New moms always hear about how this or that will be hard or how certain aspects will tire new moms right out. Though these can be very true for many, there are also certain aspects of motherhood that, with practice and repetition, do get easier.
There are also certain pieces of parenthood that remain tough – whether that be for just a little while or for the long haul.
Every family is unique and every parenting style is different. This means that one mom’s struggle may not be a struggle for another. This may seem like a fact many people know and understand, but there are certain aspects of motherhood that can stay tricky no matter the suggestions or advice given. Typically these can involve emotional or mental connections to the little one or personal struggles.
Even with the parts of parenthood that remain tough, it’s good to know that the “struggle won’t be real” for other aspects of the motherhood adventure - even if, in the moment, that doesn’t always feel true.
20 It Gets Easier: Doing Dirty Diapers
From weird colors to weird smells, teaming up to conquer that newborn “number two” may not be the way new parents want their first postpartum bonding experience to be. Between that initial meconium in the hospital to the blowouts that mean laundry on top of laundry, Moms are faced with all the different lovely stages of baby poo.
Even though the “Number Two” continues to stay gross and change as baby grows, the diaper-changing process does get easier as you get to know your little one a little better. You get to know how to hold your wiggly baby down once they start tossing and turning on the changing table. Your hands get quicker as you distract, wipe, grab a diaper, and put a new one on. You become more comfortable with the nastiness that comes with the “Number Two” and, before you know it, potty training time has arrived.
19 Still Tricky: Hearing And Seeing Your Little One Cry
From the moment that little one comes out, you may hear a little cry that brings forth a wave of unexpected emotions. For those who don’t get the chance to hear that initial sound, it’s usually only a matter of time before those lungs really start letting the music play.
As a child ages, cries mean different things. Sometimes a cry could mean they a growth spurt is happening or a cry may mean your little one is just fighting sleep. Tears can mean boredom or pain or hunger or embarrassment. Crying can be simply for attention or it can be because those first few steps were taken and the first tumble scared them. No matter the age or milestone, watching tears fall (even “crocodile tears”) isn’t easy.
18 It Gets Easier: Car Seat Base Confusion
Along with a new baby comes many, many new items that need to be put together and figured out. Car seats are only one of the many that may cause some frustration right off the bat – especially if a couple is sharing one set and has to constantly take it out and put it in another vehicle. If there are multiples in the picture – patience for this may completely fly out the window.
However, once you install those car seat bases a few times, it does, in fact, become easier. It is one of those annoying things that may take a bit to figure out at first, but with practice, become like clockwork. When you figure out which strap goes around what and what hook clicks in where, it often only takes a couple times before the process becomes just “one of those things” that comes with parenting.
17 Still Tricky: Facing Your Ever-Changing Self
A woman’s continuously changing body may be the toughest battle she faces once she has officially stepped into motherhood. From the moment her body starts preparing for that little one (or ones), she knows the road ahead may not be the easiest.
Even if a new mom has always been someone with a positive attitude, maintaining that positivity can be tough. She may look down to see a swollen c-section scar or milk stains all over her favorite shirt. The hair she once got compliments for constantly may not be that way anymore. The skin that always seemed flawless may have grown acne-ridden during her pregnancy. These little frustrations may go away not long after the pregnancy, but there are many parts of a woman’s postpartum body that do not change – quickly or ever. It’s up to the woman herself to embrace these changes and/or take appropriate action.
Just never forget: Your body made these changes to bring a beautiful, new life into your own.
16 It Gets Easier: Recovering From Delivery (For Most)
Whatever type of delivery method you use to give birth, there is no easy way to have a baby. There is pain and exhaustion and discomfort and embarrassment. These struggles do go away when you’re looking down at your little one, but they often return not long after. This may be because the pain meds wore off, you had to change some gauze or padding, or because you tried moving too fast, too soon.
Even though days, weeks, and months may pass and you may feel as though you will never be able to lift your legs off the ground or work-out at the gym as soon as you’d hoped – if you’re determined, and being smart and safe about it, you will get there. You need to recover and be patient during that recovery process. If you take the time necessary and stay healthy and safe during the process, you will find your pre-baby life meshing in with your postpartum one.
15 Still Tricky: The Emotions That Come With Milestones
Every single day is a new moment of growth for both you and your child. Not only is your newborn or infant or toddler learning something new at almost all times, you are also learning something about yourself as your little one hits their own milestones. You are learning about your patience, your stamina, and your style as a parent. This is going on as your baby learns to sit up on their own, hold their own bottle, and take those first few steps - physically and towards independence.
These moments often bring forward an emotional response. Some moms are overly emotional about every movement their little one makes while other moms may not often be this way. However, it’s natural and normal to feel something when your child is showing growth. Milestones will never, ever end because your “little one” will always keep growing.
