My son is now almost four years old and looking back, a lot of the newborn stage is a blur to me. That could have something to do with the fact that, like most parents, I was so sleep deprived. I remember stressing about so many things that now, looking back, I wish I hadn’t. Don’t get me wrong, Hopefully new moms can get some encouragement from this!
1. I wish I didn’t stress the lack of sleep. I was so sleep deprived. And this coming from a person who clocks in a regular ten hours of sleep each night. Obviously when my son was born I was getting nowhere NEAR ten hours of sleep. As days went on I had to learn to survive on much less sleep, to take naps when I could get them, and to adjust. The fact is, you’re going to be tired. Seriously tired. But somehow you survive. Through some means, like coffee help or from friends and family, you make it, and then your child grows up and you start sleeping through the night again. Well, almost…. “Mommy?”
2. I wish I didn’t stress losing all the weight. Sitting around eating pans of brownies probably didn’t help my weight gain. After my son was born, I was so stressed about losing all that weight. I felt like my body wasn’t my own and that I would always have those extra pounds on me. I so badly wanted to work out but I couldn’t right away. I didn’t realize how much breastfeeding would help aid weight loss, and once I was all healed and physically able to, I got back on track, to where I wanted to be. Go easy on yourselves. You just made a baby for crying out loud! It takes time, so be nice to yourself!
3. I wish I didn’t stress breastfeeding. When my son was first born and we were still in the hospital, I recall a very unpleasant nurse continually telling me I wasn’t going to be able to breastfeed. I was determined and even though I went through pain, three cases of mastitis, and a lot of tears, I am so proud that I breastfed my son for three years. At the very beginning I was so stressed about him latching on and people telling me I couldn’t do it. If it’s what you want to do, believe in yourself. Find support through a great lactation consultant or a La Leche League group.
4. I wish I didn’t stress the recovery. I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad recovery. My pregnancy was so easy breezy. I didn’t even so much as feel slightly nauseous even once. But my recovery, oh man! It was one for the record books. Without going into all the gory details, it took me a month before I could even walk normally and twelve weeks for me to be cleared from the doctor to go back to any physical activity. I was so stressed out about it. In my hormonal head, I literally thought I was never going to be able to walk again. What is it about those post baby blues that when they kick in, they make us so hard on ourselves? Your body will go back to normal. The pain will ease up. It takes time.
5. I wish I didn’t stress the little things. Like laundry getting done. Like having a clean house. Like the dishes and the dusting. There just isn’t enough time in the day. Let the chores wait a week if they have to. Enlist help of friends, family, neighbors, absolutely anyone who is willing to help you! Just enjoy that baby and get as many cuddles in as you can! The biggest truth about the newborn stage is that they grow so much faster than you think. Literally, you blink and they are walking all over your house. Of all the stages, the newborn stage goes the fastest, and your child becomes an “infant.” So try not to stress things and remember that there is a light at the end of every tunnel. The light at the end of the newborn tunnel is a cute older child who lets you sleep with no diapers in sight. It will happen. 🙂