Happy Monday to all! I hope you all had a nice cozy weekend. For me, it was quite exhausting! Attempted to go Christmas shopping, but failed miserably because the crowd gave me a huge migraine and I just wanted to go home right after! I really do not like busy crowds!
The other day I was just thinking about myself as a mother, and how it has been the past 2 years. The thoughts, worries, and expectations I used to have, and comparing them today. When I was pregnant, and even before that, I used to think a parenting must be easy for a lot of folks. Boy, was I sooo wrong! Maybe I felt this way because I came from a really small family, and there weren’t many babies or small children younger than me. Out of my cousins, I’m pretty much the youngest. I’m also the only child, so I never really saw how it is or was to nurture young children. I want to apologize for thinking that way now! Then when I became pregnant, I had a lot of worries about what to do or how to do things, and reading online articles and a few baby books put me into ease, and I thought to myself “I think I got this..It will all be fine.” Boy was I wrong..AGAIN!
No matter how many articles or books you have read, or questions you may ask been there done that moms, nothing will ever compare to REAL-LIFE-HANDS-ON-EXPERIENCE! So…To my fellow new and expecting parents..
Here are a few things I wish I knew and prepared for before becoming a parent:
1) SAVE SAVE SAVE : Save every penny you have. Whether you came from a wealthy family or not, whatever money you have worked for, or working for, before and after having a baby, SAVE IT. You’ll never know what will/can happen once you start your family. Whether it’s moving costs, hospital bills, or just the expenses of baby supplies, you’re going to need every penny. Not only that, it’s never too early to save up money for your child’s college funds. Also, you are going to want to enroll your children into art, dance, music, or sports, and that can all add up.
2) Don’t take sleep for granted: I was so used to running on little to no sleep during my pre-mommy college days. I’d stay up all night either studying, partying, or watching endless hours of Netflix. Sleep did not matter much during my pre-mommy days. Then when I became pregnant, you’d think sleeping would be comfortable. NOPE! My baby is a night owl, he did not move or kick much during the day, but when I was finally laying down to go to sleep, that’s when he wanted to dance inside my tummy. It’s quite funny, because he’s still a night owl up until this day. Get your full night’s rest, not just because you’re preparing to have a baby, but for your own health too. Once your bundle of joy arrives, goodbye 8 hours of sleep, and say hello to 2-3 hours (maybe if you’re lucky you’ll get 4) of sleep a day.
3) Take care of your body: Just because you are pregnant, please do not think you can eat a tub of ice cream, large french fries, 2 double doubles and a box of chocolates (even though they all sound really good). Then you plan on losing all the weight when the baby arrives because you’ll be breastfeeding, and you’ll finally start working out. It’s not as easy as it may sound. Sure, you’ll be breastfeeding, but for many moms it’s really tough to find time to work out, when you can’t even find time to nap. I’m still struggling to lose weight, and find the time to workout and it’s been 2 years since I’ve had Nathan. I wasn’t at the best of shape before I had him, and I really regret that. I used to have a lot of time on my hands before I had him, and I really wish I didn’t waste it on “going out” all the time. Whether you’re planning to have a baby or not, still take care of your body. It’s also very hard to be sick and to take care of a baby. It’s just the worst of days.
4) Attend breastfeeding classes: Breastfeeding is a learned skill. My OB recommended for me to take breastfeeding classes and I really wish I had listened. I thought I would be ready because of watching videos online and reading books. I also thought that it would all be natural and I’ll be able to breastfeeding without any problems. I was also wrong with that. Sure, books will tell you about engorgement, but it will not prepare you for let-downs, sore and cracked nipples, and mastitis! Ask plenty of questions and seek a lot of advice before giving birth. You may think you got this (and hey, you probably do!) but sometimes, you’ll just forget.
5) Less is more:
Just like many first-time parents I was excited for all the baby gear and adding them to my registry! I added plenty of items, and received most of them. Also, my husband and I bought plenty more of other things we now rarely use. For example, we did not need a countless of bibs and burp clothes, a bassinet, 2 bouncers, 2 sets of the diaper genie, 2 sets of a boppy, and oh goodness..a playpen! We thought we would need one of each for our place, and for our in-law’s place, but we hardly even spent time over at our in-laws that it was all just unused. Think about the space you have, and what you really feel like you can use for the long run.
6) Not to expect: Sometimes things will not go the way as planned, and that is A-okay! Somethings are better off going with the flow than making sure every schedule is followed. You will lose your sanity expecting things to be perfect. Especially when you have a small child. You can plan out when feeding and nap time will be, but bedtimes, and family outings can still be up in the air. And that is okay! Expecting a day to be perfect can just cause a lot of stress between you and your spouse. Sometimes, it’s alright to just let things flow. The mess really can wait.
7) It’s okay to say “no”: Before I had my son, I felt compelled to say yes to every event I was invited to. My family and I tried attending every event, but some days really wore us out. Also, it can hurt your wallet, and throw off your baby’s entire schedule. So, it’s alright to say no. Sure, Aunt Betty (made up name lol) is in town, but just invite Aunt Betty over so she can see the baby. Many people will tell you “Come over! We want to see the baby!” We would love for you to see our baby too, but you can always come over instead!
8) Organize, clean, and fix: EVERYTHING and ANYTHING you own, have, and don’t need or use. It will be difficult to find the time to work on small projects around the home, so try to do it all before the baby arrives. Putting off a lot of home projects will just eventually be forgotten.
9) Practice patience: No really, practice a lot of it with your nieces, nephews, students, cousins, younger siblings or just with anyone! Especially with your spouse, as well. You will really really need it and wish you had more some days.
10) Buy a mattress cover: There will be plenty of explosive diarrhea, accidental milk spills, and peeing on the bed shenanigans once your child arrives. On your bed, their crib mattress, and on the couch. So be prepared to see it, smell it, and wash it all!
One thing that I must say that I am happy to not have learned or experienced before I became a parent is the constant, genuine, and unconditional love you receive from your child. I am so happy and so blessed to experience the love my son gives to me. It’s surprise everyday that I love to experience. The big bear hugs and kisses, his smiles and laughs, and when he say’s “mama”. Ohh how all of those melt my heart, and I just love it all.