Bringing a newborn home is a joyful and, at the same time, stressful event. It changes everything, right from the first moments and, as a result, some moms even divide their lives into "before I had a kid" and "after I had a kid". These changes concern literally everything, from the way a mother eats, to her sleep habits, to the way she communicates with her significant other. Having a baby even alters how the mother sees the world around her and how she's thinking about the future.
Right now, we are going to see how exactly having a baby affected the lives of mothers who shared their experience. By reading the accounts of other moms, parents-to-be can try to prepare for dealing with the inevitable changes themselves. But still, remember that it's impossible to be ready for everything. After all, a future mother may fail to understand the degree of all changes until motherhood becomes a part of her life. No one can tell her everything beforehand, and yet, knowing where to expect the major changes can be really helpful for a mother-to-be. And for the present-day moms, this list will be of great support, because it'll let them see that they're not the only ones whose lives endured so many changes!
22 "I Have Less 'Me Time' Now"
When a baby arrives, it turns out that this tiny human being always comes first, moving everything else, including mom's personal time, to the background.
"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," Tia Delao shares her experience.
And Lisandra Cobos, another new mom, adds, "It's not all about me anymore. It was always about me. Now I'm lucky if I even get a nap. My life is for her. Everything I do is for her. Not one second goes by that I'm not consumed by thoughts of anxiety, worry, joy, and pure love."
Once she has a baby, everything a woman does, she does it for her child, sometimes forgetting about herself.
21 "It Made Me Appreciate My Mom More"
While we were growing up, many of us took our moms for granted. We didn't realize how much effort our moms applied to make our childhood happy, how much they loved us, and what it took them to always be there for us. And only when we became moms ourselves, could we understand it all and feel a new kind of appreciation for our moms.
Keli Fisher says on Parents, "Strange as it may sound, one overpowering new feeling I had when I had my first child was, 'Wow, so this is how much my mom loves me!' My love for my own child was so visceral, it made me appreciate my own mom so much more."
20 "I Saw A Bigger Picture"
Many new parents notice that they start thinking about their future differently, when they have kids. They realize that it's not only them now and they should provide for the happy life of their children.
"You become much more patient. Not just with day-to day-things, but with your future,"
Tegan Drapehs admitted to Parents. "Before kids, we would see something we wanted to buy, and we had to have it. Now, we're learning the joys of taking our time, saving up, and budgeting for the really important things in life, like college funds and 401(k)s. Makes you find the joy and see that all the material things that run the lives of most people really mean nothing at all."
19 "My Marriage Has Changed"
If previously woman and man could pay a lot of attention to each other, arrange date nights every now and then, and spend as much time together as they wanted, after having kids everything, obviously, changes. Future parents have to be ready for the fact that once they take their baby home from hospital, they'll need to pay all their attention to this tiny helpless being and deal with everything that comes next for their marriage.
"If someone tells you that their marriage didn't change, they're not being honest with you," a new mom shared on The Bump. "When you go from just you and your spouse to you, your spouse and a baby, things will change. Change isn't a bad thing—at least not always."
18 Reese Witherspoon: "I Think About My Kids All The Time"
Reese Witherspoon is a talented actress and a mother of three kids - Ava, 19, Deacon, 15, and Tennessee, 6. In her interview with Glamour in 2014, she admitted that since she became a mom, her kids have constantly been on her mind. "I don't think there's been an hour of my life since Ava was born that I don't think of my kids," the actress said.
"I call it my CNN ticker tape: Is Ava OK? Yes. Is Deacon OK? Yes. Is Tennessee OK? Yes. Back to Ava."
This is so true! What good mother doesn't think about her kids all day long? Especially if they're still little, she always wants to know where her kids are, what they're doing, and whether they're safe.
17 "I Have Healthier Habits"
All of us have some unhealthy habits in food. Some of us like chips, others like pizza, or candies, or even all of these unwholesome foods altogether.
But when a woman gets pregnant and gives birth to a child, she usually starts being more conscious about her food choices, because what she eats, her baby eats, as well.
Kelly Hardison thought about it, too, and later shared with Parents, "I started healthier eating habits, to lead by example. I thought I was already eating well, but I didn't realize how much better I could do. So when my son was born I kicked it up a notch or two. Now he's 7 and a very good eater. I've witnessed some pretty good choices on his part, too, like asking for milk when his papa offered him soda!"
16 "My Baby Makes My Day"
Life isn't perfect. It has its ups and downs, and at times you just need to have something (or someone) as an energy source. For parents, their baby often becomes this source. This little sweetie pie makes their day and improves their mood, no matter what happened.
