Being a Mother for the first time has its share of excitement, fear, shock, and frustrating moments, all wrapped in one great experience. It’s a time where you learn many of
Life’s greatest lessons through a lot of trial + error, regardless of the advice given to you by others (solicited + unsolicited), forums you search through, or books you skim page by page. Most things, I’ve learned are learned through a Mother’s instinct, experience, and mistakes made along the way.
Personally, Motherhood is one of those experiences where it makes you smile and scream at the top of your longs, at the same time. Haha! It’s filled with countless cries in the beginning, tons of diaper changes, unbreathable moments, to constant laughs, slight verbiage– that melts your heart (or sets it on fire with the strong “No’s”), running around and pulling down of everything, eating, tantrums, independence, and much more.
Who knew that Motherhood could be so great, right? You could only imagine it beforehand, but living it brings a new level of joy! Granted, it’s definitely a 24/7 type of job, but it’s such an awesome job to have to do, especially during the best moments the include pure love & affection (hugs, kisses, lovey-eyes, etc.).
So let’s Taco bout it……
14 Things I’ve Learned as a First Time Mom:
1. In the beginning (and sometimes throughout), you WON’T use more than 1/2 the Things you buy.
I actually thought that when I had my son, I needed EVERYTHING under the sun for his arrival and throughout, to ensure that I was well prepared. I’m not sure if this is just a “New Mommy’s Fear” moment, but as a result, I got a ton of skin care items, clothes, accessories, bottles, bibs, burp clothes, diaper bags, blankets, stuffed animals, you name it! I got it! But the one thing that I learned was that I never got a chance to use a TON of those things, except for the essentials (diapers, wipes, etc.). Most of his clothes weren’t even touched! During the first 3 months or so, my son wore onesies and easy to put on clothing. Crazy right? Plus, let’s not forget all the bottles that I purchased (which were expensive by the way), that he barely used since he breastfed the entire time and preferred it directly versus in the bottle. Also, those blenders and food processors for baby food? You MIGHT use it, but not always guaranteed! Haha! So much for all of those great buys that were either given away or kept for keep-sake.
2. The sleep situation MAY NOT go as planned. Independent Vs. Co-sleeping.
Funny thing is, in the beginning, I co-slept with my son since it was much easier this way, especially with breastfeeding and constant night-wakings. However, in time, it became harder and harder to transition him into his crib and I found myself co-sleeping with him permanently. As much as co-sleeping is super controversial, I must say that it gladly works for us. Now, that he sleeps throughout the night for the most part, I don’t find it and its super cute to see him get ready for bed every night. I can only hope that the transition to his own bed isn’t super hard once he gets his own room in the future.
3. Breastfeeding MAY last much, much longer than you anticipated.
When I first had my son, I often read that breastfeeding your baby was super important and should happen for at least the first year, if possible. Then after doing more digging, some researchers have stated that the first 2 years are even better. While, breastfeeding has been a great bonding experience, I must say that it is one of the most difficult tasks for a mother. Personally, breastfeeding can be exhausting, sometimes annoying (when you’re trying to get other things done), and great (since you know that you’re child feels safe and is getting the best nutrients). However, I never thought that I would STILL be breastfeeding and he’s almost 2. They say that most babies “ween” on their own, however, mine somehow hasn’t gotten this memo just yet. Haha! Hooray, for Motherhood!
4. Talking starts when your Child says it starts.
Now, that my little guy is at the age of “babbling”, I sometimes find that it is pressure to have your child speaking and speaking FAST! Everyone asks, “Is he talking yet?”, “what words can he say?”, “Is he saying sentences?”. So many questions. So little answers. And while you wonder what’s truly going on in your little one’s head, I know that his cognition is superb! His response to requests, understanding of your conversation with him, tactics to getting you to understand what he wants, etc., let’s me know that he simply just doesn’t want to talk right now. When left unnoticed, he’s on a roll— sings along to his favorite songs or shows, says his few words clearly, picks the correct colors of objects when asked, points to the correct alphabet and so much more. But to talk because you asked? Nope! Not at all.
