Postpartum life has been so unexpected. I love my little man, but I was definitely caught off guard by how much life changes after having a baby. I’ve been very lucky to have support from family and friends, but here are some things I wish someone would have told me BEFORE my little boy arrived.
1. Postpartum Fatigue is REAL
One of the things I’ve noticed is that I’m tired…ALL THE TIME. There never seems to be enough hours in the day and for some reason, I can never sleep soundly enough to feel well rested. I must have skipped that chapter in all those baby books.
2. Your baby will get sick a lot!
One of the things I noticed when sending Jackson to daycare or to one of those kiddie gyms is that he always comes home with a ghastly cough and a runny nose. One of the things I absolutely HATE about being a new mom is trying to suck the snot out of Jackson’s little nostrils and having him scream bloody murder while simultaneously twisting his head in the opposite direction. So to the mom who sent her baby to daycare with a cold…#yousuck!
3. Most conversation with your partner will be about your baby
I can honestly say I talk to my husband about my son 99% of the time. I am constantly preoccupied with what Jackson is eating, when he’s eating it, how to organize his drawers, what he’s learning, and how he’s doing developmentally. The other 1% of our conversations includes talking about the new house, finances, and bickering about whether or not to buy furniture. To be honest, I can’t remember what in the world we ever talked about before…sad, but true.
4. You will be frustrated…often
Being a new mom is a lot of work. If you had a busy life before having a baby or a demanding career, it can be a huge mountain to climb when you rejoin the “real world”. I find myself frustrated on a daily basis and about a wide variety of things. I’m frustrated by how much clutter I have despite cleaning all the time, I’m frustrated by my never-ending to-do list, and I find I have less patience for people who waste the little bit of time I do have. I have my good days and bad days, but I will say I’ve been surprised by my level of frustration postpartum.
5. No one will tell you how much your child should eat
This one really baffles me. Some places will give you guidelines (online forums and helpful magazines), but the official places like the American Academy of Pediatrics or even doctors will rarely tell you exactly how much milk to feed your baby. This is especially challenging when you’re a breastfeeding mom because you don’t know exactly how much your baby is eating and will be super concern about their intake.
6. The contradictions are endless
Use a pacifier. Don’t use a pacifier. Using medicine early is best. Home remedies are best before giving your baby medicine. So…who the hell is right?! You can always ask your parents but remember there was a time where they could ride you around in their car without a seat belt, so they’re liable to tell you to give Junior a little whiskey on his gums to ease his teething woes. You and I both know that giving your baby whiskey for any reason will land you in the slammer. I wish I would have known there was so many schools of thought on just about everything involving your baby.
Experiencing any of this? Well, you’re not alone! I’m sure things will settle down as Jackson gets older and I will be sure to share how things are going and when life becomes a little more manageable. Good luck, Mamas!
Images: Huffington Post, Prevention, Black Hair Information, and BET.