If you were to do a Google search of “things to know before having a baby”, you’d probably be overwhelmed with the number of results that pop up before you.
How do you know which of these “things to know” is most relevant? Which checklist should you be following? Where do you even start?
While every woman’s experience is going to be different, here are 5 things we believe will help prepare you for your new and exciting life as a mother!
1. Plan for a temporary hiatus
After your bouncing baby boy or girl has been delivered, new mothers are infused with joy and excitement. However, your life before bringing your infant home will take a respite as your personality, marriage and your day-to-day routine changes. In essence, you will have little—if any—time to do the things you used to as you care for your newborn. But do not fret! Your old life will reappear in due time as baby ages, allowing you to gradually get back to your old routine and lifestyle.
2. We’re all winging it
Despite the research you may have conducted on the Internet, the advice you have received from experienced mothers, as well as the numerous books you may have read, raising a newborn primarily consists of learning on the go and learning from intuition, as well as one’s mistakes. Only in fairy tales and movies are mothers ever perfect, so accept that for the most part you will be learning how to care for your child on the fly. But what better way to learn? If there was a patented process, it would be dull and regimental—and far less exciting.
3. Many a tear will fall
The joy of being a new mother obviously has its ups and downs. Crying babies can and do lead to frustration and you will find yourself crying along with baby on many a day. That’s normal and will pass. As a mother you will experience many more tears of joy as your baby grows and interacts with you, so go with the flow and don’t expect everything to be hunky dory all the time. Trials lead to experience and help you become a better mother.
4. A mother’s intuition is real
So you’re a new mom and you think you’ll freeze up when it’s just you and the baby alone when a mini-crisis arises. Don’t sell yourself short! Trust your motherly intuition. You’ll be surprised with how your instinct leads you down the right path to resolving almost any issue. Trust in yourself to know what the next right thing to do is.
5. Emotions in motion
Raising a newborn will provide you with a rollercoaster of emotions, from utter frustration to loneliness, remorse and a variety of other feelings. Again, go with the flow. Don’t attempt to deny your emotions. A new mother is always susceptible to conflicting sentiments but there is no “perfect” way to feel. Keep in mind that for the most part your joy will exceed all other emotions, especially as your baby grows and you gain experience.
The path of motherhood may seem daunting at first. Nevertheless, realizing that your motherly predisposition will guide you along the way will provide you with much needed confidence. And don’t neglect to enlist some assistance. You’ll need a break away from baby so feel free to take advantage of some alone time to restore your energy. Finally, rejoice – you are as special as your baby!
BONUS: Postnatal education does exist!
It’s common for parents-to-be to enroll in prenatal classes to prepare you for the birth of your little one (and because everyone tells you to do that, right?!), but what happens once baby has arrived? Who answers all your questions then? Who addresses your worries after you’ve gone down the Google rabbit hole and come up overwhelmed with more concerns than you started?!
WE do! At New Mom School, we’re all about postnatal education, or—as we like to say—We created that baby manual your baby doesn’t come with!
Our Newborn Class Series starts when your baby is about 3 weeks old and classes are formed based on your baby’s expected due date—which allows us to place you with other moms whose babies are born closest in age to yours. (That’s where the magic really happens.)
You simply pre-register when you’re pregnant to reserve your place, and then we assign you a start date for class once your little one arrives! (We know babies don’t tend to stick to the assigned schedule 😉.)