9 Things Every New Mom Needs to Know
You’re six months pregnant. In your excitement at the arrival of your bundle of joy, you must have read every single baby care and parenting book you’ve laid your hands on. You have also attended a couple of classes and have asked your doctor a ton of questions. But when it comes to raising kids, nothing beats the knowledge and insight of real moms. We asked three moms to share what a new mom must absolutely know about this thing called motherhood.
1. You’ll cry a river!
A new mom will often find herself in the brink of tears. Chessy Alejandro, mom of two and blogger over at Chessy.ph, says, “You will cry a lot from happiness, tiredness, sleeplessness. I can’t explain it, but I was so overwhelmed that I survived one year with someone new and fragile, whose whole life depended on me! Yes, I know that I’ll shed more tears as milestones continue to happen and just thinking about those makes me want to cry right now! Being a mom is really living with the pieces of your heart out in the open. Every little thing that your child does or say will tug your tear ducts.”
2. You and your baby are in a period of transition.
Michelle Siaotong-Llaban, mom of three with another on the way, real estate broker, and United Nations Consultant, says a new mom and her baby need time to adjust. She says, “As we adjust to being a mom, our baby is also adjusting to being a baby. Both of you go through a rather challenging journey so be mindful of how best you can nourish the baby to the best of his potential.”
3. Your baby’s sleep pattern is going to be quite erratic.
RJ Dancel, mom of one and blogger over at Millennial Panda, says, “One minute I see my son sleeping for hours, the next minute he’s waking up every 30 minutes. It can get really stressful, especially during the wee hours of the morning, just before the sun rises. Every baby is different. In my case, he wants to be sung to while being swayed. If your baby is having trouble sleeping, and you hear your friends say, ‘Huh, baby ko nga mabilis matulog,’ don’t fret. You might feel insecure, but trust me, it is completely normal to have a cranky baby who doesn’t have a set sleeping pattern. I’d tell you to read books, but most of them don’t work. The important thing is to know your baby. Experiment on different ways to soothe or relax him. You’ll get it eventually.”
4. You’re going to be judged on your parenting skills by others.
But Chessy says, “No one has the right to judge your mothering skill except your children, which they will defy and misunderstand until they’ve got kids of their own. My philosophy is that I am parenting my children the way they need me to be. Children can’t be boxed into categories, so why label and follow one parenting theory as well?! Parenting is easy when you know how to choose your battles. Just follow your gut feel, stick to your values, and know that you are doing a great job!”
5. You need help!
A new mom must never be afraid to seek assistance. Mitch says, “We need a solid support system, so that raising our children will not be a burden for us. Support groups vary from family, relatives, and mommy groups like Mommy Mundo. The Internet also provides a wide variety of support system in terms of information availability.”
6. You and your hubby are going to find it challenging to be intimate.
RJ says, “I thought that having a baby would bring us closer together. It did, on an emotional and mature manner. But then we started realizing we were losing intimacy time. When I say intimacy, it doesn’t necessarily translate to sex. It could mean you both just snuggling up in bed or having dinner together or going out on a date… When your baby’s asleep, play cards, go to the couch, lie down on your hubby’s lap and talk. Even if it’s a good 30 minutes, it’s 30 minutes you might not have in a few days… It’s important to have this time with your partner, it’s what keeps you both afloat, keeps you both in love.”
7. You’ll always find yourself with more!
Chessy says, “As a mom, you’ll learn that there’s always more: more space for toys, more clothes to pack away, more love to give and receive, more leftovers to eat, more products to try, more places to discover. I also discovered a lot of things about myself that I know I wouldn’t have known if I weren’t a mom. For instance, I never knew that I was capable of raising children and that I had the strength to endure the pain during labor and breastfeeding. I now also know that I have more reasons to stay healthy, physically and emotionally, because two little darlings are depending on me. Being a mom is being an endless pit of love, patience, wisdom, and courage.”
8. You are going to miss your self.
The new mom might have a difficult time adjusting to her new routine and lifestyle. RJ says, “Being a newbie mom is difficult, especially when you don’t allow yourself to get the help you need. You’re going to lose time for yourself, and that isn’t good. Trust me. I know the feeling of losing my cool. My hubby tells me to go out and shop, take a day off, or spend time in the salon. I never take his word cause in my head, all I kept on thinking was: 'Who will feed our son? Who’s gonna take care of him? Won’t he get used to a yaya if I’m not always there?'"
"I get guilty a lot, but my hubby’s right: Take time off for yourself. You better feel happy, refreshed, and energized when you’re a mom. If you’re not happy, and you feel like you’re pouring too much time on everything else, then there’s a problem. Entrust your baby with his/her grandparents, or let the hubby take over. In the three or four hours you decide to spend time alone, get a massage, go to bookstore, or shop til you drop, anything that will make you feel good.”
9. You have been given a most precious gift!
“Being a mom is a gift, not given to everybody. So many women pray hard and submit themselves for medical work ups yet are not able to conceive. Be grateful always,” Mitch says. “Moms should know that children are blessings from the Lord. No matter in what circumstance they arrive, they are sent to us to bless our lives and to experience the fullness of life. It is said each child who comes brings with him a bagful of blessings! Celebrate the life God has given you.”