23 Things No One Told You (Or Me) About Motherhood

Motherhood is a unique yet challenging experience. You try to prepare yourself by reading parenting books and joining mommy groups, but there are still twenty-three secrets no one told you, so I will.

1. It Takes A Village

You’ll strive to do it all, but attempting to accomplish every little thing is impractical. The sooner you accept the extra hands, the better off you’ll be.

I can’t tell you how many days I’ve counted the minutes until my Connykins [his pet name] would come home from work so I could get a little breaky break. Having help—family, friends, hired assistance, etc.— is essential to motherhood, especially in the early days. So, don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t feel guilty for needing help.

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2. Your Life Will Turn Into A Musical

From the moment you bring your baby home, you’ll be a full-time mommy and a full-time entertainer. You’ll be singing tons of cute little improvised songs and re-writing existing songs to include your baby’s name. You’ll, even, break into a full dance number here and there just to turn your baby’s frown upside down. It’s fairly simple—baby likes to hear songs, so you’ll sing.

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3. Not All Diapers Are Created Equal

Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be changing diapers with your eyes closed. However, you’ll still see the difference in the durability of each brand you use. From the deciding factors of baby’s comfort to leak protection, you’ll begin to gravitate more to certain diapers.

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4. Leaving The House Will Feel Like Mission Impossible

Planning any outing requires organization and precision. Whether going down the street for a couple of minutes or the opposite side of the city for a couple of hours, you’ll have to plan and pack like you’re skipping town indefinitely. Between packing and getting ready, I have to set a pre-alarm an hour before the actual alarm just to ensure we’ll leave on time.

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5. “Sleep When Baby Sleeps” Is Borderline A Myth

One piece of advice you’ll receive repeatedly during your pregnancy is “sleep when baby sleeps”. Because I was told this constantly, I made sure I nailed it in my noggin. However, it wasn’t until I actually had my baby that I realized this saying was, kind of, baloney. Don’t get me wrong, I did sleep when baby slept… SOMETIMES, but most times, it was au contraire. By the time baby would go to sleep, I would either be wide awake or have a stack of dishes and laundry waiting for me.

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6. You’ll Learn The Art Of Multi-tasking With One Hand

Being a mother to a small child means that you’ll learn to function with one hand and one hand only. You’ll be a master at holding a baby while making a bottle, unloading the dishwasher and talking on the phone.

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7. Breastfeeding Is Natural, But Doesn’t Exactly Come Natural

Fret not, if it takes you and your baby a while to get into a breast-feeding groove. It took my babe and me almost a month to get in sync. I suffered tender breasts and cracked nipples for almost two weeks before resorting to nipple shields and, eventually, the pump (against my lactation coach’s recommendation) to give myself a chance to heal. Because I began pumping sooner than expected, I felt a little discouraged when I saw other mothers whipping out their boob and nursing like it was second-nature. Nevertheless, I didn’t give up and, with persistence and the assistance of a lactation specialist, my baby and I found our rhythm and have been crushing it ever since.

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8. You Will Countdown The Days Until Baby Can Eat Real Food

The first few months of feeding your baby will be the most demanding, whether your baby is breast-fed or formula-fed. During those times, you’ll find yourself wishing you were months into the future when baby no longer depends solely on breasts or a bottle every two hours. Truth be told, the more I’d imagine it, the more I aspired to see my baby in a high chair with a mouth full of “shicken” or “pasghetti”.

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9. Eating Hot Foods Or Drinks Are A Luxury

If you’re a foodie like me, one hard lesson motherhood will teach you is that you will no longer be able to enjoy a HOT plate of food while binging the most recent tv show in your queue. Honestly, you’re lucky if you eat a plate of food, period. Joining club mom really showed me I can survive on Larabars and fruit.

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10. Showers Are Sacred

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but it’s something about lathering up leisurely under a piping hot waterfall with an all-natural soap that makes you want to just immerse in a reverie. Before baby, I would shower twice a day for, at least, thirty minutes. Now… (sigh)… now, I barely have time to take a wash-off.

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11. A Hair/Nail Appointment Is Your New “Vacation”

Who would’ve thought a mini spa day would be the equivalent to a trip to the Maldives? A new mom, that’s who. In the past, you’ve probably considered a hair or nail appointment routinely trivial. Since having your baby, wherever you decide to spend your me-time is your new designated emotional and spiritual oasis.

