Being a mom is hard. Being a new mom is even harder. And sometimes, (a lot of times) there are things that new moms need to hear that no one is telling them.
I remember the week we spent in the hospital with our newborn son. The week that seemed to never end.
Then the months after, when we had absolutely no clue what we were doing but kept plugging along anyway.
Somehow we all made it, the three of us, to where we are now.
Somehow our son is now 18 months old and the happiest, healthiest little boy.
Despite the times we didn’t think we could do this, despite the periods of tears and crying and arguing, we all made it.
In retrospect, knowing what I know now, there are things that new moms desperately need to hear.
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Things New Moms Need To Hear (But No One Is Telling Them)
You can do this
Being a new parent is a little like being thrown on the ice and expected to compete in the Olympics, even though you’ve never skated or even stepped foot on ice before.
Everyone assumes you’ll do just fine and expects you to make parenting decisions on the spot like a pro.
Truth is, sometimes you’ll have no clue what you’re doing.
I’d even go so far as to same that you’ll likely be making it up on the go more times than not.
And that’s okay. You don’t have to know it all.
But do know this: you can do it.
At times it will feel like you can’t, like you don’t know what to do or how to figure it all out.
There will be times when you are just so tired you don’t think you will be able to get through another day of endless feeding, diaper changes, and another night of little to no sleep.
But the truth is, you can do it. It may not always feel like it, but you are able to parent, love, and care for this little person you’ve been blessed with (even if you don’t know it yet!).
Instincts aren’t everything
One topic everyone likes to bring up and point out is maternal instinct.
“You don’t know what decision to make? No worries, your instincts will tell you.”
While that may be true for some people, it is not necessarily true for everyone. Or rather, it is not necessarily as obvious for everyone.
When I was pregnant, part of me was sort of hoping that the “maternal instinct” was a real thing and everything would be fine and dandy.
Truth is, I don’t know that I can honestly say that I ever felt the pull of a maternal instinct.
And you know what? It’s okay.
Instincts or not, we’ve managed to raise our son for the last year and a half, and will continue to do so.
I’m willing to believe that some moms, maybe even a lot of moms, feel maternal instincts. But it’s okay if you don’t feel like you have any.
You will still be an awesome mom.
A whole lot more goes into raising a child than just blindly following instincts.
Do your research. Use common sense. Make informed decisions when it comes to your child.
Do the best that you can with what you know at the time. And it will be more than enough.
You know what’s best
I’m convinced that one curse of being a mom is receiving a ton of unsolicited advice.
“You should have the baby to sleep this way.”
“Feeding the baby this way is best.”
“Give/do this to your baby to get them to go to sleep.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say something that isn’t a very popular opinion.
There isn’t always a one size fits all answer to every situation you will encounter.
Ultimately, you, and you alone, know what is best for you, your baby, and your family.
No one else has the inside information that you do. No one else knows your baby or your family like you do.
At the end of the day, it’s you and your husband/partner that get to call the shots.
Make the decisions that will benefit your family the greatest, and ignore the contradicting advice.
You will sleep again
One phrase I absolutely hated hearing when I was pregnant was “sleep now, you won’t when the baby comes!”
For one, you can’t save up sleep for later—it just doesn’t work that way.
Two, you will sleep again.
Yes, there will likely be a period of time when you only get a few hours of sleep at a time.
How long that lasts depends entirely on your baby’s needs.
Some babies need to nurse several times during the night for months.
Others start sleeping through the night much, much sooner.
My son started sleeping long stretches during the night by one month old—and he would have earlier if I had let him.
The point is, being constantly tired will not be the forever norm for you.
Your baby will not be up all night forever.
Sooner than you think, things will settle and your baby will sleep. And then you will sleep.
This is worth it
This is something that I don’t think gets said nearly enough.
I don’t know why this is a thing, but it seems that most people like to focus on the negatives of motherhood.
Things like the lack of sleep. The worry. The anxiety. The second guessing. The pain.
While those things are a part of motherhood, especially in the early days, what you really need to know is that it is worth it.
It is worth being up late at night feeding your baby.
It is worth the pain, the tears, everything.
Don’t get me wrong—it’s not always going to feel like it.
There will be days when your child is on your last nerve or you’re just so tired you don’t even want to move.
But it will all be worth it.
It is worth it when your child hugs you. When they kiss you, even if it’s super sloppy and gross.
It’s worth it to see their happy little faces light up, to hear their silly giggles over the simplest of things.
Which leads me to the next thing new moms need to hear.
Bad times don’t last forever
Remember that it is worth it when you are going through a rough patch. And remember that the bad will not last forever.
You will eventually stop feeling pain. Your baby will learn to sleep through the night.
At some point, you will stop feeling so ridiculously exhausted and start feeling more like yourself.
The rough times, the times that never seem to end, will end.
You will be able to breathe again.
Try to enjoy the slivers of good in the time you are in, even if most of the time your present sucks.
It won’t be like that forever.
You’re not alone
Sometimes, being a mom puts you in a place that feels very lonely at times.
It can be lonely to be the only one up, breastfeeding your baby in the dark in the middle of the night.
It’s only when you haven’t found any mom friends yet.
Sometimes you can’t seem to find anyone with similar parenting visions.
It’s lonely to be a mom.
But you are not alone.
Even if it doesn’t feel like it, there are moms all around who are struggling with the same kind of things.
None of us know what we are doing.
None of us have it all figured out.
Even on the loneliest of nights, there are other moms silently caring for their babies in the dead of night, just like you.
There are moms feeling just as lonely as you
Next time you see a mom, at the very least offer a smile to remind her that she isn’t the only one struggling through this thing called motherhood.
New moms don’t “bounce” back, but you will heal
This is one I wish someone had expressed to me.
For me, my postpartum recover took about twice as long as it theoretically should have.
I felt like crap for months.
And probably the worst part was that no one really said anything about it.
Everyone just sort of expects new moms to bounce back right after delivery.
That’s not how it works. Not by any stretch of the imagination.
I get it. It can be an awkward subject to breach. Your health “down there” isn’t really something most people want to openly talk about.
And no one wants to admit their struggling, physically or mentally.
So if you’re struggling to heal, whether that be physically or mentally, rest assured, you will heal.
It may take longer than people talk it up to be, but you will get there.
This is just the beginning
This is just the beginning of an amazing journey.
And not in any kind of negative way.
Too many people talk about raising kids as if it’s some ridiculous, unrewarding project you get stuck with for the next 20+ years.
It’s not true.
Yes, there will be hard times. Yes, this is a long journey.
But it is rewarding, and it is a good thing.
Don’t let people suck the joy out of this journey of yours.
Instead, go looking for the joy in raising a child.
What’s something you wish you had been told as a new mom?
Has anyone said any of these things to you? Can you think of other things new moms need to hear, but aren’t being told? Share with me in the comments below—I’d love to hear from you!