I wanted to write you and do what most people will not do for you as you are expecting your first/next bundle of joy. I'm going to be honest and transparent. Here are a few thoughts and tips as you begin this new journey...
1. Motherhood is hard. No joke. Some days, it's downright horrible. There will be times when showing your children unconditional love won't exactly be what's crossing your mind.
2. You will be complimented on your glow as your belly grows, but won't be informed that that glow may turn into night sweats and leave your bed damp and you wondering if you're five again.
3.Because you're growing a mini human inside your body, that body is going to change...and most likely stay that way. And.it's.okay. Don't deny it. Don't refuse to believe it. Embrace it, cause it sure is going to embrace you. I'm not saying to never strive to exercise and take care of your postpartum body...only to recognize reality and understand that your body will fight you every step of the way. Fight back.
4. You will be encouraged to "eat for two" and satisfy that craving...thinking twice about this will greatly reduce your struggle with #3.
5.Know that you may not feel that instant love as that little one is placed on your chest for the first time. It's not always a magical moment, and that's okay. There will be time for that. Do not begin your journey of motherhood by believing the lies that it has to be a certain way or you're a bad mom. Mama Dear, you are amazing. Give yourself grace...those fuzzy feelings will come.
6. If you have been blessed with a good baby the first time around, wonderful! People will encourage you by warning you to "watch out" for the next one, because apparently they can foretell the future. Just smile and reply with "Thank you for your imput." then walk away quickly before you say what you really think.
7. You will want to mentally store away the reply in #6, cause you're gonna need it. A lot.
8. Those tiny little fingers and tiny little toes? Oh, yes, they are most definitely precious and sweet...just remember that when they put their fingerprints all over that clean window, or use that finger to pick their nose and wipe it on the couch, or when those feet kick you in the face in a tantrum. Sweet, darling children...
9. Changing diapers will get old. With your first child, that may happen when they begin baby food...with your second, by 3 months...with your fourth, after the first diaper.
10. Sex will be different. Be patient and remember that your spouse is your first love.
11. Be aware of the reality of postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders. They are real and you very well could end up struggling with it. A support system is needed beyond meals for two weeks after delivery. Don't wait until your breaking point to ask for help.
12. After you've had a child, you will be asked for the next 10-15 years, "So when's the next one?" "Are you guys done?" "It's about time for another one, isn't it?" Also, your belly will become the not-so-discrete focal point during conversations and passing "Hi, how are you's?" This only increases when you have all your children with you, specifically if you have more than two.
13. "Oh, you're going to be such a great mom!" Yes, you will be. Yes, you are. Do not allow these well-meaning statements to burn an unrealistic expectation in your heart that you must prove your worthiness of the "Mom" title to everyone else. You are the best for your child, because your child was given to you. Yes, you will make mistakes. Learn and move on, and leave others' expectations there, too.
Mama Dear, children are wonderful, but I'm not going to lie and say that it's all fun and games. It's not. But it.is.worth it.
And I wouldn't trade it for the world.