The moment I became a mother is and will be the greatest accomplishment I've ever made. It was insanely scary, yet made me feel incredibly whole.
I remember staring down at Luke and thinking, "I can't believe this perfect, tiny human is mine!"
Not even two years later, I stared down for the second time at Wes and again thought, "I can't believe this perfect, tiny human is mine!"
Motherhood is also by far the hardest thing I have ever done and probably will do. It's an eternal role and refines even the most patient and well-organized women (of which I am neither). That being said, I have learned some important life lessons in the two short years I earned my mom badge. Here are some of my tips in making the transition to becoming a mama:
1. Get on a routine. Babies love routines, and it makes life much more predictable and happy for everyone, especially when things feel overwhelming and like a whirlwind is ensuing (which is, like, always). Try to feed on a regular schedule, do baths at a specific time every day, and try to get naps down to a schedule, too. You will probably even find that your little one works into a schedule all on their own. With that being said, realize that the schedule is not really going to happen until they are 6 weeks or older. Their days and nights will be backward, and there is no use in fighting it, so in the meantime just do what feels right. Before you know it, they will be eating and sleeping like clockwork (hopefully!).
2. Don't try to hide your emotions. Postpartum hormones are real and will make you feel all sorts of things you may have never experienced. One moment you are all sunshine and rainbows, and the next a raincloud is following you wherever you slump around. Your body will feel weird. Learning to feed a baby might be challenging. You will be exhausted. You may even deal with some postpartum depression. Find comfort in that fact that you are not alone. Talk to your spouse, partner, family, or doctor about it so you can get the help you need.
3. Let others help you. Right after having a baby is not the time to play Supermom. Trust me on this one. Let your family and friends pamper you and don't feel guilty! Those dishes in the sink and piles of laundry staring you in the face will still be there in a few weeks, but guess what won't be? Those teeny fingers, wrinkles, yawns, goofy faces and coos that are exclusive to newborns. They can only curl up and sleep on your chest for so long, so let those snuggles and precious time take priority. (Last time I checked, a vacuum isn't very cuddly.)
4. Write down the details. I should be taking my own advice on this one. Those first time moments you tell yourself you will never forget? You will. It's called mom brain, which you probably think is a thing of legend. It is real, my friend! You will not remember every little first, so get a cute journal and write down those darling details! You and your children will appreciate it.
5. Take time for yourself. Whether it's just going for a walk or going out for a fabulous spa treatment, you will feel so much better. There is a reason they say, "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" Mothers somehow set the tone for the household and its inhabitants, and alone time is the essential elixir to maintain that happy, well-balanced mama. And again, don't feel guilty about it!
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Megan, congratulations to you and your now family of four! You're such a wonderful mother, woman, and friend, and I wish you all of the happiness and joy life has to offer at this precious moment in your life. XO!