One of such moms, Nicole Currey-Guzman said to Parents, "Hmm, let me count the ways life changes after a kid: no sex, no sleep, no alone time; anxiety about whether or not I'm a good parent; and did I mention no sleep? But most important, leaving work on time so I can see that bubbly face light up when I walk in the door. At that exact moment I realize that I must be doing something right."
15 "My Partner And I Have A New Bond"
Even though having a baby can seemingly be tough on a relationship between mom and dad, it all depends on how you look at it.
On the one hand, you do have less time for your significant other. But, on the other hand, the fact that you two made a new life come into this world creates a special kind of bond.
A mother admits to The Bump, "The first year, our relationship was good and bad. Bad because we were sleep deprived and, well, both my husband and I are grumpy without sleep. But our baby makes us happy. Our children make us laugh, smile and worry like we never had before, but it brings us closer together."
14 "My Baby Taught Me To Live In The Present Moment"
For some moms, being a mom can seem to be like a big job at first, but even they learn to see the joys of motherhood, just because they love their kids to pieces. And, in fact, even though we think that we're the ones who teach our kids, we learn a lot from them, too. For example, we can learn something really important, which is to enjoy the present moment.
Mariel Lindsay shares about her experience of being a mom, "[My baby] wants to listen to the birds sing, wonder at the shape of a leaf, bask in sunlight. Her attitude reminds me daily: This is life. I am living NOW. Find beauty in the present moment before it slips away. In this way, she embodies passion."
13 Kerry Washington: "I Have A Different Kind Of Perfect"
Kerry Washington is married to NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha and the couple has a daughter and a son. The actress keeps her family away from the spotlight, but sometimes she shares her thoughts on motherhood with the media.
Thus, in one of her interviews, Washington admitted how much her life changed since she became a mom,
"I can be covered in spit-up on a conference call while I'm pumping and that's OK, because this is my perfect. It may not be somebody else's, but this is mine."
This is right - being a mother, you learn to appreciate other things. I mean, who could ever think that being covered in spit-up can be considered nice? Only a mom!
12 "I Became More Confident"
Most women have their own insecurities that might be haunting them throughout their entire life. It seems that nothing can make them go away, but, interestingly, some women claim that they got rid of their insecurities after they gave birth to a child. Leanne Kaufmann Wellert is one of them. "I was surprised by how confident I've become," she admitted to Parents.
"When I look in the mirror, I think I look more beautiful than ever before, though I know I look no different. I just feel like being a mom gives me the confidence to not care so much what other people think."
Did you start feeling more confident, as soon as you got a child?
11 "Now I Need More 'Leave By' Time"
Soon after you give birth to a baby, you're going to realize that you need way more time to get ready to leave your house. Let's take a look at the example of Kelly England McElwain, who shared with Parents, "Before, if it took me 10 minutes to get somewhere, I grabbed my bag and left 10 minutes before I had to be there. After the first baby, I soon realized I had to feed her, change her, gather her stuff, load her into the car seat, load the stroller into the car, get her back out and change the huge blowout that happened the second I put the car into reverse to back out of the garage, then change my shirt because she spit up all over me, and then try again. I finally learned to add about 30 minutes on to my 'leave by' time. Huge adjustment. (Of course, by the time the next baby came, I needed another 10 minutes for the baby and the potty-training toddler.)"
10 "My Priorities Have Changed"
We all have certain priorities in our lives. Some of us put our pets above everything else, others think cleaning is the most important thing. But it all changes once there's a baby at home.
For Brandie Silvey Thompson, the birth of a baby meant the priority change, too. "I used to be really worried about keeping my house clean," she shares with Parents. "Every Saturday morning I would clean the whole house before doing anything else. Now, my house gets cleaned every two to three weeks because I would much rather watch Saturday morning cartoons snuggled on the couch with my kids! My priorities have changed more than I ever expected they would."
9 "I Learnt To Appreciate Silence"
Babies cry. They cry a lot. And when they're done crying, they usually cry a little bit more. And even when they grow into toddlers or schoolers, they still remain noisy.
For this reason, every minute, every second a mom has in silence becomes a reward for everything she's done during the day.
One mom shared on EmpowHer, "After listening to kids cry and whine, and tell me the story about what happened at recess in every excruciating detail, I now find myself really appreciating the silence when they go to bed. Instead of filling my environment with noise, like I used to before having kids, I now sit in silence and feel the rejuvenating energy it can bring."
8 Emily Blunt: "Date Nights Became Different"
As we've discussed it before, marriage life becomes completely different, when kids appear. Celebrities are no exception, and Emily Blunt, among others, shared with InStyle that her date nights with her husband, actor John Krasinski, drastically changed after they became parents.
