Getting up at 2 a.m. with the baby, marveling over this cute little person, and feeling connected to their partner like never before. These are all things that women expect to feel once they become moms for the first time. They also know what it will be like to bring up a child, at least for the most part and at least in terms of milestones: celebrating the first day of school, the first haircut, teaching a kid to swim, and baking cookies at Christmas.
People often say that making plans is the best way to ensure that nothing ever ends up that way. This is perhaps the most true when it comes to starting a family. Kids are hard to predict, and lots of things happen that would be impossible to know before having the experience of being a mom. Many moms share that there were many parts about having a newborn that they never thought about before. But there are also moms who say that they thought motherhood would be a certain way... and, well, it basically was.
Here is what it's like to be a first-time mom: 10 way that motherhood is what she expected and 10 ways it surprised her.
Here are 10 ways that it's what she expected...
Some moms say that motherhood was harder than they expected. Other moms say that it was exactly as hard as they expected.
That's what this mom writing for Wholefully thinks about the whole thing. She said, "This week has definitely been one of the hardest ones of my life. I expected it to be hard. Society conditions you to expect that."
It does seem like a good idea to go into being a new mom expecting it to be tough because, well, it's definitely going to be. Everyone can relate to that, and every mom remembers those first few weeks and months as being very difficult.
Being a new mom can feel chaotic but when you're an organized person who loves to plan, it seems like it might be what you imagined. One mom writing for Reddit says that because she planned her baby, she made sure that she was prepared, and so motherhood was what she expected.
She wrote, "My son was planned, so I had several months to get ready. This included getting a thorough check-up from my doc, taking prenatal vitamins, (making healthier food choices)... and educating myself as much as possible about pregnancy & delivery. I'm very much a "planner", and doing research/having info makes me feel a lot less anxious about big changes."
A mom writing for Essential Baby has a "go with the flow" kind of approach to having a new baby. It ended up being what she expected because she has such a chill attitude.
She wrote in response to another mom, "Like you I did very little research on infants. DH and I discussed what kind of parents we wanted to be and decided very early on to basically follow DDs lead, and we didn't really make any 'plans' as we wanted to see what kind of baby she would be. As such, things have been pretty easy and we have just gone with the flow (not to say there have been no difficult parts!). I won't say it was easier than I thought, though, because I didn't really think about it."
Sometimes things in life are exactly as you expect. When you feel like motherhood was what you expected, it might be because you knew that you would agree with a certain cliche that you hear all the time.
As this mom wrote for Net Mums, this is what she knew she would experience when she became a mom: "It's a cliché and everyone says it but it really is the best feeling in the world."
Did you find yourself saying this when you became a new mom? Did you say it inside your head, to your partner, to your family, to your friends? It's a cliche for a reason, right?
If there is one thing that every woman expects to happen once she becomes a mom, it would definitely be not sleeping as much as she did before. Even though every baby is different and every family goes through various things, this is what all new moms can relate to.
One mom who posted on Reddit expected not to get much sleep after having her baby, and that's exactly what happened. She wrote, "The baby sleeps during the day, in precious 40-minute chunks, during which I have just about enough time to shower, do the washing, eat some food or race the buggy round the supermarket, before she wakes up for the next feed."
For this mom, she wanted to be a mother so she could teach her kids to be good people, and it sounds like that's what she's doing. She wrote for Baby Center's forum, "It is hard because I want to raise my kids to be self-sufficient, to take responsibility for their actions, to be kind to others, to not have a sense of entitlement. I want them to be decent human beings who have a positive impact on this world."
When it comes to what you expect out of motherhood, you do expect to mold your little ones and to help them become great people. While there are things like lack of sleep that aren't so great, it's cool to focus on the positive, like raising your kids to be amazing.
Do new parents ever socialize? We tend to hear that they don't, but according to a mom writing for Verily magazine, that's not the case.
She (and the other moms quoted in the story) believed that they could still be themselves and have a social life after becoming moms, and they kept at it. They expected to continue to socialize and that's what happened.
She wrote, "There’s a stigma out there that becoming a parent means that your old life—your life with friends, socializing, and a fun nightlife—dies. But there are plenty of us out there with our minds set on defying this."
This mom expected to absolutely adore being a mom, and that's exactly what happened. It's awesome when you make a huge life change and find that it's going really well, so this is a nice, positive story to hear.
She wrote for Circle Of Moms, "I've always wanted to be a mom, but now that I actually am, I find it better than I ever imagined. I love my daughter so much it hurts, and find myself amazed by her every day — from her perfect cheek skin, to her exploration of "adult" food, to her propensity to dance to the same Yo Gabba Gabba! episode no matter how many times she has seen it."
A dad wrote something on Reddit that definitely applies to moms, too. He talked about the parts of parenthood that aren't so great and that, in fact, are actually pretty gross.
He wrote, "Everyone knows how much it can suck to have a kid. There’s vomit and crying and not getting any sleep and stress, everyone knows the deterrents."
Before you become a mom, you do expect these things to be true, and there is honestly no getting around that. But thankfully, there are so many sweet things about having a baby that you kind of block it out (right?!).
According to this mom, she expected motherhood to be hard, but she knew that it would be worth it. After all, you have so much love for your child, and that's what matters.
She wrote for Net Mums, "Yes being a mummy has its challenges and it's not always easy but the best things in life are never easy... I could sit and watch him all day in fact I do and just think wow. Ha ha. I don't mind that he doesn't nap during the day or he wakes in the night because when I look at him and his eyes are staring back at me I know it's all worth it."
