All about being a First Time Mom
They say that there are many ways to spot a first time mom among a crowd of mothers. She is usually stereotyped as the jittery, overly-hovering, excited lady that has in her arsenal all the bells and whistles that come with motherhood. And looking back in my first year as a mother, I can say that yes, those stereotypes CAN be true.
But there is more to first-time moms than being that cheery mother celebrating all her baby’s milestones with blow-by-blow types of FB posts, and non-stop chatter about the new babe. There is an amazing change that is happening inside her that will change her life forever, and will affect how she sees the world, and treat the people in it.
It was around this time last year that Babylicious was conceived inside my womb. In other words, it’s been a year since I became a mother. Being a mother is a very challenging journey, starting from the pregnancy itself. Imagine having to endure morning sickness, food aversion, easily fatigued, feeling bloated and being super sleepy while working as a preschool teacher from 7am to 5pm, and also preparing everything for our upcoming wedding! When I think about it now, I can’t remember how I used to do it. Now that Babylicious is here, I realized that all the sacrifices I’ve made, all the stress and fatigue that I had to endure are all worth it.
With Babylicious in our little household, our worlds turned upside down but with so much unexplainable joy! I have learned so much now that I became a mom and I’m still learning through this little teacher of mine.
I’m sure all the first time moms out there are excited to hold their little ones, and I’m telling you, that precious moment will be priceless! But there’s so much to learn, so much to know, so much you’ll only discover when your baby comes. Now I’m here, trying to write about the things I learned as a first-time mom. I know this doesn’t apply to all first-time moms but I hope it gives you even the slightest idea.
1. SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK. And with a newborn in the house, you can’t be weak! This is really one of my struggles since Babylicious came. It made me realize how I regret taking my nap time and sleeping time for granted. Maybe you’d say “oh, good thing I’m nocturnal”, “I’m a night person”, “if I can stay up at night marathon-ing my series, I can probably stay awake to take care of my baby”. Yeah, I said that too, but believe me, this time it will be different. This time you have a baby to take care of. This time you have to feed him, nurse him, hold him, play with him, change his nappies and comfort him when he cries. And what if he just won’t stop crying? You being nocturnal won’t help you with that. This I can assure you, there will be nights where you just want to cry with your baby. You have to be really strong. You have to keep in mind that this shall also come to pass, so say goodbye to your decent sleep! PS. My last decent sleep was when I was sedated for my CS operation. Hahahaha! Oh how I miss it.
2. PRACTICE BEING PRACTICAL. I know first time moms can get overwhelmed especially with the baby coming in a few months. It’s true, it can get pretty overwhelming. You’ll want to buy every single baby gear you’ll see on the internet, but trust me when I say this: YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY THEM ALL. Some baby gears can be pretty expensive, but they won’t be of much use. Let’s say before the D-Day, you got all the things ready and bought a stroller for your little one. You tried to put him down on the stroller. What if he doesn’t like it there? What if he cries the whole time he’s in there? Then you’d have to buy a carrier. You researched and researched and found this particular brand and you liked it. However, it’s quite a bit pricey. You still bought it but when you tried it, your little one won’t stop wailing because he’s not comfortable. What about a crib? Why buy a crib when you’re cosleeping? Things like these need to be thought through to save time, space and money. Don’t give into that impulsiveness caused by your pregnancy hormones!
3. “ME-TIME” NO MORE. It’s always going to be baby time, daddy time, family time, cooking time, cleaning time, a little sleeping time, but bid adieu to your me time. Remember when you were so stressed with work, with family, with your friends, with your relationship, with everything… and you just want to unwind? It was easy to book a hotel somewhere for a quick staycation or getaway in the near beaches or simply just go to the salon to have yourself pampered. You only had to think about yourself. Now that you’re a mom, you’ll have to consider a lot of things: do you have milk stashed for your little one, have you cooked food for your husband, are you done with the laundry and all the other things needed to be done at home and all among other things. Believe me, even if you had the chance to be on your own even for just half a day, you’ll still be thinking and worrying about your baby and your husband and you’ll probably cut your me time short just to go home. Or if not, you’re probably flooding your husband or your caretaker with a lot of messages asking for updates.
