I am now a mother of an infant. An infant! Where did time go? It honestly feels like it was just yesterday when I had him yet, at the same time I feel like I’ve been doing this whole mothering thing a long time.
One thing I learned from my first three months of mothering is that it does gets better. The first month was hell. I was running on no sleep. I never had anytime for myself, every minute was always for the baby. I really felt like I was gonna go crazy. Like I said, it does get better, sleepless nights do end at least for now, things start to become routine, and you start to learn to make time for yourself.
I don’t claim to be an expert at parenting but here’s a few things I’ve learned over the past month that might help other expecting and first time mothers like me.
1. Google is your best friend.
I can’t count the number of times Google has saved me from being so ignorant about motherhood. It helped me make sense of what’s happening with my kid several times and what to do during those confusing times. We always have people we can ask for help and advice but for times that I felt like I’ll be too much of a bother for them, I turn to Google.
Not everything you find online is reliable though, you’ll still need to shift through results.
2. There is a thing as too many clothes.
When I was pregnant, everyone kept telling me how I should start buying baby clothes early cause babies change clothes a lot in a day, so I did. Even when the baby was already here I still bought clothes, thinking I needed more. It was three weeks into motherhood that I realized I went a little overboard. It wasn’t just because he out grew the clothes fast but because he outgrew the clothes and he didn’t even get a chance to use some of them. There were pieces that we only got to use once or twice. If you’re anything like me, you’ll feel bad about not getting your money’s worth from the clothes.
My kid has too many clothes that deciding what to dress him in when we go out gets a bit stressful. Also, the season is changing, I have all this fall/winter clothes that won’t be of use this spring/summer.
3. Everything doesn’t have to be brand new.
Like I said, babies out grow their clothes fast so it makes sense to be more frugal about it. My husband was against the idea at first but after he saw how much clothes baby haven’t worn yet but outgrew, he sided with me. It’s a good thing, people from our community sell use but in good condition baby clothes in lots. I was able to buy a wardrobe of clothes for just 12 dollars. We still buy baby new clothes but we buy clothes a few sizes up so that he’ll be able to use them longer.
4. Babies have a plan of their own.
I was so idealistic going into motherhood. I had this parenting style that I had my heart set on. I wanted to breastfeed, that didn’t happen; he didn’t latch on that well and when he did it hurt like hell that I was in tears. It was like he was always hungry even though he just fed 30 minutes ago. I didn’t want to co-sleep, that didn’t happen either; the husband kept leaving the baby in bed with us and falling asleep when it was his turn to stay up with the baby, now wakes up and fusses when we put him in his crib at night. I wanted to do the whole baby wearing thing but he wouldn’t stay in the carrier too long. No matter how much you plan to stick with your parenting plan, you still need a plan B to Z.
5. You’re the mother.
Your mother, your mother-in-law, your aunts, your mother friends and everyone else will give you advice on how to raise and take care of your kid but it’s still up to you whether or not you’re gonna use their advice so just take it all.
We live far away from family so we try to post and update our families back home about how everything is with the baby and a lot of times it back fired on us. For instance, we posted a picture of baby smiling, the next day we receive a message from my dad telling us not to hold the baby that way because he’s still fragile. We post a picture of baby sleeping, we receive a message from my mother-in-law telling us to turn his head every other hour because he seems to favor his left side.
6. Make time to pamper yourself.
The first month of motherhood you’ll feel like a mess, physically and emotionally. After the dust has settled you should make time for yourself. Whether it be a salon/nail appointment or just an hour-long bubble bath at home, alone/pamper time is essential for a sane mother and wife. Your husband will be thanking you for making time for yourself cause he’ll be able to notice the difference right away.