It has been 3.5 years now that I have become a mother and still if I think about it, seems surreal.
There are so many things that change once you bring a new life into this world and no matter how much you read about motherhood, or talk about it with your friends who have already become mothers themselves, you can never really comprehend the full spectrum of this “experience”.
Here are a few thoughts I would love to share with any mother or mother-to-be, including myself before becoming a mother:
- Now is the time to connect on a deeper level with your partner; your relationship will be re-defined once you become parents. Remember that you are on the same team and be loving, compassionate and caring one to another.
- You will never feel 100% ready and that’s ok; motherhood is a continuous learning process, it never really ends.
- When it comes to your baby’s wellbeing, trust your instinct first and foremost. Everybody will have a different opinion to share but at the end of the day, you know better what’s best for your baby. Take any advice you want but then, always remember to turn inwards, listen to your inner voice and trust its wisdom.
- A quote that you should print and hang somewhere to look at frequently: “This too shall pass”. It will come in handy in so many tough occasions throughout this journey.
- There is no such thing as a “perfect” mother; you will make mistakes, some days multiple mistakes and that’s ok. As long as you take the time to recognize what went wrong in a situation and figure out a way to react better next time around, you are on the right path.
- Ask for help. Whenever you need it. Don’t hesitate, not even once. Either that’s emotional support or help with practical aspects of daily life such as cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry etc, just ask for help and welcome any good intentions coming your way. Especially during the first few weeks/months, when you are trying to figure out how breastfeeding works or longing to take a proper bath, it’s very important to get as much sleep as you can get. That means you might have time only to care for your baby and what he/she needs.
- Be present. Babies grow up so fast. Take in every moment, every day in the most profound way you can.
- Keep a diary. You will soon forget all the milestones, his first word, first steps, first fall off the bed or the first time he said: “I love you”. Just trust me on this one and keep a diary!
- Breastfeeding is hard work but it’s worth it. If I would go back in time, I would research more thoroughly about breastfeeding and find a certified consultant to help me out during the first few days/weeks.
- You are about to begin understanding your parents so much better; all the love, the sacrifices, the heartaches they have been through for you. Give them a big hug and express your gratitude whenever you can, now more than ever.
- You will miss your mom now more than ever and wish you could tell her how grateful you are for everything she has done for you and how much you admire her hard work, sacrifices and endless love. You will be glad that you are still able to show your gratitude and love to your dad and hug him tight – as tight as you can.
- Learn and evolve. This little creature is here to teach you how to become the best version of yourself. Don’t resist that. Not having all the answers is perfectly fine, as long as you opt for the best you can do.
- Start questioning everything, the same way a toddler does. I swear, it’s so much fun!
- Get Audible on your phone and listen to books or inspiring podcasts during these long walks when your baby is peacefully sleeping or during the endless breastfeeding sessions at home.
- Your baby can and will sleep for a longer stretch of hours. You might need to get professional help on this one; do not hesitate to make the “investment”, it’s worth it. Just make sure to find the right person whose philosophy will resonate with yours.
- He/she already has his/her own personality; take a step back and let him show you what he likes, what he is good at; then, reinforce his strengths, celebrate all his wins and accept him just the way he is.
- When things get tough and you feel like screaming, do everything possible to calm down and avoid saying or doing things you will then regret. Go to another room if necessary, take a few deep breaths, remember the quote “this too shall pass” or anything else that might work for you. Have a plan beforehand and know what you have to do.
- Remind yourself to have fun: having to be the adult now and take responsible decisions, not only for yourself but also for your baby, can strain you psychologically. Trying to be his best friend rather than just his parent, can make things more fun for everyone.
These are just a few thoughts. The most important is that you will now have a chance to slow down and enjoy the present moment, more than you ever did in your entire life. Don’t miss this great opportunity.
You’ve got this, mom. I know you do!
Tell me, if you could go back in time, what would you say to yourself before becoming a mother? What’s the biggest lesson that your kids have taught you so far?
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