It’s easy to become overwhelmed as a first or anytime parent. Your visions of cuddling with your baby and watching some favorite films may not match the messy reality. But before you get too worried, the challenges of motherhood are definitely worth it in the end, and here are some common ones so you can prepare yourself before your little one arrives!
1. Forget Private Time
You’ll pretty much be saying goodbye to time for yourself once your baby arrives. Even when he or she is napping, you’ll have clothes to clean, bottles to sterilize and a house to deal with. Remind yourself it won’t always be this hectic and enjoy your baby while he or she is at that age.
2. Accept Being Tired
Throughout the first year, your baby’s sleeping may be erratic, and even good sleepers will still wake up at odd times for food or out of teething pain. Get sleep when you can, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t keep up with every household chore.
3. Breastfeeding Is Harder Than It Looks
Those classes you took may make breastfeeding seem like a walk in the park, but it can take weeks to get it right. Express milk for your baby to drink if you’re having issues at the start.
4. Learn Sleeping Patterns
Manage your baby’s sleeping patterns so both of you can get some rest. Experiment so you can discover what your baby needs to go to sleep. For instance, if he or she can’t sleep in the stroller for long periods, you’ll need to try to make sure you’re home and near a crib during normal extended nap times.
5. Remember No Two Babies Are Alike
Even twins may not have the same exact habits or patterns, so don’t fret if what works for friends and family doesn’t work for you. Learn about your baby by observation, and use that information to make your days run more smoothly.
6. Worrying Is Normal
Your baby is naturally the most important human being in your world right now. Remember that it’s perfectly normal to worry and fret about him or her, and don’t get too down on yourself for it!
7. Priorities Are Going To Change
Some of the plans you made before the birth, such as when you’re going to return to work, may not seem so inviting after your baby is born. Make decisions you’re comfortable with that reflect your current feelings, and don’t pressure yourself to stick to plans you had before your little one arrived.
8. Prior Life Will Become Distant
It can be hard to imagine life without your baby once he or she is here. Remember that this is totally normal and to be expected, and after all, change isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
9. The Relationship With Your Partner Must Change
The workload has to be balanced between the two of you once the baby arrives. If you’re staying home with the baby while your partner works, for instance, he or she still has to pitch in when home. Ask your partner for help and be honest about what you can handle. While it can be hard to ask for assistance when your partner works all day, you’re also doing a very tiring and demanding job, so the workload has to be split.
10. Embrace The Baby Love
Maybe you secretly rolled your eyes every time a coworker brought out baby pictures, but now you’ll wonder why you felt that way. Once you have a baby of your own, it’s easier to understand the appeal and how other parents feel. Embrace your new found baby enthusiasm, and feel free to share!