Things All Mommies Should Know!
Submitted by Amruta Pravin
When I thought about what I wanted to write, all that occurred to me was something a new or first time mom could read and not feel so bad about herself. Some of these are obvious and some not so! When I first came to know that I was pregnant, I was totally unprepared. And yes it does make a difference. When you plan a baby, even though you don’t know how exactly motherhood will turn out, you at least have a mental preparation that you want to step into those “MOM” shoes. But when the baby just happens, it becomes quite difficult to cope with all the overwhelming emotions, fears and anxieties. It takes you a good couple of months to set your mind to it and by the time you accept being pregnant, its time to give birth
So here are a few things that every mom should know! (and if you already do know, at least you know you’re not alone)
You’ll still look and feel pregnant for a while:
Thanks to these stars and celebrities we look upto, I thought I would stop looking and feeling pregnant immediately. Well personally I had put on 30 kgs during my pregnancy and I knew I wasn’t going to fit into my pre-pregnancy jeans so soon, but I had atleast thought that I would get rid of my big belly and big boobs. But guess what? My belly looked like a deflated balloon (but still a balloon) and my boobs looked bigger than ever to prepare me for my breastfeeding journey. Your body has done something amazing and is still in shock, give it some time to start feeling like itself.
Sleep when the baby sleeps:
My mom advised this to me when I had my baby. Trust me you are going to need that rest more than you know. Especially during the first 3 months, you need to take every opportunity to sleep because you probably getting sleepless nights. I feel the only reason I got through those initial months was because I actually did this !
Do not fret about the weight and the way your body looks:
This one is personal! I struggled with the lowest self-esteem after I had my baby. Let me tell you why. Being a fitness instructor, people always looked up to the way my body looked and aspired to have a similar physique. So after I had the baby, I couldn’t look at my fat, flabby body with zero tone and definition. For months I wouldn’t look at myself in the mirror or get out of the house unless needed to. And I so regret this today. What I failed to understand then, is that my body had done something so awesome and miraculous and I should be proud of my scars and not ashamed.
Breastfeeding may not necessarily be a walk in the park:
I had the toughest breastfeeding journey with inverted nipples, abscess and pus. No I am not scaring you, but you need to accept that breastfeeding may not always be so peaceful like it is shown in pictures. It gets easier but for some it may actually be quite tough. Also a lot of articles you read and also moms may say that they lost all their weight breastfeeding, but it didn’t happen to me. Yes, you do burn a lot of calories breastfeeding but you are also consuming atleast 2000 calories a day. But it gets easier, I promise you. It got easier for me and will for you too!
Do not exercise while you breastfeed:
This is a myth. You can totally workout at a moderate pace and it will not affect your breast milk production /supply at all.
You can handle more than you think:
Motherhood is a true testament to multitasking. Initially it may feel like you are losing your mind, but trust me, half the battle is won by just scheduling and re-prioritizing everything in your life. Once you’ve got that down, you’ll be surprised at how much you can actually get done.
There is no right or wrong way to motherhood:
As a new mother, you will get unlimited, unwanted advice. Advice from your mom friends, non-mom friends, neighbour aunty, neighbour aunty’s mother in law, neighbour aunty’s dog, etc. Stop right there, don’t let any of this affect you. Remember people will judge you no matter what you do, so just do it anyway. You want to exclusively breastfeed, you want to use formula, you want use disposable diapers, you want to use cloth diapers, you want to get back to work asap, you want to be a stay at mom, etc. Just do it. Because no matter what you do, there will always be someone telling you that you can do something else better! All the unsolicited advice will leave you feeling overwhelmed, but remember you are a mom who knows what’s best for their child. And a mom will never ever choose the wrong thing. There is no right or wrong, we learn throughout this journey of motherhood.
It’s ok if your house and you are a mess:
It’s not easy to manage a baby or stay up all night tending to the baby. So in the process if your house or you end up looking like a mess, it is totally okay. Your priorities right now are the baby and your well-being and health. So don’t worry if your living room looks like as if a tornado went through it and your eyebrows look like a caterpillar threw up on them.
You may not bond with your baby immediately:
Yes, and that is completely normal. Don’t worry if you don’t have instant tears of joy at the sight of your baby or if you don’t feel an instant connection or love for the baby. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. Remember for the whole span of 9 months, you have had all eyes on you, tending to your smallest of requests and suddenly overnight, no one asks for you and all the attention you were getting is suddenly focused on that little baby of yours. It is natural to feel a little jealous of this thanks to the overflowing surge of hormones through your body. You will eventually feel immense love for your baby and that connection you long for.
On another note, if your feelings of “no love” for the baby should continue, please make sure to tell your doctor, you may be in need of professional help.
Give your body time to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight:
I know I already addressed this above, but it is crucial for new moms to know that weight loss will eventually happen with the right diet and exercise. I know as moms we are perpetually tired but you need to squeeze in exercise at least thrice a week. If you have the luxury to leave your baby behind and go to a gym, use it. My baby is 2 years and now finally I am nearing the body that I would like to have. So remember, its not a race. Your body will take its own time and in the meanwhile you need to respect it with good nutrition and exercise.
Mom guilt is real and will never cease:
Mom guilt is now a part of your personality and it is NEVER going away. Whatever you do, feel or talk you will be attacked by your mom guilt and its okay. Don’t feed your guilt. Take time out for yourself, go to that spa you’ve been meaning to. Get back to work if you wish to, cry out loud, scream with frustration at the baby, let the baby “cry it out”, etc. Just know you are only human. And it is normal to feel despair and frustration. Take time out for yourself, because once you have that “me time” you can go back to being a mom with renewed sanity and will power. Go have that girls night out, because mommy YOU TOTALLY DESERVE IT!
I am no expert, but I did write this based on what I went through and concurred over. So just hang in there, you are not alone! You are amazing, beautiful, strong and the best mom your baby will ever have.
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About the Author
Amruta Mairpady is a physiotherapist, zumba fitness instructor and mom blogger. From being totally unprepared to have a baby to learning all that motherhood throws at her, she tries to document her journey through all the ups and downs. She and her husband share their home in Mangalore with one extremely naughty daughter and a passion to travel everywhere before they die!
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this post are the personal views of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of The Mom Store