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Becoming a First-Time Mom: What They Don’t Tell You

photography by: Lindsey Tatum Photography

You will never be ready for kids. Your life will never be the same. These are the two statements—or some iteration of—that you will hear over and over again before you become a first-time mom. But what they don’t tell you is why you’ll never be ready for kids or how your life will never be the same.

You’ll never be ready for kids because they are entirely unpredictable and each baby is unique. You honestly cannot even begin to imagine their needs, because every baby is so different. Of course, the basics will have to be met—diaper changes, nursing or bottle feeding, and helping them get to sleep—but just how your baby does those things will be unpredictable. So, A) there’s no way to prepare, even if you think you have done so; and B) even when you think you have it figured out and have adjusted, your child will throw a curve ball at you that will send you back to square one.

It’s true that your life will never be the same, but in what ways? How can you expect your life to change? Here are some examples of what I’ve experienced as a first-time mom…

Personal Hygiene

Brushing your teeth and showering have never been so difficult to achieve in your life.

Blow drying your hair and putting on makeup no longer exist. Poof! Gone. Your hair will literally always be in the ever-fashionable, first-time mom bun.

Say hello to pajamas and sweat pants, because your clothes don’t fit anymore. And even if they did, you’re still going to get peed on and spit up on half a dozen times a day.

Home Life

Breakfast consists of items you do not have to cook. It’s like going back to elementary school… did someone ask for cereal? Yes, yes I did.

You should try cooking dinner! It takes at least twice as long, because you’ll have to stop and nurse (maybe more than once), or just hold the baby because they’re feeling clingy.

Your kitchen will perpetually look like a disaster zone. Don’t expect that to change for a long time. The same can be said for the rest of the house, because straightening up or cleaning is a thing of the past.

Your living room couches will become the holders of clean laundry piles, just waiting in mountainous proportions to be folded. And even when they’re folded, it will be impossible to find time to put the clothes away in your drawers quietly without waking up the baby.

As for laundry, it will be never-ending. You’ll do at least one load a day, and if you cloth diaper like me, you might even be looking at two loads a day.

Body Talk

Your booty will never be so sore as it is when you’re a breastfeeding mom! You sit and nurse, sit and nurse, and sit and nurse until it’s numb. I had no idea!

Speaking of your body… nothing is the same. Nothing. And the first time you try and exercise after the baby is born, you’ll be sore for days. Don’t you dare even look at your pre-pregnancy clothes for several months, because they won’t fit. Instead, opt for the first-time mom wardrobe: pajamas, sweats, yoga pants and endless comfy, nursing tanks.

And say goodbye to alcohol if you’re a breastfeeding mom. Your body is now the sole provider for your baby, so you’ve got to keep it clean! Allowing yourself one drink on occasion is possible, if you can time it just right to give yourself proper time to process the alcohol before baby needs to nurse again.

Getting Out of the House—Yeah Right!

Your baby may hate the car, or the stroller, or the carrier. Or if you’re lucky like me, your baby will hate all of the above! Fat chance at getting out of the house now.

Running errands is basically an impossibility. Hello, Amazon Prime!

Sleep (Or Lack Thereof)

As a first-time mom, everyone will tell you to nap when the baby naps. Okay, but don’t expect to be comfortable. The likelihood of you being in an upright position and holding your baby while they sleep is a definite possibility.

And speaking of sleep, what is that? You will literally forget what a REM cycle feels like. I haven’t had one since my son was born!

You’ll get to have the pleasure of being awake for two hours at a time on occasion in the middle of the night when baby has decided they don’t want to go back to bed.

Even when they do go back to bed, they’ll only sleep for a couple hours anyways. (Unless you’re one of the chosen few who get a baby that’s sleeping through the night by three months old. In which case, we can’t be friends.)

They Were Right

You’ll never be ready for kids, they said. Your life will never be the same, they said. Guess what? They were right.

They were also right that every time my baby boy smiles or laughs or reaches out his hand to touch me, that my life doesn’t feel the same—it feels infinitely more blessed and fulfilled by his beautiful presence, and I am grateful everyday that he chose me to be his momma.

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One Response to Becoming a First-Time Mom: What They Don’t Tell You

  1. Diana Keyes August 10, 2018 at 7:24 pm #

    Great article, Melissa! It tells it just the way it is! In fact, if your baby is NOT displaying these traits, there just might be something wrong!!!!!!! It is great to see this all in print, because, until recently, nobody told it like it is–like YOU DID!!!!

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