4. NEW LIFE, NEW FRIENDS. Maybe you’ll lose some friends, but the good thing about that is that you’ll gain more. Now that you’re more focused on your family, your priorities and preferences will change. If you used to go out with your friends every Friday night, this time you just want to go home and be with your baby. Some friends may ditch you if you don’t always ride along with their trip but good for you, you can find a support group even on the internet. As for me, I found Breastfeeding Pinays, Babywearing Philippines and TBDM Mommy Club where I met Mommy Ria of HappyPinayMommy.com who inspired me to blog about this. She even asked me to guest post on her blog! These mommy groups (or “mommy frat” as what some dads call our group) can be of big help especially when you’re confused or curious about something. You are all complete strangers to each other but you all have something in common: you have a child/children to take care of and who else can help you better than anyone who has been in the same situation as you, right?
5. YOUR BABY, YOUR RULES. That’s right. No one else has a say on how you take care of your little one. No one else gets to make a decision when it comes to your little one aside from you and your husband. Some may give suggestions but it’s always going to be your call.
6. SUPER-DUPER-STITIONS. If you’re a first time mom, you’ll definitely hear a lot of superstitious beliefs and traditions done with babies, especially from the elders around you. You have to do this so that your baby will be like that. Don’t do that so your baby will not be like this. Seriously, I’m getting tired of hearing all these things. It’s just that I don’t really believe in superstitions so let’s apply number 5, your baby, your rules. But it wouldn’t hurt to try noh.
7. MOM NEEDS MOM. When I blogged about how I always wanted to talk to my mom when I got married, I didn’t realize it will even get more intense when I became a mom too. My mom and I never really got along well for most parts of my life while growing up. We usually disagree on a lot of things but I never thought I’d think of her parenting skills as a role model to what I am portraying to my son. Now I would always ask for her suggestions and opinions before I make my decision.
8. YOU WORRY 1000x MORE THAN YOU DID BEFORE. Suddenly, you see a red mark on your little one. Is it a mosquito bite? An insect bite? An injection? Does it hurt him? It is dangerous? There could be a simple reason behind that red mark, but you will always think about the worst case scenario. That’s paranoia… Um, I mean, motherhoood.
9. YOUR STRENGTH, YOUR WEAKNESS. Once you become a mom, your family, your husband, you child… They will be your everything. They will be the ones to give you strength to last throughout the day, they will be your motivation to finish what you started. But they can also be your weakness. Your sick baby can make you ditch work any day, any time.
10. NOT LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT. It’s not true when they say moms fall in love with their babies at first sight. The truth is, we, moms, fall in love with our babies the moment we find out we’re pregnant. We fall deeper much in love when we hear their heartbeat for the first time, when we feel their first kick. And no matter what happens, we, moms, will always be in love with our little ones and they will always be our babies even when they grow old.
Being a mom is not an easy task. Actually, it’s hard because we have to make sure the family stays full, the house stays clean and in order, and most of all, we have to make sure they all feel loved and taken well care of. But even if it is the hardest job in the world, even if I don’t get paid for it, I would give up everything in a second if it means I can take care of my family for the rest of my life.
Thank you Mommy Nel, for the guest post. To follow Mommy Nel’s adventures, head on to her website mommahlicious.com
To my dear readers, let me know if you would like to contribute an article, a poem, or even a song you composed, so that we can share it with our fellow moms. You may get in touch with me by dropping by my Facebook page. Hope you can also hit the like button while you are there so you can receive regular updates from Happypinaymommy.com direct on your newsfeed.
Thank you so much!
A Happy Homemaker is a Happy Pinay Mommy!
Leaving you with this video on being a new mom: