You can read all the books and blogs in the world but nothing can really prepare you for motherhood. Everyone will give you advice and tips but you will soon realise that what works for one mom and baby doesn't necessarily work for all. You just have to figure it out for yourself and learn as you go. Here's the main things I learned after one year of motherhood.
1. I love you husband but right now I just want to punch you in the face
I've heard women say "having a baby is such a magical bonding experience, we've honestly never felt closer as a couple" Well I call bullshit. Having a baby is hard on a marriage. In the beginning its all baby all the time. I missed husband so much those first few months which sounds ridiculous because he was right there next to me on the couch, in the car, lying next to me in bed. But I was so focused on the baby, I only looked at the baby, I only spoke about the baby that he might as well not have been there at all. I didn't even ask him how his day was when he came home from work. It just didn't seem important at the time. We also went from a couple who never had fights to one that did constantly. Who's day was the hardest, who was more tired, who's turn was it to get up that night, who did what wrong with the baby. It made me so miserable because this wasn't how it was suppose to be. Then I started speaking to other new moms and realised that a lot of them were experiencing the same thing. We weren't a horrible couple for not basking in the 'bonding experience' glow. We were just normal. So if you find yourself crying in the shower wondering if you and your new baby will move back in with your parents when you and husband get a divorce, don't worry, this too shall pass. Things will return to normal.
2. Diffy up the duties
This goes hand in hand with number one, because if you get this right you might just skip most of the issues that was mentioned above. Decide who will be doing what before baby comes. Don't think it will naturally sort it self out once baby arrives. Husband must know what he will be responsible for. Also avoid the 'if I want it done right I have to do it myself' mentally. I did that. I wanted to do everything because I wanted it done my way. It nearly killed me. I was exhausted. I was going mental. I had zero time for myself and I was depriving husband of the 'struggle and figure it out for yourself' part of parenthood. You HAVE to share parenting duties. A very wise mom once told me: Just because you have the boobs doesn't make you right (or the better parent)
3. No baby no opinion
Pre baby I was VERY opinionated when it came to breastfeeding. Breast is best. Its only a few months of your life, if you love your baby you will do it. I though women who chose not to breastfeed was horrible and SO selfish. Then I had my baby and I had to breastfeed and it was one of the hardest and most painful things I've ever had to do. For the first two weeks of breastfeeding I hated every minute of it. And suddenly I realised that unless you have actually breastfed a tiny baby you have no right to judge anyone for choosing not to.
I remember telling my mom that I will only be able to stick it out for 2 weeks. At the end of the 2 weeks I decided I'll finish the month. Then I said lets just get to 3 month. Eventually it all fell into place. Breastfeeding became easy. I breastfed my baby for 7 month, until I had to go back to work. I am so glad I stuck it out and kept going. If you are struggling with breastfeeding think short term. Take each day at a time. Don't think "Oh my word I have to do this for 6 month to a year" Think "lets just make it to the end of the week" Worked for me.
4. Wipe the tears and forget the guilt
Unless you pull a bubble boy on your baby he will probably scrape and bruise quite a few times. Especially once they start walking. The first time your baby falls and gets hurt your heart will break. The mom guilt will be terrible. BUT it is amazing how fast they bounce back. Yesterday Ben's finger got slammed in the door and he cried like I've never seen/heard him cry before. His poor middle finger is so blue and swollen. I felt horrible. How could I let this happen to him. And yes he was terribly miserable for a bit but after a bath, bottle and some Nurofen he was back to climbing on everything and giving me, the horrible mom who turned her back for a second and he got hurt, big hugs and sloppy kisses. You might think you are a terrible mom but to him you are everything. Little accidents are unfortunately part of growing up. Best to have a cry, get it out the system and move on.