Mommy’s Corner is a weekly series exploring our journey in becoming parents, our love for our ShuGar baby, and general topics related to mommyhood.
Hi Sweet Loves – I hope you are all having some summery fun! I listened to everyone’s advice and took a vacay to spend time with my little prince and the hubs. Best thing ever! I have felt more refreshed and calm. I highly recommend any new mom to do the same!
Now, let’s continue our talk on what you should really expect when you are expecting a new baby. To get all the juicy details for the first five things, click here. As always, if you prefer to be more in the dark when it comes to motherhood in the first year, please stop reading here.
For those of you wanting to know the skinny, I’ve got you covered below.
(6) You will be on an Emotional Rollercoaster
There is absolutely nothing you can do to avoid this; it’s a hormonal thing. What’s even weirder? You may not even realize your hormones are all out of whack until your partner looks at you as if you are crazy. Let me shed some more light.
The moment you become pregnant, all sorts of hormones start shifting, moving, changing, etc. So, when that little bundle of joy finally makes his debut, your body is simply trying to find its equilibrium again. As a result, you will find yourself on extreme highs and very low lows. For the lucky ones, you may only experience baby blues for a few days/weeks. For others like me, I struggled with postpartum depression on and off the entire first year. It was rough.
I never got to a very dark point, but I would cry every day, not want to leave the house, refuse to talk to anyone, and just feel completely unmotivated to do anything but care for my baby. This resulted in lots of arguments with Mr. ShuGar and a whole lot of stress on our marriage (see #5). I just couldn’t help it. I felt so lost as a new mom and incredibly overwhelmed.
My advice to you if you experience any form of depression, find a mommy (hopefully a recent new mom) and confide in her. You need this support system. If you don’t have anyone, go to your local mommy and me class and share your experience with a group of women who most likely are going through something similar. I did both of these things and it saved me. I no longer felt alone.
I will write a more extensive blog post on postpartum depression because it deserves more attention.
(7) You will need to develop a position on whether or not you will sleep train your baby
When I was pregnant, the only things I would hear repeatedly about sleep was this annoying quote, “You better get enough sleep now while you can!” What does that even mean? Sorry, mommies-to-be, but you can never even come close to getting enough sleep to deal with sleep deprivation. You just have to embrace the lack of sleep and just go with it.
However, the real sleep question is going to come down to whether or not you believe in letting your baby Cry It Out (CIO). This sleep training method has many different iterations and names, but essentially it all boils down to experts saying you should teach your baby to self-soothe by putting her awake in her crib and allowing her to put herself to sleep. Warning: Crying by your baby (and probably mommy and daddy too) will most likely be a consequence of this training.
I never would have cared, frankly, whether or not by baby cried when I was pregnant. I guess because I didn’t know what it would feel like to hold my heart in my hands. However, once sweet boy was born, every time he cried my heart broke into a million pieces. By the time he turned 6 months, every person under the sun told us to sleep train him and teach him to sleep in his crib or else we would regret it until the end of time! Seriously, everyone was super dramatic about it.
I really don’t want to go into the whole debate that enrages the mommy board world – some say it’s baby cruelty while others claim it is the only way to teach your babies to sleep properly. Since I love to be frank with my followers, I will share that we cosleep because I couldn’t bare sweet boy crying; it killed me. I have grown to love him sleeping near me, although it never guarantees a full nights sleep. I work full time so I don’t get to spend all day with him; cosleeping with him is my chance to have him near.
All parents have to make a decision that is best for them; don’t listen to the experts. Listen to your heart.
(8) At around 6 months, you will need to develop a feeding plan for your babe
There are lots of differing opinions as to when to introduce solids, but when you do…whoa baby…you are in a whole new world! But even before he takes the first bite, you need to decide if you will be doing purees or baby led weaning.
I don’t have an agenda either way for you so I just share so you can become informed. It becomes so overwhelming when you have to choose which will be the first food and how you will administer it. Then, you also need to figure out if you will be doing all or partially organic food, you will also probably buy special utensils, plates, boilers, blenders, bibs etc, and don’t forget the high chair! See how many things you have to consider!
