Things I wish I'd known as a new mom

There aren't a lot of things I regret about my parenting experience. In fact, I'm happy with the decisions I've made. But when I think about the time my son was a newborn, I can only remember being overwhelmed by how demanding motherhood is. If I could go back in time, I may have gone a little easier on myself as a new mom.

The new mom phase is as exhausting as it is, without having to burden yourself with endless worries. But of course, that's exactly what we do! I know this is what happens to most new mothers. Can't blame them - they are sleep deprived, and have upon them the responsibility of raising a helpless human being.

If there is anything I could do differently when I became a mom, here are some of the things I would tell myself:

The things I wish I could have told myself when I was new mother.

You can leave the baby alone for a few minutes.

I felt that I had to entertain my baby every second he was awake. I felt that if he didn't see me for a few minutes, he would feel neglected, and that would make me a bad mother. This was a very impractical of me, of course, because ordinary things like using the washroom and having food became difficult. I shouldn't have felt guilty about putting him down, or maybe I should have tried babywearing. What happened instead is that I barely had any time to myself for the most basic tasks.

You don't need to have a spotless house.

I'm the kind of person who hates clutter, so I worried constantly about having a clean house. Obviously, that was far from possible with a newborn. I wish I had realized that there would come in time where I could clean the house to my heart's content, but right then I just needed to focus on my baby, who was growing up fast.

You don't have to look hot right now.

I don't think we ever feel as low about our bodies as we do soon after having a baby. I mean, everything goes haywire, and you don't know who you're looking at in the mirror. I wish I hadn't worried about that at all. There were so many other important things to think about, and I definitely didn't need to adhere to the false notion that I should look hot and sexy soon after giving birth. With time, I did become my earlier self - but not completely. My body has changed in many ways, and I'm proud of it, because I brought a child into this world, after all.

You can't always stop a baby from crying.

I tried my best to avoid having my baby cry. I fed him often, and I held him as much as I could. I burped him after every feed, and I rocked him to sleep. Despite that, he cried. It made me feel helpless and horrible. I thought only babies who had pain or discomfort cried, but that's only partially true. Babies cry as a form of communication. They may be sleepy, or cold, or overstimulated, and they'll cry. And there's no actual way to understand why.

The world will still be there when you get back to it.

I worried that everything about my past life was over. I thought I would lose all my friends, and I would never write again, or read a book, or watch a movie. Yes, motherhood brings about some drastic changes and it is overwhelming. Your life will change, but you will appreciate the beauty of it. You will lose a few things, but you will also gain a sense of fulfillment. You will eventually get back on track, even if it is a new you. The world will still be there, and you will find friends - some old, and some new.

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