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12. Say Farewell, Clean House

For all my perfectionista mommies-to-be, it’s about to get real… dirty. I, honestly, don’t even know if I can call myself a perfectionist anymore since I haven’t seen the bottom of my floor in ages. Although it’s only toys and partly clean laundry, I never would’ve expected my everything-in-its-place homestead would turn into a cluttered looking hole in the wall.

image by Jason Abdilla / Unsplash

13. Vanity Is Null And Void

Whether you were (or weren’t) one to obsess over your image is rather irrelevant because once you have a baby, you will care even less about anyone’s perception of your appearance. Before you know it, you’ll be running errands in your spit-up stained pajamas while making the silliest of faces at your baby without giving one iota. Comfort over everything and baby’s happiness above all.

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14. Postpartum Healing Can Be A B****

In the final throes of pregnancy, you’ll be doing all you can to prepare for baby’s arrival, including watching moms on Youtube talk about labor, delivery and postpartum healing. Granted, everyone’s journey’s different, BUT despite their misleading titles, many moms never actually described “what it’s really like” so I was completely blind-sided by enduring the unsparing likes of childbirth and postpartum. I knew giving birth wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, but I had no idea the afterbirth was going to be a pain, as well.

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15. Your Sex Life Will Circle The Drain

On a random night, while unsuccessfully attempting to rock your baby to sleep, you’ll have the epiphany that the last time you had sex will most likely be the last you have sex since it’ll feel like that beautiful baby of yours is doing everything to ensure it.

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16. Your Relationship With Your Body Will Become Complicated

Following the birth of your baby, your body will feel it is the most unfit it’s ever been—your muscles stretched and your skin saggy. It can be quite scary how different your body feels. Some days, you’ll feel insecure about every little roll and, other days, you’ll be in awe of what it’s carried and created. On your days of despair, remember you have gone through one of the most empowering and poignant ordeals ever and, now, your body needs time to rejuvenate.

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17. If You Could Spend The Day Alone, You Would

Being a mother is one of the toughest jobs on the planet. Once you clock in, you never clock out. You’re always in mommy mode doing your mommy dutiesbathing, changing diapers, dressing, feeding, snuggling and spying on your adorable child while they’re sleeping. Although motherhood is a life-enhancing journey, it is exhausting. With that being said, if you were given the option to have a day to yourself, you would take it in a heartbeat because you deserve it.

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18. Mommy Brain Is Real

Mom brain is described as the spacey, sleep-deprived and scatterbrained state of a new mom. Although the report of mom brain has been traditionally negative, there’s scientific evidence to prove it‘s normal and possibly beneficial. While you may never return to your pre-mom brain, your newly overwhelmed brain—forgetful, emotional and all—is just adapting to the challenging responsibilities of motherhood and will eventually help you become a good, responsive parent.

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19. You Will Never Be Comfortable Hearing Your Baby’s Cry

We’ve all heard someone else’s baby cry and have either felt nothing or a smidge of a something, but, now, that it’s your own, the sound is significantly more devastating. It may get easier to hear, but you never actually get used to it.

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20. You Will Sympathize With Other Parents

Pre-baby, if you heard a screaming child, you’ve perhaps ignored it or been annoyed by it. Post-baby, if you hear a screaming child, you exchange understanding looks with the other mom like you’re apart of the same mommy-sisterhood.

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21. You Will Give Up On The Idealistic Parenting Style You Read About While Pregnant

Sorry super moms-to-be, but you will do WHATEVER it takes to keep your baby happy. You will pacify, co-sleep and anything else you can think of in hopes of protecting your sanity.

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22. You Will Have Self-Doubt… And Often

As a new mom you’ll doubt yourself for a couple of reasons—you’re naturally unsure or you’ve been criticized. Because you want to be the best mommy you can be, you’ll question, worry and research just about everything, from rashes to poop color. As if that’s not enough pressure already, expect to hear about something you’re doing wrong and possibly from a fellow mom who you’d think would be more sensitive. There are many forms of parenting so get comfortable with doing things your way. Your babe will love you just the same.

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23. Life Is Better Than You Could Have Ever Imagined

Your life will indeed be different…I mean really, really, really different. You’ll wonder if anything will return to “normal,” but once your baby break into their big googly-eyed smile, you’ll know you wouldn’t have it any other way!

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Got a mommy secret you want to share, comment below!

Have A Beautiful Day ✨

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