Millennials are roughly defined as anyone born between 1982-2004, so it still makes them one of the younger generations around. Any millennials who are pregnant are likely to only be expecting their first or at least still be pretty young.
It’s no surprise that most expectant millennials are anxious and stressed out about their impending arrival. In between the fancy baby announcements and bougie baby showers, it’s easy to feel many things about what mom needs to prepare and learn before she gives birth. It can seem impossible at times, but women have been having babies young and old for generations, and they’ve all turned out fine. So what should millennial moms be so worried about?
These 20 millennial mamas share why they felt unprepared for their new baby and how they handled it. From relying on loved ones for support to trying new things, like counselling or hiring help, there are a lot of options to help reduce mom’s stress. Remember, being stressed out during pregnancy can actually be harmful to mom and her baby, so it’s important to prioritize her wellbeing above all. Everything will fall into place eventually- no worries. Read on to hear how these modern moms dealt with their pre and post-baby anxiety!
20 Grandma To The Rescue
Many new moms turn to their own mothers to get advice on how to deal with pregnancy or a newborn. Victoria* admits that her mom doesn’t live in the same country, so she can’t see her whenever she wants.
But- with the help of modern technology- the two of them are able to stay in touch, and it’s been a Godsend since bringing her new baby home.
“I think I was calling my mum every night freaking out. She lives back in London, so it's not like she could just fly over. But hearing her voice would calm me down... and her advice always calmed the baby down,” she explains.
19 Gotta Get A Library Card
If there was ever a reason to get a library card, becoming a mom for the first time is definitely a good one. For instance, in order to ease her anxiety over welcoming her first baby, Melinda* says she started binge reading every parenting book and app she could find.
“I read every baby book I could get my hands on lol. And I downloaded a bunch of parenting apps with tips and stuff. I’d just read whenever I had the chance, like if I was waiting at an appointment or had time before work,” she explained. “I even got some audio books to listen in the car while I drove.”
18 Let's Talk About It
Everyone always says one of the best ways to relieve stress is to just talk about it- preferable with someone who can understand or sympathize with your situation, or offer you helpful and non-judgemental advice.
“Honestly, just talking to other moms really helped me,” Mackenzie* says of what helped her adjust to her new role as a mama. “I don’t think anyone feels prepared regardless if they’re a millennial or not. First-time moms are all in the same boat,” she explained.
Remember, just as helpful as it can be talking to someone, it can also be harmful if the person you’re opening up to isn’t supportive or trustworthy. So make sure you’re surrounding yourself with those who only uplift you and make you feel your best!
17 Scream, Shout, and Let It All Out
Saying that having your first baby is stressful is an understatement. There’s no use in keeping your stressed feelings bottled up- if anything, that’s likely to make you feel only more anxious and unprepared.
Sophie* had to learn the hard way not to keep her emotions inside. She says the best thing she did for herself when becoming a new mom was just let it all out. “The first week with the baby I just cried and cried… my boyfriend thought I was losing it (I probably did),” she admitted.
She added, “But I think just letting it out and not pretending that everything is perfect is the best way to go. Just get your feelings out.” True dat!
16 Just Head To Class
Pregnancy and parenting classes are a great way to learn the basics alongside other first-time parents if you’re worried about bringing babies home. For Georgia*, she definitely recommends that new moms take a class or two to help prepare.
"The best thing I did to prepare was take a [parenting] class. Took one before baby and then after. And they teach you different things and explain all the different emotional stages you’ll go through. Even if it's not your first kid, it can be good for you."
When taking a class, you’re bound to help yourself feel more prepared, learn a thing or two, and make some new mommy friends. That sounds like a win-win to us!
15 Become A Babysitter
Obviously one of the most effective ways to get you ready for motherhood is to help care for someone else’s kid! Madison* says she offered to babysit her friends and family’s children so she could get some hands-on experience before she was set to welcome her own little peanut.
“All my sisters already had kids, so I offered to babysit as much as possible before having my own. They loved that idea!” She explains.
We can’t imagine anyone turning down free babysitting, so your friends and family will likely jump at the chance to have some free-time apart from their kids. Plus, then you have a reason to ask them to look after your little one when you need a baby sitter, too!
14 Consider Trying Counselling
As helpful as it can be to talk to friends and family, sometimes it’s a better option to seek out a professional, especially if you’ve dealt with anxiety or mental-health-related things in the past. Nora* says she found it very helpful seeking counselling after giving birth.
“I actually started going to counselling a few months after giving birth. I wasn’t struggling with postpartum or anything like that, just not feeling prepared and a lot of anxiety,” Nora said. “Having someone to talk to was reassuring. My therapist was also a mom so definitely talk to someone who has kids.”
13 We're All In The Same Boat
Nicole’s* best advice is just not to sweat it- every first-time mom (or second or third!) gets stressed out about what’s to come. She says she didn’t do anything, in particular, to decrease her worries over becoming a mom other than realizing everyone in this position feels the same way.
“I didn’t really do anything [before giving birth]. I don’t think it’s a millennial thing, it’s just something that happens to every woman before having a baby, you feel worried and not enough,” Nicole shared. “I still have moments where I don’t feel qualified for this.” And that’s totally okay and understandable!
12 Shop 'Til You Drop (Or Give Birth)
While some moms recommend holding off on buying baby stuff until the baby is actually here, others say it’s a great way to begin preparing for this new chapter in your life, including new-mom Ruth*.
“Buying all the baby gear is what helped me feel ready,” she explained of what she did to reduce her stress during pregnancy. “I know everyone says to get most things once the baby arrives cause you’ll have a better idea of what you’ll need, but nesting actually mentally prepares you.”
While you don’t need to get everything on your baby checklist before he or she arrives, picking up a few key items can help you feel more organized and prepared for your new arrival.
