There are a lot of things that come with motherhood. And 20/20 hindsight is definitely a big one. If I could go back in time and re-write my own version of What to Expect When You’re Expecting, this is how it would all play out…
- Expect to be tired. Like, maybe forever. And not in a “Dude, we were out until 3 a.m. and I had to get up at 8 a.m. for work” kind of way; more like “I didn’t know that humans could survive on five sleep intervals of 45 minutes apiece.”
- Expect to trust your gut. Trust it way, way more than any book about birthing, babies, breastfeeding or sleep training. That intuition of yours is GOLD, but only if you listen to it. If you do what’s right for you and your baby, one day at a time, it’ll all come together. All those tears and frustrations and paranoia that you’re not doing it right aren’t worth your time. You know what’s worth your time? A goddamn nap. (See point No. 1.)
- Expect to get your advice from real friends. Avoid approximately 94 per cent* of the mommy forums on Facebook. Those people don’t know you, and they don’t know your baby; they don’t know that you’ve tried to stop dream-feeding exactly 57 nights in a row or tried 19 different brands of bottles and that you just need someone to tell you that it’s going to be OK. Besides, so many of those people have older kids and don’t even remember what it’s like to have a tiny baby in the first place. PRO TIP: pick up the phone or get on Skype and reach out to your besties who have been there before you.
- Expect your girl parts to change after child birth. They may never work quite the same way again, and that’s normal and OK. It’s also normal and OK to embrace using products like Poise Pads for light bladder leakage. (Even if you’re only 27 and you never thought in a million years you’d use products like these until middle age! Note to expectant self: Poise Pads provide 3-in-1 protection — that’s dryness, comfort and odour control, baby! So no need to worry about what’s going on down there…)
- Expect less than perfection. This is especially challenging for over-achievers, but you have GOT to worry less about being perfect and simply enjoy the moment. Even if that moment includes spit-up in your hair and a distant memory of your waistline. Try not to Instagram your fantasy life — but instead live the real one.
- Expect to learn how to carry six grocery bags and a baby in a car seat while holding a toddler’s hand all the way from the car to the house. No, really — you will and you can.
- Expect to have a new appreciation for love. Because you don’t even know what that first rush of unconditional, perfect love is like until your baby actually arrives and is placed in your arms for the first time.
What would you add to the list?
*This is an entirely unscientific and totally made-up stat.
DISCLOSURE: Poise Canada compensated me for this post, but the opinions and fabricated statistics are completely my own.