I have been meaning to write a post like this ever since I found out my sister-in-law was pregnant. That was a long time ago considering Jacob is 6 weeks old now. I will never claim to be an expert but from having 3 of my own children, running a daycare for 6 years, and being a nanny/babysitter since I was 12, I think I have some experience. Not to mention I am the queen of research...if there was an article written on an issue I have or will read it. If something comes up that I haven't dealt with, I will surely know the ins and outs before the day is done. Anyway on with the lesson...
There is nothing more special, amazing and just plain awesome than being a mom. There is nothing more tiring, emotional, and just plain hard as being a mom.
1. The new baby scent. I just love to hold my baby and smell them. The new baby scent is like no other. It can make a gloomy day nice, a sleepless night better, and a sad moment happier. You will learn your babies smell and they know yours. It is a connection between mommy and baby that can't be replaced. That smell will change to a grimy, dirty, hard playing kid smell in no time. Which is something else to relish in...a healthy playing child will get dirty.
2. Babies make noise. Babies cry, grunt, whimper, gurgle, coo, toot and groan. Sometimes a noise means they need something, but most noises are just noises. We as humans are not quiet creatures, newborns are the same. As a mom, enjoy this noises because soon enough they turn in to words, and many words that you don't want to hear.
3. Babies spit up. I have not meet a baby that didn't spit up at one time or another. Most babies down right vomit. There are the babies with reflux (the poor things), but your average baby will spit up, vomit, and empty their stomachs for no reason. Just when you finally get a good feeding into the little thing, a burp could bring it all back up and in your lap. The only thing you can do is clean up and start the feeding all over. Chances are the next one will stay down.
4. Babies don't sleep. I know the saying "the only thing newborns do is eat, sleep and poop". I can say I think they sleep a lot less than the other two. Just kidding...Yes newborns sleep and they sleep a lot, but at 2 to 3 hour intervals. What adult, do you know, that can function on getting 2 or 3 hours of sleep at a time. It takes me 2 hours to fall asleep sometimes. There is also the baby that will be up for 5 hours straight in the middle of the night. And if you have a toddler at home there is no way you can sleep when the baby sleeps. So, learn to go without sleep. It is not fun, and days go by in a haze but that is part of being a mom. It is amazing what a mom can learn to do.
5. Babies get sick. No matter what you do as a parent your baby will eventually get sick. Breastfeed babies get sick, parents that carry bottles of Purell have children that get sick (both these are me) and babies in a bubble get sick . Yes, it is scary and heartbreaking, but it will happen. As they get older they will get sick more often. The only plus side is they are building their immune systems.
6. You know your baby. To a new mom this might be hard to believe, but you know your baby better than anyone else. Listen to you gut, if you think something is wrong, then something is wrong. It is hard to put aside what everyone else is saying but you really have to listen to your mommy sense. It is there, even if you can't hear it yet.
7. Do what works for you. Read everything, listen to veteran parents, and listen to doctors, but then do what works for you. Professionals are not always right and they don't live with you. They don't see what you see and do everyday. You need to do what works. If co-sleeping works than do it. The doctor may tell you not to, it is dangerous, the baby needs to sleep in their crib. Well if that doesn't work, you have to do what will. Breastfeeding may be what is best, but if it doesn't work, and stresses mom, than it is not best for you or the baby. Cloth diapers/disposable diapers...do what works for you. Don't feel badly if you can't seem to go the cloth diaper route. Again if you are stressed it is not good for you or the baby.
8. It all goes by too quick. Enjoy the sleepless nights, hazy days, vomit soaked clothes because in a blink of an eye they will be going to kindergarten, graduating high school and off to college. The hard, tiresome, emotional days are all part of being a mom. After all is said and done the best thing is your baby. It is all worth it, and looking back, it really wasn't that hard.