Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.
As a first time parent, every single person who has had a child in your life will give you advice. Some of it will be valuable (most of the time) and some of it will be outdated and not in line with the research of today. You will feel overwhelmed and awed at the advice given to you before you have your first baby, and it’s easy to get swept up in the feeling of drowning that comes with being a new parent. It’s scary and exhausting: you’re about to be hit by a train and then handed a baby to raise. With all the advice from seasoned mothers, do you really need anymore?
Of course, you do!
You are entering a phase of your life where you need a village, and that village comes with words of wisdom. The discoveries that you will make as a parent don’t stop at pregnancy. You have years of learning things about yourself that you didn’t know existed, and you won’t believe us after this list. There are so many new things that a parent discovers about themselves; it’s how you grow as a person, by learning. So, are you ready to dive in?
Below, you’ll find a list of things that they don’t tell you about motherhood, but we’ve decided that you need to know them. Let’s go!
- You Won’t Sleep, But You Will Function
When people hit you with baby horror stories (aren’t they so helpful?), they start with “you will never sleep.” Of course, they’re correct. Even if your baby sleeps well – for a baby, at least – you’ll still not sleep because instinctively, your brain is listening out for any predators. It’s a natural thing; you won’t find eagles swooping down to grab your baby. You will likely survive on 2-5 hours of very broken sleep in those first few months, but you will be able to function. Your body puts you through a lack of sleep in the third trimester to get you ready for these early baby days. With the right support, a brand new coffee machine and somewhere comfortable to rest, you’ll manage. Honest.
- Diapers? Easy Peasy
The contents may not be easy peasy to look at, but diapers are easy. You don’t have to do a diaper to know how to do one, either. A couple of YouTube tutorials and you’re good to go! A baby goes through many different substances in their diaper, from the black tarry first poops, to the brown and solid “yay, we are on solids” poops. You will become very acquainted by the health of your new baby simply by assessing their poop. Diapers on a newborn and then a toddler are very different situations. It’ll feel like trying to change a glass vase with a newborn at first – they look fragile. For a toddler? Try and put a diaper on a cat. Tutorial over.
- You Shouldn’t* Wake A Sleeping Baby
Okay, so we put an asterisk on this because some babies do need to be woken to eat. Breastfed babies who haven’t reached birth weight will need to be woken for a feed and that won’t change for a while. However, over time, your baby is going to settle into their own nap and bedtime routines, and this is going to be where you don’t wake them unless you absolutely have to wake them. We’re talking fire, flood, raging bull coming through the house. Babies need to sleep and if they are hungry, uncomfortable, insecure or sad, they will let you know with a rip-roaring scream.
- You Won’t Want To Party
People don’t tell you this bit because motherhood won’t seem as exciting if it feels like you have to shut the door on your old life. The thing is, you will want to shut that door – you just won’t believe it until you have a baby to look after. Motherhood is so many things, and the days you would spend on the dancefloor in a bar or a club just don’t compare to the time that you’ll spend with your new baby. The other issue? Your tolerance for alcohol may completely change after you’ve had your new baby – there’s a chance you won’t be able to tolerate it at all!
- Silence? You’ll Crave It
It’s not something that parents like to admit. We all love our children, that much is true. However, children are relentlessly noisy and they can’t always help it. The moments of silence are moments you will crave – because they rarely happen. You will become acquainted with moments of sheer bliss that when the children are asleep, you’ll love the lack of noise. It’s going to be a weird feeling for you!
- You’ll Learn To Love Cheesy Parties
Every single person says that they won’t do it before they become a parent, and then they have a baby and boom: themed birthday parties. Children’s parties are not something that many tolerate well – especially if they don’t have children. They’re loud both in color and noise, and before you have children, there is every chance that you detest a kids party with a passion. Then you have your own, Pinterest is downloaded and life just seems to make sense!
- Oversharing Is A Second Language
The moment you identify another new parent, the floodgates open and oversharing occurs. You think nothing of telling the other person about your three-day labor that ended in forceps, an episiotomy and a lot of drugs. And that’s before they’ve even said hello! You’ll overshare with others in the same boat as you, and you’ll overshare photos on social media, too.
- You Will Feel Guilty
Every moment of the day, you’ll wish you did something different or something more, and mother’s guilt will rear its very ugly head. Did you give the baby enough hugs? Should you have left them to cry for a moment? Did they eat enough? Guilt, guilt, guilt. And you really won’t be able to help it. The guilt will eat you up even when you don’t want it to, but don’t worry. Plenty of other mothers are going to be in the same position as you, and it makes it easier to bear. You only want the very best for your kids, so the guilt comes with a territory.
- You Will Locate Every Single Toilet In A 5-Mile Radius
When you were pregnant, it didn’t seem to matter so much. Now? You have now given birth and your pelvic floor muscles just ain’t what they used to be! So, before you go anywhere, you’ll now scout all of the toilets within five miles, and you’ll likely frequent most of them!