I had my oldest before the internet was a big thing. We were on dial up and so spent very little time googling stuff and initially I didn’t start asking google questions about parenting related things. So basically when I become a parent, I had Living and Loving and Your Baby as my information resources and the advice of pretty much everyone I encountered.
I was new to Joburg so my circle of friends was super small and those friends I did have didn’t have kids so I was out there in the new world of parenting, alone and completely unsure. It was an emotionally tough time and if I didn’t have my parents so close at the time I may have never had another child, ever.
When I chat to moms who are pregnant for the first time I try to be as honest as I can without scaring them too much. I think a lot of issues could be eliminated or at least minimised if moms knew what to expect in those first few weeks.
These are a few of the things I wish someone had told me before I had my kids.
The bond is not always immediate. The moment you see your new baby you are overwhelmed with emotion. The birth of a baby is a miraculous thing, it is incredibly emotional but when it all settles, you may not find that bond with your baby instantaneous. I didn’t 3/4 times it took a good few months for me to bond properly with my kids. This is not abnormal. It does not mean you do not love your child. It does not mean there is something wrong with you.
Breastfeeding does not come naturally. I have blogged a lot about this, so not really going to go into it all again except to say that if you do not “get it” immediately keep trying. It is normal to struggle a little while you and baby find your groove.
Your body changes, forever. I am not talking about weight loss/gain but rather about the changes your entire body undergoes. Your periods change. Your hair and skin change. You hormones are all over the place. Pregnancy is a huge thing, your body is literally inhabited by another living human being, it is natural for it to change.
Everyone has an opinion about everything you do. This is magnified by social media and the world but the second you get that positive pregnancy test it is like you give the world permission to add their 2-cent to every decision you make. Your baby is a couple of hours old and every.single.person you encounter knows what that cry means, they know why your baby is making that face and they will not hold back in telling you.
It does not get easier with a second child. Having a second baby does not automatically mean you will know what you are doing. Every child is so different, the experience will be different but not necessarily easier.
What do you wish someone had told you before you had your baby?
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