The 5 Secrets of Early Motherhood – from one mom to another.
My very first Mother’s Day is a few days away! I’ve always loved celebrating my mom, grandmother, and mother-in-law, and now, I too am a proud member of this beautiful club.With this special holiday coming up, I find myself reflecting on the very early days of motherhood. The days where every decision felt monumental. The days that turned into nights that turned into days. The days where I questioned if I was even cut out to be someone’s mom.
You see, in my experience, motherhood is the most beautiful journey I’ve had the honor to embark on. Even on the hardest days, the moment when your baby melts into your arms and gives you a big smile before falling sound asleep is all you need to fill your cup and keep going. But there are hard days, especially early on. And it’s easy to feel like you’re the only one experiencing the downs along with the ups, but that’s the biggest secret of them all – regardless of how perfect someone’s social media feed looks, everyone, and I mean everyone, has hard days and moments. You are not the only one!
Although the very early days of motherhood are behind me, I still remember experiencing new and different things and thinking, “When a girlfriend of mine gets pregnant, I definitely need to tell her this.” My secrets of early motherhood, if you will.
With that, here are five secrets I uncovered early on in my journey.
5 Secrets of Early Motherhood
1. Your relationship with your spouse can get stronger after having kids.
But there’s one caveat. You have to communicate more than you ever have before. Over the course of 13 years, my husband and I have consistently sought to work on our communication skills, and that became increasingly important after our baby was born. The first few sleepless months can take a toll on your relationship if you let it. Of course, you’ll still get into arguments, but be patient with each other and talk things out. It’s not always easy, but it’s worth it. And in a few months, you’ll see how you’ve grown stronger together because of it too.
2. Establishing a mom tribe, a small group of loving mama friends who don’t mind receiving text messages randomly throughout the day, is critical.
My mom tribe is made up of mamas new and old, and they are some of my favorite people because they always share the real deal on everything from very personal experiences to products. But remember, just because something worked for a mama/family, doesn’t mean it’s for you.
3. Even if you can’t breastfeed your baby, you’ll still have an incredible bond.
I still remember coming to the realization that I was not going to be able to breastfeed my baby and instead would have to resort to exclusive pumping. The thing I worried about at the time was not developing a bond with my baby. Sounds silly, but this not-so-subtle message is everywhere. But I’m here to tell you it’s not true. Even at 10 months old, my baby would cling to me all day every day if we let him! As my husband likes to say, I’m his favorite person. Consider this a secret within a secret – all your baby needs (aside from food, shelter, and some clothing) is your love.
4. You will never be the same again.
But really, did you expect anything else? We co-created and grew a human being for 9 months. And on top of that, our little human is now his/her own person separate from us. My mama heart is forever changed. I feel more, I think more, I sympathize more, etc. Truth be told, I’m crazier now than I’ve ever been, but hey, it’s all out of deep, pure love!
5. The best way to enjoy the journey is to take it one day at a time.
There’s nothing like having a baby to kick off some future planning and all the worry that comes with it. If I’m being honest, I was a hot mess in this regard until I literally had to sit down and give myself a little pep talk. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I remember it involving the phrase ‘one day at a time.’ And now, that’s my mama motto. Yes, you still have to think about the future, plan for different scenarios, etc. But, and this is a big but, you can’t live in the future. You have to bring your mind back to the present and enjoy today. Your baby needs you to be with him/her…one day at a time!
I could write a whole book about all the motherhood secrets I’ve uncovered and will continue to uncover for the rest of my life! But when I think about my personal ‘aha’ moments, these 5 secrets of early motherhood truly stick out in my mind.
With that, I wish you a very happy Mother’s Day!
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