First Time Parents: Things That No One Tells You
Posted on August 02 2018
Becoming a first-time parent is one of the most exciting times in many people’s lives! You are welcoming your little bundle of joy into the world and starting your own family. While this is an incredibly exciting time, most new parents also experience some sort of anxiety over what to expect. You may question if you have everything prepared, when you will ever get a good night of sleep again, and how in the world you will calm a crying newborn. Don’t worry! These feelings are all super normal, and while you try to prepare as best as you can, there are always things that no one tells you.
Let’s talk about what it’s really like to be a new parent, the good, the bad, and the ugly.
It Can Get Lonely: After having a baby, it’s common to feel lonely. Maybe your significant other went back to work and you are home alone with the little one. It’s totally normal to feel isolated and lonely. Some moms even grieve their social life as they adjust to motherhood. Having a newborn at home often means you will have one-way conversations. To get you through the lonely patch of parenthood, reach out to some local mom groups! It can be super refreshing to get out of the house and have some adult interaction after being home alone with the baby all day. It’s also a great idea to plan some “you time.” Maybe you can set up some time that your significant other can watch the baby, or a trusted loved one so you can get out and pamper yourself a bit. A manicure and pedicure can do amazing things for a new mom who feels trapped at home with a baby. You will come home feeling like a new mommy.
Breast milk Doesn’t Come in Right Away: For a lot of new moms, it is strange to know that your breast milk won’t come in immediately. It can take a couple of days. After giving birth, your body has the amazing ability to provide your baby with powerful colostrum which is exactly what they need to thrive for those couple of days until your milk comes in. When it does come in, expect some leaking and invest in breast pads! Don’t be shocked to wake up in a puddle of breast milk or experience milk leakage through your shirt, all totally normal, just surprising for new moms.
New Moms Get Hungry! Think your pregnancy hunger will go away after birth? For many new moms, that hunger sticks around during what’s called the “fourth trimester.” For breastfeeding mommas, those hunger pains can be real! Feel free to have your favorite takeout food place on speed dial, and line up some friends to bring you a warm homemade meal after baby arrives. Homemade food can be the greatest gift for new parents. Eating a hot meal can quickly become a distant memory, so enjoy it while you can.
Phantom Crying is Real: If you or the new dad in the house think you hear crying, but the baby is fast asleep, you’re not crazy, it’s called phantom crying. This often happens when you go to lay down for bed and quickly jolt up thinking your little one is awake. Don’t worry, this does go away.
You Will Worry: Even if you aren’t a natural worrier, you will worry. Bringing your precious bundle of joy into this world is scary, so don’t be surprised if you become a worry wart, especially when they are so tiny.
Watch out for Mom Shaming: Sadly, mom shaming is something that happens far too often. With social media today, it is so easy for everyone to share their opinion about every single decision you make. Don’t feel pressured by anyone, and do what works best for you and your family.
It’s Ok if You Don’t Lose the Weight Right Away: Many new moms have an expectation to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight within a couple of months. When baby comes, and things get crazy, you may not have time to exercise as much as you wanted. That’s ok! Remember that it took 9 months to put all the baby weight on and you just created a human. Give yourself that time to lose the weight. If you feel more comfortable in your maternity pants lounging around the house for a while, go for it. Don’t put pressure on yourself to be back into your pre-pregnancy jeans right away. The most important thing is to nourish your body with healthy food and take care of yourself. The weight will come off. In the meantime, spoil yourself with some new clothes that you feel confident in.
It May Be Awhile Before You Have a Date Night: When you bring a baby home, these precious little humans have a way of making mommy and daddy time slim to none in the early months. The best thing you can do is come up with a plan before baby arrives. Commit to having a date night in once a week. Even if it just means heating up a pizza in the oven and watching your favorite show.
You’ll Totally Forget About the Pain of Pregnancy & Labor Once you settle into new parenthood, you and your partner may turn to each other and say, “we are never doing this again!” Between the agonizing months of pregnancy, the pain of labor and delivery, the recovery, and the sleepless nights, you may think you never want to go through it again. But, when your beautiful baby smiles at you or says “momma” and “dada” for the first time, and all the beautiful moments in-between, you quickly forget just how hard it is, and may want to expand your wonderful family.
Everything is Just a Season: Lastly, being a new parent can be a total shock for most. You are handed this beautiful new baby, and are sent home with no instruction manual on how to care for a teeny tiny human! Remember that when times seem almost impossible to get through, that everything is just a season. Each season passes so very quickly, so try to cherish each moment, the good, the bad, and the trying times.