March 15, 2013

10 Things Nobody Tells You to Expect About Becoming a Mom

I've had this conversation with mothers many times over the years and every time I do, experienced baby makers agree enthusiastically… somebody needs to write a book about what life is really like when you have a baby.  Here’s my Top 10 list of the shiz women really need to expect about having a baby:


1 - Your Baby Daddy is an asshole. Forget everything you ever saw in any stupid romantic comedy and start getting it through your head now. He will NOT live up to your expectations when you bring the baby home and you could easily get sucked into a black hole of resentment that you might displace onto your baby.

2 - Your body will never EVER be the same. You will get stretch marks and probably hemorrhoids. Once your boobs are done with their milk responsibilities they figure they've done their job in a) luring the sperm donor and b) nourishing the baby. They’re going to retire now. You will have to wear padded bras now because your nipples will never point the same direction ever again so every time a cold breeze blows you’re going to point to 2:00 and 9:00. After all this, it still amazes me when Husband gets jealous. I’m like, have you SEEN me naked lately?

3 - If you can’t breastfeed, you are NOT a bad mom. Breastfeeding comes easy to most but the rest of us can. not. do. it. And despite what the lactation nurses and instructors say, this does not make you a bad mother. Those cultists had me so wound up that we had an ENT surgically alter Angel Baby’s frenulum in hopes that she could latch on better. I wore plastic forms, I pumped, I drove to the pediatrician’s office for ten days straight so the lactation nurse could assist and I could never produce more than 1.5 ounces at a time. My baby chewed my nipples off. Literally. By the way, did you know if someone chews your nipples off they freaking grow back?! Like a lizard’s tail. Who knew?

4 - Sleep as much as you can while you’re pregnant. Because the minute you come home from the hospital you won’t have a full night of restful sleep for three years. I once needed a pitch-black room with no television or radio playing and a crisply made bed to be able to fall asleep. Now I could literally stand in the broom closet and instantly go to sleep if everyone would just leave me alone for two minutes.

5 - You might need meds. I didn't get the baby blues with my first baby but the second one was a different story. At my 6-week check-up after having Brutus I unloaded on my doctor in a rage and told him all of the horrible things that had been running through my mind… I hated my husband for not helping more, I was MAD at the baby because he wouldn't sleep, I resented the girls because they needed me, I hated myself because I just SUCKED at everything. He told me he wanted to put me on anti-depressants and I screamed at him, “I’m not f#@king depressed!!! I’m f#@king A N G R Y !!!!!” Yeah. That happened. Don’t resist the meds if you need them. I was on them for about two years and I’m pretty sure my marriage and my mental state wouldn't have survived without them.

6 - You’re going to have to let something go. You will not be able to do everything. The thing I had to let go was my need for a perfectly tidy house. I would spend time that I should have been sleeping while the baby was napping obsessively cleaning the house. I ran myself into the ground. Quickly. I wanting everything to look like it does in the magazines and on tv and I could never make it happen. And God forbid someone stop by and things not look perfect! I thought that if everything looked perfect then maybe I could pretend that it was. It’s not perfect. You won’t be perfect. And that’s OK.

7 - Your time is no longer your own. This was probably one of my biggest hurdles. I was raised as an only child. I bought my first place when I was 22 and lived blissfully alone for eight glorious years. Thirty years of being the master and commander of your universe hardwires you. If I wanted to mop the floor, I pulled out the bucket and went to it. If I wanted to go to Target, I got in the car and headed out. If I wanted to spend four hours cooking braciole, that’s what I did. Everything worked on my schedule and I had a hell of a time when that was no longer the case. When you have babies, you have to work around their schedules.

8 - Don’t judge yourself against Perfect Mommy. Perfect Mommy is a liar. She does not have it all together and if she even comes close, it’s because she’s got a better support system than you (she has a nanny, she takes the kids to Mommy’s Day Out every day or her mama lives next door). Every time you see Perfect Mommy just remind yourself that either a) she’s struggling just like you but doing a better job at covering it up or b) she’s got minions.

9 - You will discover how much your mother loves you. And how much you love her. One of the best things I gained when I became a mother was the first-hand understanding of how monumental a mother’s love is. I had no clue. No idea. No words to describe the love between a mother and her child until I became a mother myself. And when you realize that, and you look at your mom for the first time through those eyes and recognize that in her, it will bring you to your knees.

10 - God gives us the divine right to love and protect our babies. And when you tap into that omnipotent strength and power it is a revelation. The universe suddenly makes sense. You will now view the world through different eyes. There is nothing you won’t do to protect your baby. It is heady and liberating to know that you have this strength and power and clarity. Because at the end of the day, does anything else really matter? Your house is a mess, you’re tired, you feel frumpy and fat and ugly, everyone else seems to be doing it better than you but your baby is alive and healthy and clothed and fed and you did that. You did that.

10 ½ - It gets easier.  It really does.  I promise.


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21 comments:

  1. Thank you for this! Write a book already! I'll be first in line to buy it!

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  2. #9. Yes and YES!! When I realized how much my mother loved me, I felt guilty that I could never love her back that way.

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  3. Thank you so much for this.. I am 20 years old and expecting my first baby, due in 1 month! You basically covered a majority of my worries, thoughts and feelings. Especially #3-#6. I would definitely read any book you wrote! Thank you again, I no longer feel AS anxious as before ;)

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    1. Congratulations! Babies are blessings. Things will not be all rainbows and unicorns but they will still be amazeballs :)

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  4. Thank you for this, and for making it printable. A copy is going to my 30 year old expecting her 1st baby in August. Thanks again from one who has been there, and is STILL there.

