Benjamin turned 8 months last week. That, obviously, means I am now a total expert when it comes to being a mother. Today I am sharing with you why being a new mom is hard.
5 hard things about being a new mom
Interestingly enough, it isn’t the lack of sleep. But then again, Benjamin has been sleeping through the night since he was born. Before the impending wave of hateful comments start, let me tell you he has now started to wake up once or twice a night. I blame the 6th leap and the 8 to 10 months sleep regression. Still, that isn’t the hardest part of being a mom.
The constant abuse
No ones really says this out loud but the truth is: babies are little tyrants. They may not do it on purpose, after all, they have no other way to communicate and don’t speak the same language as you. So they scream AT you, whenever they want something and you don’t read their tiny little minds right away. Sometimes babies scream until their faces get purple, resulting in you getting scared they’ll pop a vein or something. And because getting yelled at the whole day isn’t bad enough, babies often also resort to physical abuse and pull on your hair and skin when they get mad. Or bored.
Motherhood is a 24/7/365 job
You don’t get paid, you don’t get holidays, no one thanks you and you have to clean body fluids multiple times a day. And for the first few months, the baby mostly doesn’t even acknowledge your existence. Dream job, eh? I feel like sometimes a simple “you’re doing great!” would help. Because hey, if you managed to keep that little human alive, you are doing a good job! Also, having your partner appreciate everything you do (and help out as well) is a major help.
You are responsible for a stranger
This may sound cold, but the truth is: once your baby is born, it’s a total stranger to you. And you are a total stranger to the baby. You both need to get to know each other and that takes time. The first few days (or weeks!) you are not only recovering from 9 months of pregnancy plus giving birth, but you also have a tiny screaming little creature completely dependent on you for every single thing.
You don’t know who you are anymore
Once you become a mom, that’s who you are: “mom”. Doctors at the hospital will call you that even before you give birth when you go in for a visit – “So, how’s mom doing?“. It’s like once you give birth, you stop being whoever you were before and are simply a “mom”. That can be hard, it’s like losing a part of yourself and your identity. New moms often feel go through the stages of grief (anger, confusion, depression, amongst others) before they can accept their new role. But of all the roles a person can have in their life, “once a mom, always a mom”.
The never-ending flood of advice and judgment
The moment you announce a pregnancy, everyone has something to say and the worst part is that it only gets worse once the baby is born. You think you know what is socially acceptable for people to say to you? Wrong. You know nothing. Everyone will have (unwanted and unasked) advice to give you and won’t be shy about sharing it. Often those people don’t even have kids of their own, but that won’t stop them from sharing their “expertise” with you. And if you have other babies in the family, someone will not only always compare your baby to them, they will also automatically assume they both like the same things. Sure, they may not do it on purpose, but it doesn’t make it less annoying. And you know what all that advice and judgment creates?
Becoming a mom is a life-changing experience! But often the things you assumed would be the hardest end up being the easiest to deal with. To every new mom out there: you are not alone, we are all together in this! And you ARE doing a good job.