The journey of starting motherhood is one that you can truly never forget. It is a time of many changes, both physically and emotionally. It is a time of learning to embrace your body in a way you never thought would be possible. And of course, it is a time you will never forget, because, let’s be honest, how can you forget a time in your life that a simple smell could make you throw up your morning breakfast or the fact that every time you ate you thought about how much you could relate to the saying, “Set your soul on fire.”
But what about after the pregnancy journey comes to an end? That’s the part women need to talk more about, as it is a crucial part of the journey, the true start of motherhood. Aside from the “you’re never going to sleep now” comments, no one talks about the initial aftermath of labor and the first few months of your tiny humans’ life. And let me tell you. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies.
1. You will need diapers for yourself. Diapers apparently are not just for your baby or 90-year-old grandmother with a small bladder, you too will be needing what practically seems like depends for yourself when you get home from the hospital. I kid you not. Oh, and make sure you grab yourself those granny panties you never thought you would wear. Because you definitely will wear them for months to come.
2. Cabbage will be on your grocery list and you won’t be eating it anymore. If you’re planning to not breastfeed, you’re going to need to buy a head of cabbage and put a tight sports bra on with gigantic cabbage leaves in there for support. Apparently, this “helps” to dry you out. While you’re awaiting your milk production to stop, beware of the severe pain of the slightest poke, you might as well wear a sign around that states, “Caution may explode at any minute.”
3. You will be an emotional wreck. You will cry for no reason. You will also likely scream for no reason as well. You soon will understand those surveys the doctor’s office makes you take in the first few months of your newborn’s life asking about how you’re feeling. It makes sense that we as mothers will be a hormonal mess. BUT, no one openly discusses the intensity of the after-labor effects on your emotions.
4. You will hate everything your significant other does. Motherly instinct kicks in immediately and suddenly you will feel like you know it all. And you will not want your significant other, or anyone else for that matter, doing things their way. You will hate the way they hold the baby. The way they burp the baby. The way they wash the bottles. The way they don’t wash the bottles. At one point, you might just hate the way they are breathing. Until you realize that you are not super mom and you do not know it all, and you too are just learning how to be a parent, ease up on your significant other. After all, you are both entering this life-changing journey of parenthood together.
5. Spit up becomes your daily perfume. You will smell like spit up 90% of the time. No matter how much you shower or saturate yourself in perfume, spit up overcomes all. When you lay your head down at the end of the night and kiss your S/O goodnight, be prepared to hear, “you smell like formula” instead of receiving the, “you’re so beautiful” comments before bed.
6. Your baby sleeps better on your chest than in their own bed. At the end of a long evening, you just got your baby to fall fast asleep on your chest. You lay him/her in bed and suddenly they are wide awake. This is the moment you will realize why parents co-sleep. We are quick to judge co-sleeping, but once you start what seems like hallucinating from sleep deprivation, you become more aware of why parents may choose to co-sleep.
7. Everything your child does is the most adorable thing you have ever seen. You may say you were not going to be “that mom” who posted 1,000 pics on your social media of your new tiny human making the same face a dozen times, but then suddenly, you look back at your most recent posts and realize 99% are all of your child making the same face in every. single. one.
8. Nights out turn into days out. Yes, you read that right. There are now very few “nights out” because just like your new child has a bedtime, you will as well. The days of being able to stay out until 11pm or later are now a true struggle. All of a sudden it is as if your internal clock sprung ahead 4 hours and BOOM! You find yourself lying in bed by 7pm. Now you find yourself making dinner reservations for 5pm, instead of the usual 7-8pm time slots. The good in all of this, open table ALWAYS has a reservation open at this time for a party of 2 at the hottest restaurants in just about any city. Trust me. It is a HUGE plus.
Although hard to believe after reading the first 8 things that you will likely experience at the start of the journey, I promise the beginning of motherhood is truly a beautiful journey that you will remember the way it made you feel for the rest of your life. Motherhood is beautiful. It is frustrating. It is exciting. It is long days and even longer nights. It is pure bliss. It is real happiness. It is unconditional love. I like to call motherhood a beautiful disaster.
Side note: Don’t be a regular parent. Be a cool parent. Still, listen to some gangsta rap, so in 20 years from now, you can break some out and show your human just how cool you use to be. Now, onto a few good things that happen at the beginning of this amazing journey of motherhood. Onto the next one, on, on to the next one.
9. You will fall in love harder than you have ever experienced. It is true when people tell you, there is no love like the bond between a mother and her child. BUT, it is not until you actually have your own, that you will finally understand. There really is no love like it. It is a love so strong, that seeing your baby cry when he gets his first set of shots will bring tears to your eyes too. Apologize to your baby daddy in advanced for he will no longer be your #1. We mothers know it takes two to create these perfect tiny humans we refer to as our children, but they now are suddenly the center of our universe.
10. Everything Changes. And I mean everything. There is no more me, myself and I, or we, it is All. About. YOUR CHILD. Some people may think of this as a negative change, but I promise it is the most rewarding life change you will experience. It is a change that brings personal growth. Children challenge you. They challenge you to become less selfish. They challenge you to become a professional multi-tasker. They challenge you to try new things. For instance, all of the fruits and veggies your 27-year-old self will not eat off of your plate. Because how else will you get your child to eat them without proving just how yummy they are. Lastly, but more importantly, they challenge you to be patient. When Becoming a mother change is inevitable, but just remember the only constant entity in life is change and motherhood is just a step in the right direction to creating a happy and fulfilling life.
11. Children bring you closer to your spouse/significant other. This may seem to contradict to #4, but hear me out. Although, there will be disagreements on how you should or should not raise your new tiny human, seeing your significant other interact with your little one will make you fall even MORE IN LOVE with them. More than you ever thought would be possible. So much so, that you will wonder how the divorce rate is so high these days for parents who have children together. No matter how annoying your significant other can be at times, the way you see them love your child is truly the HEART EYES EMOJI. I know I am not the only one who would love to lock their hubby, hubby to be, baby daddy, in the basement and throw away the key sometimes, but at the end of the day, you two now share the most special bond, the love of your child. The one you created together. The one you will raise together. The one who you both cried together when you first laid eyes on them. That is an undeniable pull on the heartstrings to love the one you’re with even more than you did before your tiny human came along.
Entering motherhood has its ups and downs in the first few months. It’s like the first day at a new school. You’re ultimately walking into an established setting where people have already decided who is and who is not a part of the clique and they tell you, “Sorry, you can’t sit with us.” It is scary. You have to keep another human aside from yourself alive. You have to feed them. Clothe them. Bathe them. Change them. Teach them. Guide them. You’re truly entering a world of unknowns. But what fun would life be if we always knew what to expect each day we awoke? That is what motherhood is all about. The unexpected. The greatest adventure life brings. A real beautiful disaster.
Motherhood is a roller coaster ride. Prepare to buckle up, hang on tight and enjoy the ride, because the views up here are overall pretty damn rad.