14 It Gets Easier: Maneuvering That Stroller
Especially for mamas of multiples, getting around with all your babies plus a hefty double stroller can be tiring. Figuring out how to fit that thing into the trunk, fit bags and suitcases around it, and then get it in-and-out when traveling is a ton of work.
And then you add caring for the baby, or babies, on top of that? Talk about multitasking at its finest.
Even though the first few times you travel are tough when it comes to heaving around a stroller, it does become a more natural action. You may start off looking like a complete fool in a parking lot trying to get that thing out by yourself. After a few times of serious struggle, you learn to bend those knees, take a deep breath, and maneuver it like a professional. It may not seem like it at first, but it will happen (and your muscles will get stronger because of it as well).
13 Still Tricky: Making Comparisons
Moms are human. They may feel judged, flawed, and unsure about a lot of their decisions and choices when it comes to parenting – even if they are a confident, positive-minded person.
It’s hard admitting you may compare yourself to other moms or compare one child to another. When you have twins or multiple children at different ages, you try your best not to compare them because all children truly are unique – even twins. However, it is almost impossible to walk through life without comparing your actions or your child’s actions to others. It simply is the society we live in and, because, we are human.
The best thing to do is to maintain a positive mindset as often as you can. Always remind yourself you are doing what is best for your child, your family, and for you. It isn’t easy, but it’s necessary.
12 It Gets Easier: Holding Your Newborn Baby Without Fear
According to Healthline, “Even if you’re a seasoned parent, things like how to hold your newborn might feel foreign or downright scary at first.” Healthline explains many ways to carefully and safely hold your fragile newborn which include the cradle hold, shoulder hold, belly hold, and lap hold.
Figuring out how to safely hold your teeny, tiny newborn may not always be the easiest thing to do right from the start. Even if you’ve held many newborns, it is different when the little one is your own and the feeling can be strange. Luckily, those nerves do go away as you grow closer to your baby and as you grow as a mom. You get into a pattern that soon becomes natural and right when that pattern is becoming organic, a new change happens you must adjust and adapt to.
Oh, the beauty of motherhood.
11 Still Tricky: The Stay-At-Home Versus Full-Time Work Debacle
Most parents dread returning to work after being home during maternity leave. They can’t fathom leaving their newborn after weeks spent growing so close to them. This is often a point when a parent starts to question whether or not they want to return to work full-time, part-time, work-from-home or be a stay-at-home mom.
There are many different family dynamics. Some people strictly must work full-time to support their child. Others cannot afford daycare and must find a way to work part-time or from home. Some families are financially stable enough to have one parent work while the other stays home to care for their family. No matter the circumstance, the choice is often replayed over and over in a mom’s mind simply because they don’t want to miss a moment with their child.
10 It Gets Easier: Measuring Out Formula
This may sound silly, but for those moms who are not breastfeeding, not mathematicians, and are incredibly hormonal – figuring out formula can be the worst. If your focus is on soothing a crying baby, doing diapers with making a mess, and trying to sleep when you get those rare few minutes – figuring out how to measure 3 ¾ ounces of formula will bring you to tears.
Hey, non-math mamas, believe me when I say this: It does get easier.
Sooner or later, you won’t have to measure everything out to an exact ounce (if that’s what you currently do for either your own sanity or per doctor’s orders). If you have a Baby Brezza – use it. It also measures those ounces out for you, but will usually give you more than you asked for. Over time, you go by strictly by scoops and after that, formula consumption becomes less and less.
9 Still Tricky: Pushing Aside The Judgements Of Others
It really does stink that people can be so cruel. Other moms will judge you because what you’re doing is not exactly what they did. If someone asks for your advice and you don’t give them what they hoped to hear, you will probably get judged for it.
And even if you don’t want to admit it, you probably have judged other mamas as well because, well, you’re human.
Even if you’re someone who brushes of cruel comments, you’ve come to realize that the cliques and bullies don’t go away once you reach adulthood. This truth can make new parents uneasy because they now have a little one to bring up in this judgmental world. The best you can do is keep your child’s mind and eyes open to kindness and diversity in hopes they will make the best choices possible.
8 It Gets Easier: Dealing With Those Emotions
Women may get sick of hearing about the hormonal changes that come with both pregnancy and the postpartum life. They may not like blaming their tears or moods on the hormones, but more times than not – it really is because of them (and thankfully, the hormonal challenges do lessen over time).
According to Hilda Hutcherson M.D., “These mood swings are perfectly normal. After giving birth, women experience dramatic changes in hormone levels, which drastically affect their moods.” Luckily, the hormonal insanity doesn’t linger forever. It sticks around for a few weeks, maybe some months, following delivery before a new mom notices a change.
