What to know before becoming a mom/parent?
Before I become a mom I had a lot of theories and opinions on raising kids. Now that I have a kid, often times it feels like I have no clue what I am doing.
I am sure you heard lots about the love you will experience, that can not be compared to anything you felt before. And oh how tired you will be, but somehow still be functioning. I am expanding the list of things to be aware of, before motherhood knocks at your door.
1 Make time for yourself.
Not to sound selfish, but you can’t give love, if you don’t love yourself. That said, make time for some self-love. Don’t be shy to ask for help early on, so you can sneak out (even if it’s only to your in-house spa – aka. your bathroom).
2 Capture the memories.
Even as a photog mama I did not reach for my camera often enough, especially in the very early stage. However much it’s a cliche to say, they grow so fast, and you hardly have the time to capture it. Make it a priority. Be sure you have enough storage on your phone for all the firsts that are coming your way. And of course book a newborn session, will ya!
3 Spend quality time with the hubby.
Let me just say, your relationship will face some challenges, you can’t even imagine. You will be giving yourself selflessly to that baby, and sometimes at the cost of quality time with your spouse. Make sure date nights are a priority. You guys will need that one-on-one time more than before.
4 Decide what fashion is for you.
When you hear the word “mom” fashion and style are probably not the first thing that comes to mind. There are definitely fashionable moms.
Depending on your pregnancy, it will take you xy amount of time to fit back into your old jeans. Decide what is important to you when it comes to looks, and stock up on it. These days I hardly get out of my yoga pants, but that doesn’t mean I can’t still follow my style. I have started accumulating statement necklaces, and have quite the collection by now. I use them to style my everyday look.
5 You are not alone.
Those mommy and me classes exist for a reason. And that is for you to find your tribe. These women will feel like your sorority sisters.
Wether you have family close by, or you rely on your spouse and friends. You will truly know who your tribe is. And don’t worry about the others. The people who don’t rise to the occasion don’t matter. I wish then well, but focus on the ones that are truly important and present in your life.
6 You’ll enjoy the simplest things.
The focus of your joy has now a new face. And that little face will bring to you joys you could not prepare for. Snuggles and smiles will become an addiction, and oh that newborn baby smell!
7 “Your Dreams stop when you have kids” is a myth.
Once I became a mom, I feel like I got more serious. Time becomes more valuable, just cause you have so much less of it. You would think this will take away from your opportunities to dream bigger dreams. It had quite the opposite affect on me. I took the little free time I had more serous, and made sure I am organized in each little block of it, that I have.
For example, my photography turned from hobby into a business, only after I had a kid.
I often hear how raising kids inspires parents to work harder to be a good example to your kid.
8 Don’t read all the pregnancy books.
Until your mom career starts, everything is just a theory. Educating yourself with books about what to expect in pregnancy is important and interesting. But you also have a whole medical team to guide you through it. But chances are, once you are a parent, experiencing an issue, you might not have the time to read about it. For example loved reading all about the different stages of pregnancy, and what body part is being developed at what stage. I always knew what size my baby was, compared to a common fruit. I had apps and trackers. When I was pregnant I listened to a pregnancy themed podcast. I loved being pregnant.
And this is all great, but looking back, I had so much time to educate myself. I could have used it smarter, like reading more about breastfeeding or sleep training. Cause once those became a reality, the luxury of time is gone. And I could have fewer sleepless nights if I only read about it more when I had time.
So my advice is, once you hit the 3rd trimester, start reading about all the fun stuff of keeping a baby alive throughout the first year. Cause this is when you will have the least time (and energy) to read.
9 The judging game is strong!
We all have an idea of what’s best for our baby, but thats not where it stops. Once you’ve developed an opinion about a topic, you will find yourself silently judging other parents for not agreeing with you. Just keep your opinion for yourself, if no one asked for it. Motherhood is hard by itself, lets support each other with positive feedback.
10 It is harder than you think.
That being said, motherhood will show you your real strength.
Yes it is hard, almost every aspect of it, but you are equipped to handle it. Like with anything in life, there are ups and downs, and with each new day, your mood might change, and if you feel like a successful parent or not.
And when the low days arrive, just try to stop for a second and look back on what you have been through and that you are still standing. That little baby depends on you, but it will also grow to adore you.
My little 2.5yo now tells me “mom I love you a lot” and each time she packages this sentence with a big hug, my heart melts, and I know it is all worth it!
I hope this is a more encouraging list, than it is frightening. Being a mom is my favorite title and would never ever change it for the life I had before. I really mean it. Is it hard, absolutely. But its also rewarding in ways you could not imagine and would not expect.
Make sure you are documenting all the fun stages, and as always, let me know if you need help!