Cayo Coco, Cuba
Every first motherhood experience is unique and special but if there is one thing that all mums can agree on, it’s that no matter how much books you read, or how many kids you baby sit, you can never be fully prepared for the reality of what it means to be a mom. Having kids is so much hard work! As much as having kids is always a blessing, it can also be daunting, exhausting and tough. I raise my hats to the moms that have or choose to have more than two kids, to me they are just super human- especially those that work as well, i mean how do they do it all?
Motherhood is the hardest and most unpredictable job I will ever cherish
I really wish someone sat me down before I had children to really explain nitty gritty, the ups and downs, the good, the bad, the ugly, to explain that there will be very high highs’ and extremely low low’s. I’m always grateful to other moms when they share their motherhood experiences and truths.
There are so many things I wish I had known before I became a mom, but these are the ones that really stuck when I think back to those first few months after having my two boys. With 5 years of parenting under my belt, today I’m sharing my list of 10 things I wish I knew before becoming a mom, i added a little twist by using a title from one of my favourite music to ensure each point sinks in.
Endless Love (Lionel Ritchie)
I had no idea i could feel so much love for two small humans. You get to find out your heart has the ability to expand and you have this crazy, intense all encompassing love for each child but you cant wrap your head around that until it happens. Our children define what unconditional love really is. Yes, we love our husband, parents, siblings, friends, relatives but there is nothing like the love you have for your child. It’s overwhelming, unexplainable, real and exhausting.
Hot N Cold (Katy Perry)
Babies and toddlers can be so unpredictable! Some days they are cold, some days they are hot, some days they’re grumpy, some days they’re cheerful, some days they’re not hungry, some days they can eat two servings. Babies have mood swings and can be temperamental. Some days it would just seem like they are crying for no apparent reason but trust me there is always a reason why they cry, if you observe them closely.
SleepSong (Secret Garden Cbeebies)
You won’t sleep. Even if your baby is a super sleeper like mine was relatively, you still won’t sleep. Your days of sleeping soundly is gone. You will always worry about one thing or the other that would prevent you from sleeping soundly, whether its sudden infant death syndrome, cot death or teething discomfort when they are very little. And then when they can get out of their bed they will wake you up at 5am very rudely with loud noise “mummy i’m hungry”.
I don’t really care what people say (Sean Paul)
I wish I had known that I was going to be just okay without worrying too much about anyone who chose to judge my parenting style. God gave you these blessings because he trusted you, therefore you just have to trust yourself and that your best is good enough for your kids.
Patience (Take That)
I was surprised how much patience and perseverance I was able to develop over a short space of time whether my baby refuses to eat their food that was their all-time favourite until yesterday or my pre-schoolers is one of the kids his age still throwing tantrums or you have to wait for an annoying loud toy that needs to lose its batteries to go off- its only patience that will get you through.
Don’t be so hard on yourself (Jess Glynn)
You will make mistakes and it’s okay. Trust your instincts, it may take a little fine tuning but you do have natural maternal instincts and I am still learning new things everyday on this motherhood journey. Breastfeeding was really tough. I read several books and even took a class on it, and still, I fought through weeks of pain, blood, sweat, and tears and several lactation consultants for both my babies. It was easier with the 2nd for sure! Motherhood is the most exhausting and rewarding, amazing journey all at the same time.
Control Myself (Jennifer Lopez, LLCOOLJ)
When someone else is watching your child like your nanny, mom or mother-in-law, don’t be a control freak. Let them take care for your child the way they they know how based on their own experience and exposure. Obviously, you should give them some pointers and tips about what works for your own child. Even if you don’t agree with their parenting styles, as hard as it can be to accept- your nans somehow managed to raise you and your husband.
Its okay to want alone time and time to recharge. You are allowed to take a break once in a while even if it’s for just 30 minutes. You are not strange or alone when you feel that a trip to ASDA is the next best thing to sleep or ice-cream. Be kind to yourself, take care of yourself, take time out for yourself, whether it’s a walk, a nice long shower, eating your meal in one sitting, listening to music, reading a book, taking a fitness class, mani/pedi, massage, spa day, facial- do something, you have to take care of yourself first otherwise you won’t be able to take care of anyone.
Feel (Calvin Harris)
You will feel everything your child is going through. When my older son caught chicken pox from nursery, my skin became very itchy throughout like its me that caught it. I always catch cold from my boys literally every single time.
In terms of my professional working life, despite all the years of education spent in school and university pursing a Bachelors and Masters degree with top grades too and the several years of experience I had invested in my career so far. I surprised myself with the relative ease with which I chose to give up certain professional aspirations in exchange of affording me more time at home with my kids. If anyone told me 5 years ago I would chose to work part-time, I wouldn’t believe them.
Girl (Destiny Child)
One significant change in my adult relationships is the instant bond I feel with other like minded moms and dads, as if we are in a secret fraternity, a society in which we all empathise with the sleepless nights, childcare challenges, childhood illness, mom guilt and public tantrums. Also, its okay to shout out if you’re really struggling and building a network of supportive mom friends is key!
I asked the parents from the UK parent community on facebook, here were their responses:
That it would fundamentally change me as a human being. I had no idea how much I was missing in my life until our Small arrived.
Sinead Latham from www.sineadlatham.com
I wish I had known that I was going to do just fine. That I was going to be a good Mummy and that I didn’t need to worry about not being good enough.
