The moment you realize you’re pregnant, something shifts in your mind. Your priorities change instantly and your baby becomes the most important person in the world to you.
You love them even before they’re born, even before they’re anything more than a pea-sized, barely noticeable spot on your scan. And as soon as you know you’re having a baby, you’ll begin preparing for the moment of their arrival.
However, no matter how well you prepare yourself or how much you learn about the baby’s first months, you’ll surely get your fair share of baby-related surprises and challenges of being a new mom.
In case you’re worried about this part of motherhood and you’re unsure of how exactly you’ll handle it, here is some precious advice to guide you.
Give yourself time to adjust
Whatever you do to get ready for that moment when you bring your newborn home and are left alone with them, it simply won’t be enough.
It’s important to know that this is not in any way your shortcoming or failure. It’s simply that this is a completely new situation in which you’re supposed to do your best.
This doesn’t mean that you have to know everything and do everything flawlessly from the very beginning. In fact, a lot of the time you’ll feel as if you’re just trying to stay afloat.
Your baby will cry for no apparent reason, they might refuse to eat when you think that they should be fed, or you may think you’re overfeeding them.
You might end up awake night after night, trying to calm down your screaming infant before they wake up the entire neighborhood.
There are no strict rules when it comes to babies and you’ll definitely need some time and space to learn what your little one is asking for with this cry or that one. And yes, you’ll learn all the different types of cries in a while.
The key is not to beat yourself up about not knowing what to do each time and that you understand that your best is more than enough for your little one.
Don’t be shy to ask for advice
It can’t be stressed enough that you can’t know everything straight away and that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
Actually, if you hide it or are embarrassed of talking about it, you may do more harm than good to yourself and your newborn.
If you need any sort of first-hand information or advice about being a new mother and all you’ll have to face in this role, who better to talk to than other mothers?
Some of your close friends or family members have probably gone through exactly what you’re going through right now, which you can take advantage of and ask them whatever you’re curious about.
If this is not the case, or if you don’t feel comfortable enough talking to them about what’s troubling you, there are some other options.
For example, you can now find some amazing apps for moms, allowing you to talk to other mothers on any topic.
These apps are great for chats and group conversations between mothers, but they also provide you with the opportunity to meet some of these women and maybe even form some new friendships.
Sharing your experiences and realizing that there are many like-minded women out there may result in you not feeling isolated and desperate in your efforts to be a great mother.
Don’t neglect yourself
Your baby is bound to become the usurper of your time.
They need care and attention all the time, and when you combine that with how strongly you love them and want to be there for everything they need, you’ll soon find yourself completely immersed in motherhood.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you also find time for self-care, both mental and physical. This isn’t only important for your own well-being, but also your newborn’s, since every baby needs a healthy and happy mother.
So, if you need a shower, put your baby to sleep in a place visible from your bathroom, so that you can have your baby in sight while in the shower.
Take a short walk every day, put on makeup if it makes you feel good, take your ten minutes to have a cup of coffee uninterrupted, or simply to call your friends and have a chat.
You can do these things while your baby is asleep, while your partner is taking care of them, or you can ask your parents, siblings or closest friends to help you with your infant, so that you can take an afternoon nap when you need one.
Also, if your breast are aching or your nipples are cracked and bleeding, make sure you care for them properly, to avoid any complications down the road.
One of the problems of being a new mother is that it may look like other women are doing a much better job than you, that they have complete control over the situation and that they’re approaching motherhood with ease.
Their children might be calmer than yours, they might cry less, gain weight faster or start sitting, talking and walking sooner than your little one.
If this is something that’s left you feeling inadequate, just remember that things aren’t always what they appear. Those seemingly perfect mothers have struggles of their own, even if they’re not sharing them with you.
Plus, you should never compare your child and your family with other children and families. There is no perfect person, child or family, so don’t let that bother you.
In addition, you shouldn’t spend too much time dwelling over the fact that you can’t keep your home clean and tidy all of the time, or that you still can’t get into the clothes you wore before pregnancy.
You have mood swings? You have doubts? You sometimes get seriously angry or sad? It’s all fine, and it’s not just you. It happens to most new moms and it’s something you should accept.
Finally, it’s also acceptable to tell any of your friends that you’re not ready for them to visit. Taking care of your newborn can be stressful and demanding, and that’s something even people without children should understand and respect, so don’t pressure yourself into entertaining guests when you don’t feel like it.
As rewarding as becoming a mom can be, it doesn’t come without its challenges and dilemmas. So, give yourself the time, space and patience to deal with them and always remember that you’re the most important person in that infant’s life.
If they could talk, they’d most likely say that you’re the best mother this world has ever had.
Luke is a fitness, health and travel blogger. He is editor in chief at blog Ripped.me and one of the contributors at blogs Traveltalk and Chispa Magazine.
He follows the trends in fitness, gym and healthy life and loves to share his knowledge through useful and informative articles.