The reason I started this blog was to share my experiences with other parents, specifically experiences of becoming a mother. This served as both being an outlet for me and (hopefully) helpful advice on what to take seriously, and what to take with a grain of salt.
In the beginning I wasn’t sure how to go about it, I felt that many of the topics I would discuss would ruffle a lot of feathers, especially since much of it is social pressure. I don’t want to offend people, but at the same time those people were offending my mothering.
Since this blog is about helpful experiences, I decided to compile a list of all the things I wished someone told me when I first got pregnant.
Pregnancy messes with your emotions, and you wont know it.
If I were to give my husband an award, it would definitely be for keeping up with my moods. When I got pregnant I was in a whirlwind of moods, in a span of a few minutes I would be happy, crying, and frustrated; most of the time I had no idea why. What was even worse? I didn’t have a clue that I was moody, I would even get upset if someone said I was exaggerating. Yes, it is part of pregnancy, and it is ok, but what wasn’t ok was my exaggerated worry and anxiety.
It’s more than Baby Blues.
When I had my baby, I immediately felt depressed, literally the same night I delivered. I couldn’t sleep, I was afraid of being alone, I didn’t even want to hold my baby. All these feelings made me feel guilty; I was a horrible mother. No one told me otherwise, but then again, I told no one. These feelings didn’t go away, they just got worse, especially when I didn’t feel that I was nurturing enough (I wasn’t making enough milk, he was crying all the time because I can’t soothe him, etc.). Everything I did made me feel like a failure, until I found myself severely depressed.
Go with your gut feeling.
My biggest regret is not listening to my body, not embracing my motherly instincts and succumbing to what others were “advising me” to do. “Don’t hold him too much, you’ll spoil him”, “Let him learn how to sleep on his own, even if he cries”, when all this time all I wanted to do is hold him and soothe him. I didn’t listen to my gut feeling, and on a daily basis he cried to sleep with me hiding behind the crib crying with him. With my second and third babies I vowed to not do that again, and guess what, neither one of them had trouble sleeping on their own; if anything they managed to do it faster.
It gets better.
At the time I felt like my life would never be the same again, I wasn’t able to see beyond the next few weeks, and those few weeks were a whirlwind of rollercoaster emotions and an always crying baby (of my doing, of course). Every week made me more depressed, and I had no idea who to talk to about my feelings. What if I talk to someone and they solidify my fears that I was indeed a bad mother? I wasn’t ready to face that “reality”. But then things got better, and I got better, and I enjoyed being a mother, why was I so scared? Today I have just as much freedom to do what I want as I had before having my kids, so things will always get better.
It’s tough, but you can do it.
Looking back at all the times I doubted that I can do it, I find that I did it, and I did it really well. Its very easy for us to doubt our abilities, especially when you have critics waiting for you to make a “mistake”, but what no one tells you is that there is no right or wrong when it comes to mothering, there is what feels right to you and what might not work; there absolutely is no wrong. There are basics of keeping your child alive of course! But other than common sense and gut feeling, everything else can be learned, and today we are lucky to have the internet to connect with so many people around the world. I have no idea why so many people think a mother is not a job, its actually a full time job that is tougher than anything else I’ve done (did I mention the steep learning curve the first 3 months?), but you were built, designed, made to be able to do it.