Vikki Evans from www.familytravelwithellie.com
How little sleep you can actually survive on.
Beth Law from Twinderelmo.co.uk
As a first time mum, that a newborn is a lot easier and has far more simple needs than my now 4 year old. 😂 Babies are easy in comparison to “big boys”.
Rachael Robinson from http://lukeosaurusandme.co.uk
That you can never take enough spare clothes with you. 😊
Gareth Hopkins from www.daddygiraffe21.com
Just how truly tired I would be, I laughed about it when I was pregnant, now I’m a mum of three I really treasure the sleep I get and wake up most mornings exhausted already.
Sarah Sullivan from www.mummycatnotes.com
I wish I knew that my kids were never going to listen the first time around. No matter what I ask them to do, I always end up repeating myself!
Pete Chatfield from www.householdmoneysaving.com
It would be the best decision I ever made. I wasn’t sure that I even wanted kids but once I made the decision it was definitely the best thing.
Louise Fairweather from http://astrongcoffee.co.uk
How much you would put yourself last and them first. I knew they would take over my life but I didn’t realise how much you would be prepared to do to keep them safe, happy and healthy.
Emma Reed from https://Emmareed.net
That it was okay to yell when giving birth- I went to a pre-natal class where some expectant moms were saying there was no need to make such a noise ….consequently when I was in labour I kept apologising (when I had the breath/energy) to the midwife every time I made a noise!
Kim Brockington from www.brummiegalincardiff.co.uk
I was surprised how much love and patience I had. I had never before felt the love I have towards my boy.
Nita Ho from http://mummywishes.com
What unconditional love really means. No matter how much you’re knee deep in poo and sick while your kids are pulling your hair and screaming ‘mummy’, the moment you get 5 minutes to think – and feel – through the sleep deprivation and the frazzled nerves, there is nothing, but nothing, in this world that will ever stop you from loving your children from the deepest pits of your heart and soul – so much so that your heart bursts. Being a mother to your kids is the true definition of unconditional love.
Leyla Preston from http://www.motherhooddiaries.com
That babies and parents are so different in every way. I spent so much of the first few months comparing notes and worrying if my baby fell short or I was instigating a new habit that no one else was. Now I’m more relaxed about it and go with my gut if something doesn’t feel right.
Victoria Glass from thegrowingmum.com
Just how versatile a muslin cloth could be. Sick cloth, make shift changing mat, bib, blanket. They are fab 😁
Simone Baker from www.marriedtoageek.co.uk
That people will judge you no matter what you do, so just do what you think is best and ignore the opinions of others!
Victoria Sully from https://www.lyliarose.com
How frigging tired I would be for years to come!
Kate Evans from https://themumconundrum.com
That every child and family is different and while it’s perfectly okay to listen to other peoples’s experiences, don’t think you’ve got to do it that way. I suppose it’s the wisdom to do what feels right and what works for YOUR family. Thanks
Carol Cameleon from https://virtuallyallsorts.com
That I should have established a good career for myself before having kids. I didn’t imagine everything would be so hectic and what’s worse is that I couldn’t bear leaving my children at home to work.
Veronica Mitchell from http://myparentingjourney.com/
That for my kids my best would always be good enough! As a new mum its so easy to put so much pressure on ourselves to get everything perfect and right first time. We drive ourselves mad comparing to other parents and putting ourselves down. But our kids don’t care about anyone else or if our Pinterest tries aren’t perfect in their eyes their mummy and daddy are amazing and our best is always good enough for them!
Jess Howliston from www.tantrumstosmiles.co.uk
That everything I thought and felt was valid even if I was going through PND. People tell you that parenting is hard but they don’t tell you specifics of what makes it hard and it was a massive shock to the system. Plus the pressure to breastfeed is ridiculous to the point I bit my Health visitors head off saying that after mastitis reduced my supply, rather than taking supplements and wait for the supply to increase id rather not starve my child who was already bordering on underweight and was happy tongive him formula. Funnily enough once on formula his weight gained significantly. Big fingers up to them HA!
Lianne Harris from www.mrsmummyharris.co.uk
I wish I knew how hard breastfeeding will be. It’s the most natural thing in the world but SO difficult and painful to begin with. No one tells you this.
Bella Louise Drew from documentingthedrews.co.uk
The true, indispensable, value of…..WET WIPES!
Han-Son Lee from https://daddilife.com
It’s okay to admit you’re having a hard time and having good friends around you that support you are EVERYTHING!
Ayse Erdin from www.arepops.com
That i was going to be ok. I spent my whole pregnancy worrying I was going to be awful at parenting and that I wouldn’t love my child!
Gail Maynes from www.yammymommyblog.wordpress.com
Trust your instincts, Your gut feeling is usually right. You can take advice from family, friends and health visitors, but no one knows a baby like its mummy.
Kate Thompson from www.modernmum.net
How much my life would change for the better, and don’t worry about not bonding. The overwhelming feeling of love was phenomenal and now he is 8 I seem to love him more and more each day. I actually think I could explode 🙂
Clare Brown from https://freddiesmummyuk.com
I wish people told me about the little things. Like nipping into a store for 30 seconds and taking the baby out the car and back buckling them back in which turns the trip from 2 minutes to 15 minutes. How important baby napping is in his own cot and not leaving the house during this time. I wish someone told me how bad nappies can actually get!! And how when my son smiles he melts my heart ❣
Lee Mark Tregear from www.daddylee.co.uk