7 Still Tricky: Fighting All Those “What Ifs”
Moms, especially new moms, may question everything they do. Even though over time this constant questioning may lessen, it still may never completely disappear.
“What if she’s not warm enough?” “I breastfeed, what if he isn’t eating enough because I can’t really tell?” “What if she has an allergic reaction to this new food?” “What if one twin thinks I like the other twin more?” “What if I’m not doing enough?”
As the baby grows, the “What Ifs” change along with the baby. They may not become questions Mom asks as often, but they continue to linger. No mom is perfect and no parenting style is perfect. Therefore, the “What Ifs” never fully disappear.
6 It Gets Easier: Sleeping Through The Night
Stanford Children’s Health states, “Most babies do not begin sleeping through the night (six to eight hours) without waking until about 3 months of age, or until they weight 12 to 13 pounds. About two-thirds of babies are able to sleep through the night on a regular basis by the age of 6 months.”
Though this isn’t the case for all babies, it at least is a goal you can look forward to and hope for. If you decide to breastfeed or pump, you may end up waking up, or wanting to wake up, to pump due to your personal comfort. However, it is possible to condition your body to go through the night without a pumping break if the baby does sleep without waking.
If you’re a mom who still struggles with your little one waking you up, remember this: Your child will be a teenager soon enough and the real problem will be the complete opposite.
5 Still Tricky: Finances (For Most)
No matter how “ready” a couple or person thinks they are to be a parent, they truly never are. Surprises happen and even if someone is financially in good standings, they may still face some insecurities along the way when it comes to supporting their family.
For those who must leave their job due to disability or because they cannot afford daycare, there are supports available to provide some help. Between WIC and social media outlets that do clothing, products, and formula exchanges (all safely, of course), some parents still will struggle. Though many, many parents face financial barriers, it doesn’t get easier knowing you’re fighting every day to comfortably provide for your family.
4 It Gets Easier: “Drying Up” After Breastfeeding or Pumping
While for some moms breastfeeding is their go-to plan, some moms simply can’t do it or do not want to for personal or health reasons. Therefore, the process to “dry up the goods” must begin and it’s not always the most comfortable. Very Well Family says, “If you don’t pump or breastfeed, your body will eventually stop producing milk, but it won’t happen right away.”
The process needs to happen slowly or a mama will feel aches, fevers, chills, and incredible discomfort. A woman may think the pain she feels during the weaning process will never go away, but guess what - it will. It can be tough believing this when your chest feels like there are two boulders sitting on it or you have a fever when you’re trying to rock your little one to sleep. Given time, the pain will go away.
3 Still Tricky: Finding Time For Yourself
Once a baby enters the picture, the time a mom has for herself becomes incredibly limited. Her time for hobbies or nights out are replaced by evenings spent soothing a teething baby or reading bedtime stories. Though these are moments to be cherished, it can be tough not having time specifically for you as a person with passions and interest and hobbies – not as “Mom.”
Having the title of “Mom” is a beautiful thing, but being true to yourself is also something many new moms tend to push to the side. You are your own unique person and finding time for yourself is critical to your well-being. However, time is always the biggest battle. When you do feel like you have a few free moments to do something for yourself, either your little one needs you, your significant other needs you or your eyes have already closed.
2 It Gets Easier: Asking For And Taking Help
No matter the pain a woman is in from delivery, she often wants to jump up and do everything she can to make sure her new baby is taken care of. She wants to be the one to feed the baby, change the baby, soothe the baby, and hold the baby. New moms have a hard time turning down help when it is offered right away because they feel as though they may miss critical moments to bond with their little one.
However, after a few months have passed and the main recovery period has ended, moms shift from being “Brand New” to being “New and In Desperate Need Of A Nap.” When Mom is overtired and overwhelmed, she may be more willing to ask for help and take help that is offered. This doesn’t mean she loves her little one any less, this means she now understands the exhaustion that comes with motherhood and to function fully for her baby, she needs a break now and then.
1 Still Tricky: Motherhood
Whether they work full-time, stay-at-home, breastfeed, formula feed, co-parent or care for their baby on their own – Moms truly are warriors. They created a tiny human (or humans) inside of them and now must transition quickly into the new mindset of having that baby on the outside to care for.
From overcoming pain from delivery to being faced with routine changes, body changes, and mindset changes, motherhood is a timeframe that never ends once it has begun. Right when one major milestone hits, another follows. This is not only to show how everchanging her child is, but to show a mom how everchanging her life will be as well.
References: Healthline, Parents/Hilda Hutcherson M.D., Stanford Children’s Health, Very Well Family