While you’re pregnant you hear advice from everyone- the lady in the grocery store insists you must be having twins because you are so big, your mom doesn’t remember having those symptoms so you might need to check with a doctor, and your friend thinks you need to eat more veggies and drink more water. Sometimes, it’s overwhelming. I have left some of my advice I wish I would have known before having my son!
Everyone said sleep when the baby sleeps and that is the truth! Every baby is different, but for me (for almost 7 months) my son woke up every 3 hours to eat/ look at me/ I’m not really sure why. I shortly discovered, for me to be a better mom, wife, friend and person, I needed to sleep when he slept- whether that meant at 1 o’clock in the afternoon or 3 in the morning. I took lots of much needed naps.
I was so anxious to get out of the hospital and get home. We left the day after having my son. We had spent the night before in the hospital and had him early in the morning. So by 10 am the next day, I was ready– ready to start our life as a family of three, sleep in my own bed and have a much desired glass of wine after nine months!
We were home, enjoying time with family, cuddling the new baby and enjoying a home cooked meal. Then it was bedtime. Let me tell you- that was the hardest night of my life! (Maybe we should have stayed in the hospital that second night… the hospital nursery was sounding pretty good at this point.) Our sweet, quiet baby screamed, and screamed, and screamed and screamed. And I thought there was nothing I could do. I cried, the baby cried, and I am pretty sure my husband cried. It was by far the hardest night… so remember, it gets easier after the first night home.
When I say eating, I’m talking about both momma and the baby.
Let’s start with breastfeeding- it isn’t for everyone, and it’s not easy and it is OKAY if it doesn’t work for you. Pump and feed with a bottle, breastfeed, or use formula. As long as the baby is eating something, you are doing a great job!
After having my little guy, I was ready to lose that baby weight and eat healthy. I spent some time eating as many turkey sandwiches I could shove into my mouth and then I was ready for salads and work outs (when cleared by my doctor). I had gained the regular pregnancy weight and was ready to start looking like myself again. I went to spin class, ate salads and then quickly noticed I had almost ZERO milk. When I brought that up to my pediatrician, he said “less salad, more burgers”. I didn’t have to be told that twice. Your body needs a lot of calories to produce all the milk that is going to be sucked out. I knew feeding my baby was more important than what I wanted to look like for summer, so I stuck to his orders. Naturally, the more milk you produce, the more calories you lose when feeding- so it’s kind of a win, win!
My last tip about eating… go out to eat while they’re young. The baby will sit in his car seat and snooze through the whole meal. You can enjoy your glass of wine or margarita and they don’t even know they’re out! I had a Milk Snob car seat cover that I would cover the car seat with and we could enjoy an evening out of the house. Now that my son is 17 months old, dinner out is a different story. It consists of a high chair, thrown food, spilled water, banging on the table and the occasional screeching scream.
Whether you stay at home or work, you need to find other moms you can relate to, seek advice from and have a shoulder to lean on. It’s so easy to google things and compare yourself to other moms and compare your little one to other babies. Don’t do this. Easier said than done, I know. Instead, find a group of people that you can rely on.
I joined Fit4Mom—work out classes designed for moms to work out with your child in a stroller and have support from other moms. No one cares if your baby is screaming- the instructors will hold and console a crying baby or hand your toddler books and toys to keep them entertained for the hour. This gave me an hour to myself, where I could talk to other moms to get advice or just to have an hour of adult interaction.
Becoming a mom totally changes your life but for the better! You will cry, laugh, and question your “mommying”… all in the same minute. Everything your baby does is only a stage so even when you don’t think you can enjoy it, find something good about it! And remember… it’s worth it!
Photos by Holli B of Holli B Photography