Christine Scheuring, a working mom of an 8-month-old, wrote this guest blog for momaha.com
* * *
As a first time mom, I feel a little like I was left out to dry.
I was so focused on my pregnancy, that I didn’t give any thought as to what would be in store after the baby was here. I was so busy Googling every weird tinge or movement I felt, that I wouldn’t even let myself read a single baby book. I was so naïve that I didn’t read ahead about each pregnancy stage.
On the rare occasion that I gave my post-pregnancy life any thought, it was spent romanticizing about the bliss I would feel rocking my baby to sleep in a serene, calm environment filled of love… Or the cute clothes and nursery decorations.
Beyond that, I concentrated on one thing — and one thing only — labor.
Someone should have shaken me and said labor will be over in a few hours, but raising this baby will be a lifetime of craziness.
I get it, I wouldn’t have listened.
But I wish a mom would have slapped me and screamed, “Stop worrying about how painful labor will be because its nothing compared to the road ahead of you. You can erase that picture you have in your mind of your perfect, snuggly baby moments because you will end up with a colicky, reflux, MSPI (Milk soy protein intolerance) baby who will cry for hours on end. And guess what? You will have no clue what you are doing because you spent the entire nine months worrying about what your post-baby body would look like.”
Here are the 13 things I wish other moms would have told me:
1. You will have zero control over your emotions. I would refer to my crying spells as an unwelcome visitor and exclaim to my husband “It’s coming! RUN!”
2. It takes time for YOU to recover. Don’t underestimate that. It’s hard to walk upstairs, find time to change your pads and keep up with ice packs and sitz baths, while taking care of a newborn.
3. You will hate your husband. A lot. (I swear this is biology’s way of not getting pregnant again right away.) Your marriage will be tested. Daily.
4. These will be the craziest, hardest, best and worst months of your entire life.
5. It gets easier at month four.
6. Everyone will have an opinion on what you are or are not doing. Do what feels right to you.
7. You will (thankfully) be given a lot of adrenaline, which helps you through those first few sleep-deprived weeks.
8. You will develop shower schizophrenia. Every single time you shower you will hear your baby cry.
9. Hemorrhoids don’t go away. Ever.
10. Your big boobs do.
11. You will end up back tracking on every word of judgment you ever thought about other moms.
12. You will question everything you do and don’t do.
13. But also, you will love this baby more than you could possibly imagine. They will change you world in a way that I cannot begin to explain. You will become that person who looks at other expecting parents and feel so happy that they are about to experience the love you feel every day.
* * *