5. Eating is MESSY!
It’s such a great feeling to see your little one eating his own meal or effortlessly drinking his own drink. However, please be aware that babies/toddlers’ eating habits are messy! VERY MESSY! But I’ve read that it’s a part of their learning. They must feel, throw, squash, smear, and everything else in between, so that they can better understand texture, smell, elasticity, taste, etc. So, get use to it Mamas + Papas! You’ll be cringing throughout the entire process, but it’s necessary! Oh and let’s not forget the amount of times that you’ll be wiping, sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming up after them after EVERY meal. Lysol wipes have now become my new BFFs! You should try it!
6. Your house will NEVER be the same.
Once your little one arrives, you’ll never be able to clean, wash up, or even shower yourself like you use to, at least in the very beginning (and possibly throughout). Afterwards, it gets a little better, but it never comes back full circle! The dishes may stay a bit longer than they would before baby. The garbage will be filled with diapers. There will be lots of toys and baby stuff everywhere. Essential baby large items (like high chairs, bathtubs, cribs, toy chests, storage bins, swings, and anything else), will take over the spaces that were once left freely. And once your little one becomes a slightly “big one” (toddler), you’ll have books and toys and anything else that can be reached EVERYWHERE! Plus, you’ll have to be sure to baby-proof your entire house to keep those little hands from grasping the dangers within your drawers, cabinets, and lower shelves. Trust me, your house will never be the same. Haha!
7. No WILL mean “No”.
This one gets me every time! With a toddler, especially one that has a stronger personality like mine, you’ll learn to understand that “No” truly does mean No. This is around the time that tantrums are more prevalent and independence is the “new thing”. As crazy as it sounds, I’ve learned that by allowing my little guy to feel independent (while setting boundaries, of course) makes everything go more smoothly. I’ve read that defiance is a part of the normal development process, especially once they stem towards age 2, therefore, I don’t allow him to see me “sweat”. Haha! While, my “No” doesn’t always mean “no” for him. His “No’s” are strong and downright….No.
8. You no longer have “personal space”.
I remember the days of being able to use the bathroom so peacefully and quietly. I remember even being able to eat without question and with full satisfaction/ease, sleep at any given time, binge watch tv when I had the chance, be on the computer endlessly on days that I chose, and so much more. Now, are the days that I am constantly accompanied by a little human. Regardless of my little guy being busy with his dad, engulfed in his favorite cartoon show, or playing intently with his toys, the moment I leave the room to just “have a moment”, here comes his little feet, just a few seconds later. Haha! No more are the days of personal space or personal anything!
9. Bath time will be heavenly and hell-like, depending on the day.
I used to think that bathing my little one would be easy! I mean, what is there to lathering up a washcloth, washing his hair (on wash days), rinsing, playing a bit, singing along, etc? Oh, no! It’s HARD sometimes! In the beginning, it use to be hard when he was afraid of the water, but then with time, he got over that! Now, as a toddler, my little guy has his days! Some days are so easy, it feels like a breeze! But then there are those days……..The days where he doesn’t care to be clean as a whistle and especially having to wash his hair. The days where sing-alongs, bath toys, or small talk just doesn’t matter! Oh, the joys of Motherhood! Haha!
10. Monkey see, Monkey Do is a real thing!
We’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. Haha!
11. Holidays feel so much more fun!
When it comes to holidays now, I get super excited. Before, holidays were cool, but having a child definitely makes it cooler! If you’re anything like me and a lover of crafts and creative moments, then you’ll be the one who uses having a child as a pass to fun, especially during the holidays. I love anything that bring my family together and holidays seem to do the trick. On any given day, there will be the museum visits, zoo outings, park plays, daily walks, and loads of other outdoor activities. But holidays make indoors feel fun for sure.
12. There will be a ton of funny little moments that bring real joy.
13. There’s just No Real Right way.
Overall, there just isn’t a right way to parent. Mothering (and Fathering) is best when based on instinct. Regardless of all the resources out there, you just have to know what works for you and your family. With all the possibilities, ups, downs, and full-circle moments, you just have to learn as you. So, just take a deep breath and do you’re best. As long as your little one is happy and feels loved, then you’re best is good enough!
14. Motherhood is one of the greatest jobs available.