And here are 10 ways it surprised her...
For this mom who wrote about her experience on the S. Mommy, no one told her what it would really be like to have a baby... but that's because she didn't want anyone to tell her this kind of stuff.
She said, "The answer is simple: because I didn’t want to hear it. The truth is, when I was pregnant, I only wanted to talk about pregnancy and childbirth and strollers and Diaper Genies. No one told me that birth was only, literally, the beginning. I can’t blame a universal motherhood conspiracy, though; I would not have listened."
Many moms can relate to this since you're so excited when you're pregnant. And, honestly, it would be tough to hear about the reality. You also just have to experience it yourself to really know what it's like.
According to a mom writing for S. Mommy, she has noticed that her kids copy her, and that has been a surprise. But what has also been surprising is what it brings up (mainly, a lot of feelings).
She wrote, "You experience really weird emotions when you see your children imitate you. It seems no matter what age, you notice your children picking up on so many tiny mannerisms." She noted that moms want their kids to copy the good things and not "bad mannerisms."
Sometimes you even find yourself sounding a lot like your own mom, especially when talking to your kids, so you can definitely relate to this.
When couples talk about not wanting to start a family, they often say that they want to travel and have free time to have fun. The general chatter seems to be that you can't have as much fun or a social life once you have kids.
As this mom wrote on Quora, that's not actually the case. She was surprised by what a good time she has hanging out with her children. She wrote, "for many of us, there is nobody we'd rather be with than our kids. I'm serious. Just being with my kids IS fun. You don't have to go out and have fun because fun comes to live in your house with you." She added that her kids are older now and she still feels the same way, which is so sweet.
Patience is a virtue, and it definitely seems to be a virtue that you become very familiar with once you become a mother.
One says that she is more patient after becoming a mom, and that was something that she found really surprising. As she wrote for Momtastic, "Of course, no one likes a tantrum, but I dig deep. I look at my toddler, and I try really, really hard to understand what's happening inside."
Have you noticed the same thing has happened? Chances are, you have probably been just as surprised as she was. Moms do have to become patient with little ones as they take longer to put on their shoes, get ready to leave the house, or walk down the street, and figuring out their behavior is also an exercise in patience.
For another mom, she found that she has become a better person as a result of having her little ones. She wrote for Circle Of Moms, "What has surprised me the most though is how much becoming a mother has made me strive to be a better person. I am so aware of the fact that I am the greatest example to my three children, and knowing this forces me to think before I act, or speak, or cry, or laugh. I stop and I think about how my children will see me, what example I will be setting for them by behaving a certain way."
This is not only beautiful but also something that you would hope would happen once you become a mom. You're raising your kids to be amazing people and you want to be the same.
Sometimes, what surprises you about motherhood is kind of funny. For this mom who wrote for Parents.com, her personal hygiene changed quite a bit after having a baby. She said, "You don't get to go to the bathroom alone anymore, and you can actually get by on three showers a week if you have to. But don't you dare skip laundry day!"
Every mom has gone through this, from the lack of showers to the crazy amount of laundry. This is the kind of situation when you just have to laugh and recognize that this is the reality of being a mom, at least for a little while.
How many moms can say that they felt a sense of maternal love once they saw their child for the first time?
You always hear about this, but it's not something that every mom feels immediately. Joanna Fasching, a mom and head of design at Bikyni, she didn't feel this, and that was a surprise. She wrote for Glamour.com, “You always hear how women are so completely in love with their child from the moment they meet. I didn't fall in love with my son right away. Did I love him? Absolutely. Was I in love with him right away? I wouldn't say so. As I've gotten to know and learn about my son, I've fallen madly in love with him, but it wasn't something that hit me right away.”
Some women also feel that they have a newfound respect and new feelings toward their own moms after having a baby. After all, you now are part of this group of moms who have all gone through the same things, and you really get what she went through.
But First Koffee felt this way: She wrote, "I thought I appreciated my parents before I had BB. I did not, not even close. You can’t possibly appreciate your own mother until you become one. Almost every day, something happens that prompts me to want to call her and thank her, or mostly apologize."
Sometimes even getting into a serious relationship can change friendships if someone is still on their own and envious, so it makes sense that having a baby could change some friendships.
This is something that some new moms experience, and it's definitely surprising. One mom wrote for S. Mommy, "Your relationships will change more than you thought possible. Every relationship in your life – with your partner, with your best friends, your co-workers, and most importantly, with your own mom – will transform."
Although this can be surprising, it's good to know that others have gone through it, right? That, at least, is a little bit comforting. When you know that others have survived something, it encourages you to put effort into your relationships and make things better.
After you had your first child, were you surprised that you are such a good mom?
Of course you wanted to be, but you might have had your doubts, which is a totally normal thing. As this mom wrote for Quora, she was surprised "That I could actually do it. I have new respect for myself!" She continued, "When the baby first arrived home I was so completely alone and clueless that I feared every moment would reveal me as a failure. All that responsibility all on myself."
Every mom has felt this way, and after you start getting the hang of things, you realize that you've totally got this.
Sources: Wholefully.com, Reddit.com, Essentialbaby.com.au, Netmums.com, Reddit.com, Community.babycenter.com, Verilymag.com, Circleofmoms.com, Quora.com, Momtastic.com, Parents.com, Butfirstkoffee.com, Quora.com, Glamour.com