5 Things I Wish I’d Known as a New Mom
Before I had children everyone told me the news: Babies are hard work! Who hasn’t heard that little news flash, right? But, what no one was able to tell me was what exactly was so hard about having a new baby. I mean, sure, there was talk of sleepless nights and rumors of the colic monster, but I found out quickly that there were other challenges of new parenthood that no one had prepared me for. Maybe it’s because we don’t like to talk about these sometimes-too-personal topics or maybe it’s because we tend to forget about them once the haze of new motherhood has lifted. Either way, for new moms going through these challenges for the first time it’s important to know that others have felt the same way and experienced the same hurdles. And, like myself, most of us come through these challenges just fine with a little preparation and a lot of love for our sweet new bundles. So, in an effort to help new moms with these challenges, I’ve made a list of the five things I wish I’d been prepared for as a new mother.
Sleepless Nights are Better Than Napless Days
You know what didn’t surprise me about new motherhood? The sleepless nights! I was totally prepared for that, of course, because everyone tells you all about the sleepless nights. I was not at all prepared for napless days, however. No one told me about those! As a new mother, I desperately needed my son to take naps during the day. Not only did I need to nap, as well, but I had a growing to do list that I could only seem to accomplish without a babe in my arms. My advice to new moms? When your baby won’t nap, spend that time holding him or her and taking in his or her sweet face. The to do list can wait. The frustration over nap time isn’t worth the energy.
Breastfeeding Can Take Some Time to Get Right
No one told me that breastfeeding can take several weeks to get right. I was certain that something was wrong with me or my with my son when it took us nearly 10 weeks to work out a consistent latch. We were both persistent and eventually got it, but I spent too much time blaming myself for something that many mothers experience through no fault of their own. My advice to new mothers about breastfeeding? Give it plenty of time and don’t blame yourself if breastfeeding is a challenge.
You May Hate Your Partner at Times
I had no idea the range of emotions I would feel toward my husband after the birth of my oldest son. I felt overwhelming love for him and struggled with frustration toward him within the same hour sometimes! The biggest reason for my fluctuating emotions? Well, besides hormones it was that he didn’t always do things the way I would have done them. Sometimes he did them better, which provoked a new set of feelings. Sometimes I was jealous of him because he got to leave for work. Sometimes I just wanted to be left alone and not feel self-imposed guilt for not having made dinner or cleaned up after a tough, napless day. My advice to new moms? Tell your partner how you feel, but always try to assign positive intent. Don’t assume your partner is purposely doing things differently from you to annoy you, but instead recognize that each parent has a unique way of loving and caring for his or her child.
You May Change Your Mind About Working or Being a Stay at Home Mom
I’d always thought I’d be a stay at home mom, but over my years as a mother I’ve done various combinations of being a stay at home mom, a work at home mom and working outside of the home both full and part time. My advice for new moms? You don’t have to decide right away whether you will work or stay at home. Furthermore, you may find that, depending on your finances and the season of your life, you may change your mind more than once about working or not working while your children are younger.
You Will Rethink Your Financial Plans
We all know babies are expensive. That’s not a secret. (They don’t really get any less expensive as they grow, as my bank account tells me daily!) While I expected my finances to change after my baby was born, I didn’t expect some of the things that I found myself wanting to provide for my children. Within months of my son’s birth I began to think ahead to costs I hadn’t considered before such as preschool, sports, art and music activities and, yes, even college. The list of financial considerations kept growing. My advice for new moms? Be prepared by partnering with a company like COUNTRY Financial®. With a full suite of products that help you through financial challenges of new parenthood and through all of the future stages of your family’s life, COUNTRY Financial® is perfect for your family’s growing financial needs. COUNTRY Financial® has strong family values and has served families for over 90 years. They are financially strong and highly rated by independent insurance rating agencies.
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