Seeking Your Insight: Things that Work for Mamas and Babies

I still don’t quite grasp why no one told me how difficult it would be to have a baby.  I guess it’s not cool to throw a bunch of negative comments at a soon-to-be mom, especially when she’s sportin’ that mid-maternity glow and all. Yet, someone could have at least hinted that it wouldn’t all be a joyride, that I’d be treading water sometimes, only to barely keep afloat. I think the lack of forewarning may have made the whole thing even harder on me—because my expectations were completely unrealistic.

Don’t get me wrong—motherhood is a wonderful thing. I love my son more than I’ve ever loved anything or anyone in the over three decades I’ve been alive and able to love. There are times when I’m just basking in all the glories of having a little guy. However, I’ve found myself struggling with the challenges of parenting equally as much.  And, for this reason, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t be one of those moms who pretended to the pregos out there that having a kid was all fun and games.

When I talk to a pregnant mom, I tell it like it is. I confer my congrats, compliment the cute belly, and tell her that being a mother is one of those marvelous miracles you simply can’t understand fully until you’ve done it. But, I don’t stop there. I make sure to mention that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and that I wished someone had told me that—the way I’m telling her.

And, this leads me to the topic of my next couple of posts…

Jacob entered his second year of life a couple of weeks ago. Frankly, part of me feels very proud (and somewhat surprised) that we made it through the first year without any major crises. Sure, we had our moments, but mostly we stayed strong. I’m proud of us both for that…but it wasn’t without trial and error.

As I have a few friends who read this blog, and who are expecting, or just a few weeks or months into their new mommy titles, I thought it might be worth sharing some of the things that made my life easier during baby’s first year of life. Also, if you’re a mom, I think they’d appreciate it if you share your secrets. Because although they could leaf through hundreds of pages of baby/parenting books or scan through websites on the topic, a bulleted list from a few friendly moms is so much easier.  I’m starting the list now. If you have any ideas or suggestions for products, ways of taking care of baby or mama, etc., please send them my way.

Now that I’m a mom, practically all I hear are complaints. No one holds back on sharing the pains of parenting once the bun has officially exited the oven. How helpful is that? Don’t we want to know if we’re coming up on a challenge well in advance, so we can step into full battle gear?! I know I do. Calling all mamas: send me your thoughts. It’s time to help a mama out.

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Posted on May 25, 2011, in All about Baby, Parenting. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Well, thanks for always being so honest with me about the bad and the good! I think if I didn’t have people like you and my sister to tell me the facts, I might have just jumped in already. Especially during those mornings last fall when you were feeding Jacob and had time to tell me all sorts of little things that add up to a lot!

  2. No one told me either!!! Sure, I read tons of books, and I got a pretty fair idea that it was going to be tough, especially the sleep deprivation (in fact, I started a blog just about that, http://angelsofbabysleep.wordpress.com/), but I would have appreciated some honest advice from my fellow mommies.
    Here’s the list I share with my expecting friends (after congratulating them on the most wonderful act of becoming a mom) and would love to share a few with you:
    – Get ready for survival in the first week. Have meals ready in the freezer. Have your mother come over to cook and clean (not just socialize), and help you catch up on sleep. It’s also nice to have her experience as a mom.
    – Get visitors to come and meet the precious bundle in the hospital. If they want to come over to your house, make it clear that they will have to do something nice to pitch in and help. Like hold the baby while you have a nice, long shower.
    – Eat well. You’re going to need your strength. You get used to the relentless schedule, but the first few weeks is a shock to the system.
    – Have a lactation consultant ready in case you need help with breastfeeding. It’s the most beautiful thing to do, but in most cases takes about 4 to 6 weeks to perfect. Both baby and mommy are learning something new, but it’s WORTH it.
    – Daddies, you are important. But your baby just wants mom right now. Therefore, your job is to take care of mom. Fetch her a glass of water, fluff her pillow, be her manservant.
    Can’t wait to read your entire list!
    Karla

    • Sandy Katulak

      Hi Nikki. It’s obviously been a long time ago and maybe my memory is failing (most definitely is), but I hate to admit that things were pretty easy for me. Both boys were good babies (Joey was a little cranky at night but not horribly so) so I escaped some of what you have gone through. So you got no warnings from me because I just rarely experienced the negatives. But let me say that I had my mother and my mother-in-law standing by to help in any way they could. And my husband was a saint. I’m sure having them close by made a huge difference.

  1. Pingback: Having a baby: Not that hard for everyone…? « On Becoming Mommy

  2. Pingback: Baby’s first year: Strategies that work! « On Becoming Mommy

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