The “mommy groups” can be worse than the cliques you dealt with in middle school. You’ll wanna pull your hair out sometimes!
However, those “mommy groups” are often invaluable, to the point where they might just help feed your child or save your life.
You will probably never stop trying to figure out how to be the “perfect” parent.
There’s no such thing as the “perfect” parent. (Ah, Catch-22!)
Your parenting style/views can (and probably will) change drastically over time.
PPD is real, and shouldn’t be ignored!
Parenting is not “black or white.”
Cloth diapering really isn’t that gross.
Natural birth (though extremely painful) is awesomely empowering.
However, as a sidenote, giving birth in a hospital really is as sucky as most natural-birthing moms make it out to be.
And on that note… you will soon come to realise that the mommas who endured c-sections are remarkably strong. The ultimate sacrifice for your child.
It’s okay if you don’t bond immediately with your child- don’t allow people to make you feel like less of a parent if you don’t.
It is okay to grieve or mourn if things don’t go “as planned” (ie, medications in labour, emergency c-section, unable to breastfeed despite your best effort, baby with medical issues, etc)! Your feelings are NATURAL, VALID, and REAL.
Being a “stay-at-home wife” and a “stay-at-home mom” are COMPLETELY different “job” descriptions.
A lot of the junk you “just know” you’ll need for your baby probably won’t get used much (like that multi-use swing or designer shopping cart cover)… and you may find you’ll want other things instead (like a woven wrap or more cute cloth diapers).
Listen to your gut, and go by common sense when it comes to your parenting instincts.
However, research all of your vital choices, and don’t necessarily trust all anecdotal “evidence.” Remember, too, that studies are not infallible, so take them with a grain of salt.
Parenting is NOT “one size fits all.” Neither is/are your child(ren).
Know that the bad/hard times don’t last forever, but neither do the good times- so at least try to relish every milestone.
Take lots of photos, and record the little things when you have a bit of time here and there.
Breastfeeding doesn’t necessarily make you lose weight- sometimes you might gain, but that’s okay!
If you think you’re tired and emotional before/during pregnancy, just wait until the baby is actually outside of the womb. (Okay, lots of people told me that, but SERIOUSLY…)
And on that note… Learn to accept that Baby might not sleep through the night for a few years. (It is natural, and I found that accepting the situation caused me to resent my son less.)
Milksharing is a healthy and more natural option than formula, if you cannot breastfeed for some reason.
Wearing your baby in a comfortable wrap or soft carrier (Ergo/Boba 3G, not the Baby Bjorn or Infantino carriers) is invaluable!
Even if your plans don’t work out how you wanted them to, know that no parent is perfect. (Did I make that clear enough?)
The dishes/laundry/cleaning can wait. Really. You might feel crazy from the clutter, but your clean clothes or silverware won’t be cuddling you at the end of the day.
Remember that children are not just inconveniences to be “dealt with,” but little human beings- don’t make decisions for them that will forever alter them as an adult.