Being a first time mom at any age is tough. There are a multitude of transitions and adjustments that have to happen for not only you and your baby, but also your entire family. Motherhood has a huge learning curve. No matter how much you study and prepare for it, you will find that every birth is different and every baby is unique. Here is my personal list of six important things I learned in my first two months as a new mom.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Baby Pavilion, a TRICARE breast pump provider. All opinions are entirely my own.
1-Motherhood is hard no matter your age.
I honestly thought that being a mother later in life would give me some sort of advantage on my motherhood journey. I was wrong. No matter what your age is, being a mom for the first time is hard. There is so much to learn in such a short period of time, all the while healing your postpartum body.
2-It takes time to learn your baby and get into a rhythm.
Since my baby latched during our first skin-to-skin moment and began breastfeeding like a champ, I also thought our bond and attachment would happen so quick and swift. Well, it didn’t. My baby knew me on the inside without so many distractions. Now, with this big world around him, we still have to get acquainted. Because it did not happen for us as quickly as breastfeeding, I thought something was wrong with me or that he didn’t like me. I could barely soothe him when he cried, beyond putting him on my breast. It made me feel terrible. Around week six and seven of his life, I finally began to feel like more than just his diaper changer and food source. I really began to feel bonded with my little guy. He now smiles at me, coos ever so sweetly, and I can soothe him when others cannot. Now, I feel like his mama. It all took time. We had to get to know one another and he had to build trust with me.
3-There is nothing more special than your baby’s smile.
Whether it is a milk-drunk smile, a gassy grin, or your baby simply stares up at you and smiles-every single one of them will melt your heart. My little boy’s sweet smile tells me every day that I am doing something right in the world. I can be having a tough day, but his smile just lights up my entire world. It’s contagious! When he smiles, I have to smile back.
4-Breastfeeding is messy but worth it.
I have a brand new appreciation and understanding of my breasts. That’s right. These things that have been present all my life have taken on a whole new personality. I have spilled more milk breastfeeding than a lifetime of pouring myself a glass of milk added up. I can literally understand why people “cry over spilled milk” as I almost have quite a few times. Despite the messiness and sometimes pain and tenderness experienced, breastfeeding is the best option for your baby if you can manage it. For more information about breastfeeding and helpful tips, click here.
What makes breastfeeding more manageable, especially for busy moms, is having a breast pump. Most health insurance plans cover one breast pump per pregnancy. If you are a military spouse with Tricare insurance, then a breast pump will be covered per pregnancy. Baby Pavilion can make ordering your breast pump easy and painless.
All it takes is 3 easy steps;
1-Complete the application online.
2-Choose your breast pump
3-Baby Pavilion handles the remainder of the process.
Ordering a breast pump is vital to your breastfeeding journey. It will be so handy and help you tremendously.
5-Self-care is essential in order to care for your baby.
Newborn babies are extremely time consuming. You get so hyper-focused on the baby and his/her needs that you forget about your own. You will be a better mother if you can take a few moments for yourself each day. Self-care looks different for everyone and that’s okay. Do what works for you. Hot showers twice a day and time to exercise are two ways that I incorporate self-care into my day. Hot showers relax my mind as well as my body and exercise relieves stress. In addition, exercise also releases feel good endorphins. This can leave you with a good attitude and an extra dose of patience in order to handle newborn cries and their crazy schedule. Do what works for you and make self-care a part of your day.
6-Ignore criticism and take unsolicited advice with a grain of salt.
While some advice can be super helpful, some just comes off very harsh and critical. I experienced much of this my first month of being a mom. At one point, I was in tears sobbing. It was already a tough adjustment being a new mom and learning my newborn baby, but to add in harsh criticism just made me feel even more defeated than I already was. It wasn’t until my older sister visited me that I felt truly empowered and encouraged as a new mother. It touched my heart so much and gave me the confidence I needed to embark on this new mom journey. Cling to those who are encouraging you as a new mom. That positivity is what you truly need, especially in those first months with your baby.
Whether you are a first time mom, a seasoned mom, an expectant mom, or a mom in waiting, I want you to know that motherhood can be a beautiful journey. It is not easy. You will be the most exhausted you have ever been in your life and the most stressed, but you will also be the extremely fulfilled too. Every time you gaze at your beautiful baby, you will be so amazed at this precious being that is yours to care for and protect . Moms, give yourself grace and know that every day will be different. You’ll have some wonderful days and many tough ones, but take it from me, you are doing a great job. You are perfection in your baby’s eyes, even when you feel like a total mess. Enjoy these moments, because they do not last long, but you will be a mother forever.
© Strength 4 Spouses LLC, 2019.
Wendi Iacobello is a new mom, has been an Army wife for four years and part of military life for six years. She has spent the last nine years as an adult educator, has a Master of Arts in Educational Media, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. Her teaching career includes; Middle and High School Special Education, Correctional Education, and Community College Instruction in Early Childhood Education, Compensatory Ed, as well as Adult Basic Education. Currently, she is a blogger, freelance writer, aqua cycling instructor, a virtual assistant, and an avid volunteer in the local community. Wendi is extremely passionate about helping others find their inner strength by sharing her experiences, insight, resources, and inspirational stories on her blog Strength4Spouses.