While I was pregnant I heard so many horror stories! Women love to tell horror stories to new mothers. Stories of how terrible their birth was, how much they threw up their dinners, how little they would sleep, how much they went to the bathroom. The stories are endless! But that’s all they are, they are only stories. Every pregnancy is different, every baby is different, and the majority of the time it’s your attitude that will determine how it all plays out.
So, I decided to write on the things that I learned that really matter.
–Just a side note, I did receive many wonderful words of encouragement and very helpful advice too! There is something beautiful about women and pregnancy and the connection it creates between us. Motherhood is a common thing to talk about and there are so many support groups out there for new mothers and mothers-to-be! Just a couple of groups that I am in or have attended are the La Leche groups, MOPS groups, and Homeschooling Moms. Plus many churches have bible groups for mommies.
Here’s what I learned!
- The morning sickness and the pain is not fun but it doesn’t lessen our joy of becoming a mother! If nothing else, it’s a reminder that our baby is growing inside us. I remember puking my guts out the morning of my birthday and still thinking of all the different names I could give my baby. I was so excited! I remember on Thanksgiving I was looking like a stretched balloon and my baby was digging in my ribs but I was so happy because I could feel my baby digging in my ribs! It’s all about how you look at the situation and the attitude you maintain.
- Stocking up on supplies does save a lot of stress BUT no need to go overboard, your baby will love you despite the products you didn’t buy. There were a couple of ladies who were pregnant the same time as me and I can remember just getting so jealous of the new baby products they were buying! Vulli Sophie
la Girafe, the 4Moms Mamaroo, a designer diaper bag, custom painted mural for the baby room, etc. The products out there for babies are endless! The baby industry is constantly coming out with newer, shinier, bigger, things. Sometimes I look at these products and think “if only I had thought of this first”. It’s like the Iphone industry. Just when you finally get the money and buy the new version of the Iphone a newer version will come out the next week! WHAT! So, it took me a while to learn this but the thing is my baby girl doesn’t care if she has Sophie the Giraffe or the knock off elephant version. She doesn’t care if she has the 4Moms Mamaroo or a generic graco swing as long as something swings her! However, the one thing I did splurge on was her travel equipment because we did travel often. We bought the Eddie Bauer® TriTrek Travel System FLARE after we heard some glowing reviews from friends and family. We are pretty please with the system. The car seat is large so that it can fit babies of all sizes which I love! We never had the problem of Yvette growing out of her car seat. Eventually we did buy a toddler rear facing car seat even when she still had not outgrown her infant one. I believe that car seat can carry a 30lb baby! My daughter is 15 months and still hanging around the 22lb range. With that being said, the large car seat does make it harder to carry around your infant as they age but that’s what baby wearing is for. The only other complaint I have is that the car seat doesn’t lock onto shopping carts at Target so I was either forced to do some baby wearing or set the carseat in the cart. –I included a picture below of my daughters Elephant and her miniature Sophie the Giraffe. If nothing else, I do recommend buying the miniature because it’s easier for little hands to hold and chew. Yvette stilll teethes on that giraffe at 15 months!
- Babies do become extremely attached to us but isn’t it great to know that our baby wants to be around us 24/7 even if we haven’t taken a shower in a week!?! As new mothers, we could repel our husband out of the room with our stench but our little baby still wants us! It’s a sweet feeling to know that someone needs me and depends on me all hours of the day.
- You may be in a bad mood but once you look at your baby and see the huge smile on their chubby face every worry seems to lessen significantly. When I’m in one of my ‘moods’ my husband brings Yvette to me and says “I think you need some baby therapy”. Why yes I do! 😙
- You do lose precious hours of sleep, but, it is nothing compared to how precious those moments are with your child. We would get the comment “get all the sleep you can while you still have the chance” with a winkey face almost daily! I look back to that comment now and just don’t understand. Why scare new parents into thinking that they will get no sleep? A baby is a blessing. As experienced parents we should be encouraging those soon-to-be mammas, not scaring them! Let’s be honest, when you’re as pregnant as I was, you’re not going to be getting much sleep anyways! Talk about back pain and having to use the bathroom every hour.
- It’s great to be excited about the future but try not to wish away your babies youth. There would be times when my husband or myself would say “man I can’t wait when…..” and now we look back and say “remember when…” Those moments go by way too quickly. Literally in a blink of your eye. I would be so caught up in the excitement of the future that I often would not be living in the present.
- Live intentionally and put down that silly phone already! When my daughter was around six months old I was scrolling through Facebook and I missed an important milestone of my baby pulling herself up on her feet for the first time! I’ll ever get that moment again.
- Get a journal, notebook, baby book, SOMETHING! Even though you say “I’ll remember that, there’s no way I could forget”, because soon those thoughts add up and get thrown into the crevices of your memory bank and then you’ll be saying things like “did she first laugh at 3 months or 4???” The other day I was scrolling through pictures/videos with my hubby of our sweet little girl when she was a newbie and we came across a video of (what we assumed) was her first laugh. However, for the life of us we couldn’t remember where the video was taken or any other facts about it! Thank goodness for the date on the video so that we at least knew how old she was.
- Take advice with a grain of salt because everyone is raised differently: different time, different generation, different situations, different part of the country, different experiences. It’s great to seek advice but I can almost guarantee you’ll forget 90% of it when you’re holding that sweet bundle in your hands for the first time and the rest will come with your own experience. The first couple days can be scary, that’s why it’s good to have your fabulous support team there with you. I have to laugh at some of the advice I received! I had one person I met outside of a store tell me that whiskey would be good for my daughters colic. I suppose 50+ years ago that would have been semi-decent advice but with the medicine and technology that exists now as mothers we can find better options.
- The last point (and probably the most important), whatever you do DO NOT forget your husband. As new mothers, sometimes we forget the other half that helped in creating this miracle! He’s been there for you through thick and thin, he needs you. His needs don’t just stop because another adorable human being entered your life. When I talk of his ‘needs’ I am referring to his emotional well-being. They need encouragement and compliments from us, letting our husbands know that their help doesn’t go unnoticed. When you see that your husband helps with a chore without you telling him, give him a compliment! My husband is not a chore person, let me repeat, MY HUBBY IS NOT A CHORE PERSON! So when I caught him actually helping by doing the dishes the other night I may have fainted…. Okay maybe not. But I did come up behind him to give him a big hug because hugs are his favorite! And no, I’m not referring to the movie Elf although us Zinne’s do love that movie. Hugs are literally my husbands favorite thing. Also, keep in mind that as mammas we obviously have a bond with our little ones that can’t be broken but there will come a time when they will move away from our “nest” and our husband will still be there waiting for us.
These are just a couple of things I’ve learned so far but as a young mommy I have many more years, developments, and experiences to go through.
With that, I’m off to snuggle my baby. ❤
How do you live intentionally as a mommy and/or wife? Please leave a comment below!
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255