11 Write Down Those Questions
When you’re going through your first pregnancy, you probably have tons of questions about what you should expect for before and also after labor. The only thing is, you probably forget all of these important questions while at the doctors! #PregnancyBrain
This happens to the best of us, which is why Priscilla* advises expecting moms to write down their questions so they have them on-hand next time they have the opportunity to ask. “My problem was I always forgot the questions I wanted to ask the doctor and that would stress me out when I went home,” She said.
“So I started texting myself every time I thought of something to ask so next time I saw her I could pull out my list and ask away.”
10 Find Your People
We’ve already mentioned how important it is to surround yourself with supportive people during your pregnancy who make you feel at your best.
“My pregnancy wasn’t planned so I feel extra stressed before baby came because it’s not like I was trying or wanting a baby at that time. Making sure I was around people who were supportive made it a lot easier,” Hannah explains.
This might mean you have to distance yourself from people who aren’t supportive or question your decisions. The only priority you have during your pregnancy is you and your baby- everyone else’s opinions are irrelevant.
9 Don't Be Too Hard On Yourself
You might not realize it, but the thing that could be stressing you out the most during pregnancy could be you. It’s common to overthink things when expecting or to believe you’re underprepared when that’s not the case.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself. Every mom, millennial or not, was a first-timer sometime,” Josie* reminds mothers everywhere. “So everyone feels unprepared at one point. But if you keep getting angry at yourself for not being ready, then you’ll just make it all feel worse.”
If you feel like it's too much, try to take a step back and consider whether you’re simply over-analyzing things and think about what you can do to decrease the pressure you’ve put on yourself.
8 Work At Your Own Pace
Layla* admits that she felt more stressed about her work than becoming a new mom when she was pregnant for the first time. So, she recommends having a plan in place for how you’re going to deal with work both before and also after the baby arrives.
“I felt more ready for the baby than to take time off of work! I was so focused on my career when I got pregnant that I thought everything I’d worked for would go down the drain,” Layla explained. “Making a plan of how I was going to continue to be in contact with work while on mat leave and then when I was going to go back took all that stress off of me.”
7 It's All About The Money, Honey
Let’s face it: raising a family is expensive!
That’s why it will take a ton of pressure off of you if you make sure you’re financially stable before baby arrives. Even if your finances weren’t in order when you got pregnant, budgeting and saving during the pregnancy will make things all the easier when your little one arrives.
“I was stressed about how we were going to afford the baby (it was a surprise pregnancy),” Cheyenne* shared. “Budgeting before was the only way I saved [myself]. I couldn’t believe how much kids cost so I’m glad we saved as much as we could before [the baby] arrived.”
6 The Generation of Bloggers
Cindy* recommends blogging as an outlet for your stress and nerves before giving birth. Who knows, you could become the next big thing!
“I started blogging about my experience. First I just used it as an outlet for all of the stress of being pregnant and 24,” she explained. “Then I started getting followers and other moms messaging me telling me that I could relate. Finding my little digital community made things a lot easier.”
And, if you don’t want to post anything public online, even just journaling your thoughts is a great way to de-stress and get your feelings out. So grab a pen and paper!
5 Take The (Mat) Leave You Need
If and when you should take maternity leave is a personal question for moms. What works for one mom isn’t always going to work for the next. Gabriella* says she wishes she had taken time off earlier in order to prepare for the baby- and, who knows, it could be the same way for you!
“Okay so I didn’t do this but one thing I wish I did was take time off of work earlier,” she explained. “The pregnancy wasn’t easy and neither was balancing work, which just made me feel more frazzled when she got here. Taking the time you need off is more important than anything.”
4 Have The Grandma Move In
Grandmas can be a Godsend for new mamas. For Jaclyn*, she actually asked her mom to move in for a short time after she gave birth. “I made my mom move in for the first six weeks. I don’t know how I could’ve done it without her,” she admits. Aren’t moms great?
With that being said, not every mom-to-be is going to have the support or help of her parents. You can always find similar support from other people, whether it be your in-laws, friends, or other family members. All you’ve gotta do is ask!
3 Nanny To The Rescue
Having some extra help around the house can be incredibly beneficial for mothers who can afford it. For Sharon*, she says having a nanny helped give her time to focus on work and helped her learn the ropes of caring for a newborn.
“I hired a nanny to come in the afternoons while my husband was at work so I could still get some time to myself (I work from home so I needed time to finish deadlines),” she said. “The nanny taught me a lot about caring for a newborn that I didn’t know before.”
Obviously, nannies are expensive and not a realistic option for all families. If you don’t want to go this route, you can always consider getting a babysitter to come give you and your partner some free-time in the evenings, which you won’t know you need until you don’t have it.
2 Try-Out Some Twins
We’ve already mentioned that babysitting is a great way to get hands-on experience in caring for kids before you welcome yours. But if you want a real challenge, try caring for a set of twins. It’ll make caring for one baby seem easy peasy.
“All I had to do was watch my brother’s twin 1-year olds for a weekend while they went away and I totally felt like one baby would be no big deal,” Ramona* said of what she did before becoming a mom that helped her feel prepared.
The only tough part is finding a set of twins you can borrow for the afternoon!
1 Preparing Your Nest
You always hear pregnant moms saying they’ve begun nesting before the baby gets here. That means they’re completely reorganizing their house to be suitable for a little one, and it’s actually a great way to help you feel prepared for your new addition.
For Candace*, that included baby proofing the house- even though her baby wouldn’t be walking for at least a year! “I didn’t really do anything too crazy, but I completely reorganized and baby proofed the house while pregnant (even tho we didn’t need to do it until baby walked),” she explained. “It made me feel that, okay, if I can baby proof the house a year in advance, then I’m definitely on the right track."
*Names have been changed