to grow, and you will miss these days. I mean at least now you've got the perfect excuse to leave the house looking rough around the edges right? Enjoy this time while you can it will be over before you know it.
1 Being Humble And Not Comparing
As soon as you start telling people you are having a baby it becomes an open invitation for them to tell you all their opinions about parenting. This can get old after a while especially when the baby comes, and people are nitpicking everything you do. Not giving into peoples judgments will be a harder skill than you might think to acquire but you'll get there. You will learn to either just ignore or speak up and tell them it's not the time or place for that unsolicited advice.
Other than the ever so incredible overflow in judgment and free advice you'll also have those moms who want to do nothing else than compare their child to yours.
It can be hard to deal with someone straight up comparing your baby to another, but it happens. Just remember that all babies are different, they learn differently, and chances are the mom that is going around bragging that her baby is advanced is super insecure about something else in her life. Try not to compare your baby or even yourself to anyone else. Do your own thing. As long as you guys are happy and healthy that is all that matters. Be humble and kind.
Reference: This mama's experience.