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  5. ROTFLMBO!!!! This is so true and sadly it took me a while to get it after I had my first child. Now that I am older and my youngest is teenager, I can look back on some of those horrible days when I first became a mother. Thanks for the honesty and the laugh ;o)

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  6. Another thing that you fail to mention, is you lose brain cells. I left out part of my sentence above, lol. I meant to say that I can look back and laugh now at some of the horrible moments I had when I was a new mother.

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  7. Oh so true! I've said most of these things before! So happy that we have blogs these days so we can see we aren't alone! I think that #9 was the most eye opening! Luv luv ur blog so far....must read more!

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  8. I am I allowed to comment as a guy??? Just wanted to say thanks for a cracking article. My wife would have laughed out loud to this.

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  9. 3 kids, never breast-feed and sure in the hell didn't feel guilty for my decision but then, even today, I don't really care what any tells me I'm "supposed" to be worried about, boobs normal, no stretch marks - good genes, nothing I did personally because, yeah, I was young and didn't know you were suppose to attempt to "mitigate" pregnancy damage. Didn't have any, go me! My sister? Every lotion known to man and every old wives tale was put into place. Don't get me started on the creams she could buy and the cocoa butter and God knows what else. Sweet baby Jesus her belly looked like a road map of the world! She is still pissed off about this difference. I'm damn near 50 and she's already 60. It's too long to hold a grudge against genetics. And believe me, it is genetics. I gained 15 pounds with my first child - because food held absolutely no interest for me - and went home in my own pre pregnancy clothes, with the last two? HELLO 60 additional pounds and going home in maternity clothes. Personally it was a sad day for me when I had to give up my maternity panties. I loved those. I recently went thorough menopause - gained 30 pounds. I've decided it's "happy fat" and I'm keeping it.

    BTW - my kids are in college and/or working/living on their own - their is no "get to sleep" zone, except for that time period if they are all between the ages of 2 (for me) and 14 (when they decide they "need" to go to movies with their friends WITHOUT YOU. But you still get to drive. I had one year of peaceful sleep (my kids are spread quite apart). Now that they are "living their own lives" Sweet Baby Jesus I worry more than I ever did.

    Good luck. And I have to say - I love your site. This is for real people, not those fake "foodies" who 'always" use "real" ingredients - you know, except when they go through the drive-through at McDonalds! Keep up the wonderful site. You give recipes for real people and real life. Love this.

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  10. Hi there I saw one of your recipes on facebook,went to your site and oh my goodness I just LOVE it!!! Everything! You have some amazing recipes and RANDOM CRAP is hilarious! I was having a bad day and I started reading and I was LMAO. Sooo... Just wanted to say THANKYOU.

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  11. As a 52 year old mother of two and Nana of four, I absolutely love this list! You are so on with writing what years ago no one had to tell us. New mothers need to trust their instincts and not get so wrapped up in being a perfect mother. I breastfed both of my girls but saw my daughter go through pure misery trying to breastfeed her child with the assistance of the 'boob nazi', as she was called by others. You either can breastfeed or you can't and your child will not suffer either way! Enjoy them as much as possible, because it is so true that they will be grown before you realize it.
    Thank you for this funny, informative List!!

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  12. I wish somebody would have told me all this 20 years ago. I think new moms should know the truth about this kind of stuff just so they know they are normal. I thought I was failing because I didn't have perfect hair and ironed clothes everytime I left the house. I love this list!

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  13. I know breastfeeding can be so hard. We struggled for weeks. No one tells you not all babies know how to nurse.

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  14. I am a mom of 2 and attempted to breast feed as well. With my first born it didn't work so well. Not because I couldn't produce milk or had inverted nipples or anything, but she just wasn't strong enough to suck. She had too weak of a heart. With my second child, he could empty both breasts in no time flat! Oh lord that child! Happy to say that both my babies, now in their mid twenties are doing just fine! My body has been through the wringer but I wouldn't trade a moment!

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  15. This is hilarious!! I laughed out loud through the entire list. Soooo true. I'm 32 and have 2 under 5, you hit the nail on the head for each point. Having babies is the best life changer in the world, but also makes you find out what you're really made of, that's for sure. Thanks for being real, and making me laugh :)

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  16. LOVE the RANDOM CRAP!!!! Thank you and keep it coming!

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  17. HONEY YOU HIT EVERY NAIL STRAIGHT ON THE HEAD!!!!! LOVE YOUR RANDOMNESS! I DONT USUALLY READ BLOGS BUT YOURS ARE A BREATH OF FRESH AIR KEEP IT UP MAMA!!!

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  18. Don't know if you will see this comment, but, my perspective of #9 is completely different, polar opposite. When I had my children, my heart was so full with love for the tiny humans I held in my arms, I had no idea there was such a love in this whole world, and wondered why my mother didn't love me.

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  19. You have done a great work. Thanks for making this blog. You helped me a lot on my research topic. Keep it up guys!

    www.imarksweb.org

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Hi there! While I'm not able to respond to every comment, I try hard to answer any questions that haven't been addressed in the post, recipe or in other comments. And though I may not respond to them all, I do read each and every comment and I LOVE to hear from you guys! Thanks, y'all! - Mandy

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