Let me start by saying that in no way am I a parenting expert. My son just turned one, so it would be false advertising to act like I was a seasoned pro at my new title of M-O-M. When I was pregnant, the only advice I ever got about being a new mom was that “having a baby changes everything!” And does it? Yes. A million times yes, but looking back, it would have been helpful to have more specific advice to soak up those last pre-baby days before things really change.
Your “Normal” Won’t Be Normal Anymore
This sounds scary. And it should. I still remember my last trimester of pregnancy vividly, and being so focused on not being pregnant anymore that I truly didn’t think about how life would be different and what would change after our bundle of joy had arrived. Not that I didn’t embrace the growing belly and sweet kicks, believe me I did, but I didn’t embrace the stuff that was normal in my life.
Oh, you decide you want to go out for Mexican food at 8 pm and have a margarita? Think again. Want to go to a random class at the gym 5 minutes before it starts? Nope. And what’s that? You want to lay in bed on Saturday morning with your husband and watch HGTV until noon? Haha, nice try there new mom!
My point is that e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g in your life is about to change. Will you be able to be spontaneous anymore? Not for a while. Your new normal will be having it take 30 minutes to get out the door, then being so freaked out the entire time you’re in public that your baby is going to have a meltdown that you decide to go home, just to be safe. Yes, your normal will be completely different, but soon you won’t be able to imagine it any other way.
Your Relationship With Your Partner Will Change
You can blame this one on too many chick flicks or on your Facebook feed over flowing with picture perfect only moments, but as 20, 30, and 40 something women, we’re programmed to believe that going from life as a family of two to three is going to be seamless. I’m here to tell you, this probably isn’t going to be the case when you become a new mom. You’re bringing a tiny human into the world… there are going to be bumps in the road to the “happily ever after” as a family.
It could be a 2am argument about who’s turn it is to get up with the baby, differences in parenting techniques, or a feeling of resentment about your partner getting out of the house to go to work, the gym, etc., while you’re “stuck” at home with a newborn; it’s going to happen at some point and it’s likely going to catch you completely off guard.
Not to say this one ends up all bad for a new mom. Once you both kind of figure out what in the hell it is that you’re doing, it will get better. Yes, there may still be days that you can’t believe you procreated with this person laying next to you snoring (the nerve!), but watching the bond grow between your husband and child is something more incredible than I have words for.
Your Friendships Are Going to Change
Not by any fault of their own, but your friends without kids don’t get it – they don’t understand what you’re going through or how your life is changing as a new mom. They don’t understand that you can’t focus on holding an entire adult conversation with a crying baby in tow and they certainly don’t understand why everything in your life now revolves around nap time.
Keeping up a social schedule with a baby is tough, and when you do get out to socialize as a new mom, you could care less about who so and so is dating and more about who else was up 5 times with their baby last night.
This one doesn’t mean that the love is lost, but it definitely takes more effort on both ends. You’re not the same person you were before you had a baby and not everyone may be on board with the new you.
Becoming a mom has been the single most rewarding, terrifying, earth shattering experience of my life, yet I wake up everyday happier than the last. My life has is definitely different, but when you really think about it, life should change after you’ve grown and birthed a tiny human.