We opted for purees for the first two months as we were so scared he would choke. At 8 months, we introduced finger foods and we haven’t looked back since! ShuGar Boy has done great with all the fingery foods and I have had a blast prepping his meals. In fact, I have discovered that I actually do love cooking. This Wholesome Homemade Baby Food site was my go-to for all sorts of food I introduced to baby boy.
Whether you decide to cook entirely fresh food for your baby, partially do some dishes, or opt to buy the food in jars and/or pouches, you should spend time researching your options. It’s a big deal what food they are exposed to at a young age so take the time to invest in this. You will not regret it. You may be saturated by a lot of information out there, so to help you filter the internet some of my faves have been Baby Foode, Weelicious, Momables, Super Healthy Kids, and Farm to Table Baby Mama.
(9) You’re Going to Want to Chronicle Every Baby Laugh and Baby Step so Devise Space To Do So
When you are pregnant with your first baby, you really have no clue what to expect. People and books (and bloggers like me) can tell you, but some things you just have to live to understand. You may think you are not going to go all mushy about your baby and take a bagilion pics. Guess what? Your phone memory storage better be large because sooner than you think you will need to clear out some apps or buy a larger memory card.
As you prep for baby, study the many storage options available to you. You can use your phone, but also think of two other back ups. The worse thing that can happen is you lose all those precious moments because you misplaced your phone! Can you imagine how heartbreaking that can be? We opted for our phones, two hard drives, and the cloud. If you are an organizing freak like me, you may also want to develop a filing system. Oh Joy! came up with a pretty awesome system to archive her digital photos.
I remember freaking out because I hadn’t made his baby book yet (I am still working on it!) or printed out any photos. I couldn’t find the time!!! I remember seeing these amazing mommies doing such a beautifully crafty job in chronicling the first year and I was so behind. Don’t compare yourself to others on social media. Nothing good can come of it. Remember, it’s a filtered life you see and you never know what they are or aren’t doing behind that camera.
(10) Losing that baby weight may take more than 9 months!
Don’t be shocked if your baby weight doesn’t just fall off right away, even if you breastfeed. Breastfeeding is not a panacea, contrary to what your girlfriends may tell you. The older you are, the harder it is to lose the weight. Plus, it’s extremely hard to find the time to work out when you are sleep deprived, anxious, and stressed.
I am 35 pounds over my normal weight. I hate it. It’s not coming off, but I know I am partially to blame. I also was diagnosed with a thyroid condition which caused me to gain all the weight back that I had originally lost. Sucks. Whatever the reason, know that it may take longer than 9 months to lose the extra poundage.
I can’t say it’s easy to accept this reality because I haven’t yet. I get really frustrated when I can’t fit into my old jeans. It depresses me, truly. All I can say is that time can help your body readjust. You should also know that once you have carried a living human inside of you, your body may just never be the same. When it comes to weight post-pregnancy, it’s best if you just be kind and patient with yourself and also accepting of the new “you.” Your baby certainly loves the extra rolls on you!
(11) I Cheated! I have one more… You Will Be Addicted To This Love Drug
I know I promised you only 10, but I just couldn’t help but give you one more insight. Despite all the ups and downs of the first year of motherhood, it all comes down to this: Your heart will explode with love. It will grow a million miles north, south, east, and west. How is that possible? It just does. It may happen instantly or it may happen later in the first year. Regardless of when it does occur, you will never look at life the same. Now you understand what it means to truly love unconditionally.
Your sweet babe can’t give you anything in return and yet you would die for them just to see them happy. Say what? Yup, it’s like that. All of a sudden, your life takes on a deeper meaning – one that you will cherish beyond eternity. Although the first motherhood year can be grueling, you will just want to be near your baby because when you are separated from him, your heart feels broken. One friend described it like a drug; it’s really more like a love drug and you become a hardcore love addict.
Soak in all that the first year has to offer you. Once it’s gone, there is only that cute baby book to take you back to those precious moments!
I hope this information was helpful to you. Please share with your mommy friends! I want all mommies to feel support. The bottom line is for you to love your new self. You should always expect that because a happy and healthy mommy is the greatest gift you can give your little one.
To read about the first 5 things to expect when you’re expecting and part 1 of this post, click here.
What thoughts do you have on the Top 10 list? Is there anything you would like to add or expand on?
P.S. I plan on doing a daddy version to help all the daddies out there!