"After we got home from the hospital, I didn't shower for a week," the actress shared, "and then John and I were like, 'Let's go out for dinner.' I could last only about an hour because my boobs were exploding. When the milk first comes in, it's like a tsunami. But we went, just to prove to ourselves that we could feel normal for a second."
Blunt went on to add that their life changed even more, when they had a second baby. "When there was just one kid, somebody would get to sit down. Now nobody gets a break. But John is the most [incredible] daddy." You betcha!
7 "I Don't Need An Alarm Clock Any More"
Most of us need an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. Well, at least most of us did, especially when we had to go to school or college. But as soon as we become parents, we notice that we don't really need an alarm clock any more. For example, Becky Shapiro says to Parents,
"After having a baby, you'll never need an alarm clock again! My son is 15 months old and I'm 5 months pregnant. I have not used an alarm clock since I came home from the hospital after my son was born."
Isn't it a nice bonus to get a natural ability to wake up in the morning?
6 "I Saw My Spouse As A Parent"
When a woman lives with her partner for a long time, it seems that she knows everything about him. But there's at least one thing she doesn't know before they have a child - she doesn't know what kind of parent he's going to be. She can guess that he's going to be a great dad, but she'll see it in practice only after they get a kid. For some women, it's a priceless experience.
"I've relied on my spouse more than ever, from the moment I said, 'We're pregnant,' through pregnancy, delivery, and those first few days home with our new baby," Heather Ludwick shares.
"Watching the man you love shift into a new role as a daddy -- it's a wonderful journey with your spouse, especially when he holds baby for the first time. Priceless!"
5 "I Became More Emotionally Vulnerable"
One of the biggest challenges some new mothers face is the emotional vulnerability they begin to feel after having kids. "I used to watch the news or a documentary and see children [hurt]," a mom shares with Motherly. "Although I felt sadness, there was also a disconnect and an inability to understand exactly what those images represented as a whole. Now, every child on the news is my child. Also, I used to be scared of not being popular, or having enough money to buy all the nice things friends had, or be able to go on cool exciting holidays. Now, my fear is that I can’t provide everything needed by my kids. I fear that I won’t be capable of giving them the best chances in life."
4 "I'm Wondering What I Used To Do With My Time"
A new mom has so many things to do. She has to feed her baby, change their nappies, clean the house, cook food, do laundry, and, sometimes (maybe if she's lucky), she also needs to get some sleep. If her partner is working full-time and can't help her a lot, doing it all might seem impossible.
But somehow, mom manages to have time for everything and it'll probably make her wonder what she used to do with her time, when she didn't have kids.
"I used to think I was busy," a new mom admits on Bright Horizons. "I didn't know what busy was. Having a busy social calendar and having a busy baby-filled life are two entirely different things."
3 Mila Kunis: "Now I Know How Selfless I Can Get"
Mila Kunis, the wife of actor Ashton Kutcher and mother of two kids, Wyatt born in 2014 and Dimitri born in 2016, knows what hard work it is to be a mom.
"What motherhood shows you is how selfless you can get," the actress admits in an interview. "I'm ragged tired. Who cares? My kids are healthy, I'm happy."
I don't think that it's possible to say it better than Kunis did. When you have kids, you go out of your way to make sure that they're happy and healthy 24/7. This alone puts a smile on your face, no matter how tired you are or how little sleep you had last night.
2 "My Heart Became Twice Bigger"
When a woman becomes a mom, it seems that either her heart became bigger, or she got a second heart, because it looks like an impossible thing to have that much love for a human being.
A mother from EmpowHer shares her feelings after her child was born, "Like the Grinch in Dr. Seuss' 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas,' the day I looked at the face of a child my husband and I created, my heart grew two sizes. It swelled in my chest with pride and joy, and also with a very real fear of loss of this precious being." Another mom shared on Motherly, "My heart is bigger and it overflows with an untarnished, uncomplicated, and pure love."
Isn't it amazing to know that you can love that much?
1 "I'm More Concerned About The World"
And there's one more change that probably affects all new parents, both moms and dads. Since now they have a child who is going to live in this world, they become more concerned about the future of our planet. After all, we're going to leave this world one day and let our kids live in it without us, raising their own children. And what world do we want to leave for them? Is it the polluted, dirty world, filled with litter to the brink? Or is it the clean, beautiful, and well-protected environment, where we know they'll be happy and safe? The choice is obvious.
So let us think more about the world we're going to leave for our kids to live in, and, perhaps, contribute to creating it even before we even have kids. This is the only way we can preserve Mother Nature for all the generations to come.