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8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Mom

Updated: Nov 6

Before I became a mom, many people shared with me the joys of being a mom. Social media also showed me how great it is to be a mom. And having spent almost a year with baby E now, I don't doubt that it's been a joy. However, it's really not always a mountaintop experience, and here are eight things I wished I knew before becoming a mother.

1. The days are going to feel long.

And on some days, extremely long… Everyday felt so long for me at the initial stage when I was so sleep-deprived. But fret not, because your baby will grow up and things will only get better. (Yes, it will!)

2. It's going to be hard before it becomes easier.

Functioning without sleep was hard. Breastfeeding was hard. Getting the baby to sleep was hard. Waking up with a childbirth wound was hard. Nothing has ever felt harder than being a mom (at least for me this was the case...). But take heart that it'll get easier as you begin to get used to functioning on less sleep, as you get the hang of breastfeeding (if you choose to do so), as you learn the patterns of your little one, and as the wound heals… There will still be different challenges as your little one grows, but it will become easier as the days pass.

3. It's okay if I don't do what’s more popular.

More people are advocating for sleep training and breastfeeding now as compared to the days when we were babies ourselves, but don’t be pressured to do it just because everyone else is doing it. Try not to compare with others and instead go with what works for you and your little one!

4. My house will take on a new level of messy.

My house never looked the same again ever since baby E came along. Now that he’s able to crawl and get from one point to another by himself, we find toys everywhere. He’s also into opening cupboards, so before we baby-locked the cupboards that he could reach, there were times we found containers and tins of canned food all over the kitchen floor. I’ve since given up cleaning up after him; I just leave everything till the end of the day or after E is done with the activity.

5. My baby does not need so many clothes.

We had a ton of clothes for baby E because we received lots of hand-me-downs (so thankful for that!). We sorted and washed all the clothes in preparation for baby E’s arrival, but realised soon after he was born that there were certain clothes we preferred for him so those were reworn many times while we barely touched the rest of the pile. Turns out there’s no need for a baby to have so many clothes, and they outgrow them so quickly anyway.

6. I'll experience emotional roller coasters.

I am not usually a person who gets overwhelmed by emotions easily; most times, I’m pretty logical and level-headed. However, after giving birth, I experienced the most intense emotional roller coasters – I can be very happy one moment, and crying the next moment. (I may be slightly exaggerating, but you get my point.) I found myself crying almost every night in the initial days of becoming a mom, sometimes not even sure why I was crying. What helped was being able to have someone to talk to, and having my husband to assure me that everything was alright. I learnt that it’s an experience many new moms face, and I don’t have to go through it alone, which leads me to my next point...

7. It’s okay to ask for help.

I’ve never had to ask for help so much until I became a mom. I usually dislike asking for help because it felt like after that I would be indebted to the people who helped me. But parenting has taught me (well, kinda forced me to learn) to ask for help because there are days when I’m just so tired that I felt like I had no energy for my baby. I’ve come to realise that people are often more than willing to help without expecting anything in return (though I’m sure you can offer them a drink at your home). Asking for help is certainly not a sign of weakness, so take courage and reach out for help when you need to!

8. There isn’t one right way to parent.

Having access to resources means that we have LOTS of information on how to care for our little ones. For me, the knowledge that I gained from reading up about parenting made me believe that there was a “right” way to parent. As I began the parenting journey myself, I learnt that there really isn’t one right way to do things – from how to put your baby to sleep and what to do when your baby cries, to what and how to feed your baby, and so much more. It usually takes some trial and error. What works for someone else may not work best for you, so don’t fall into the trap of believing you have to follow a specific way. Read up to prepare yourself, then choose what works for you and your family, and enjoy the parenting journey!

I hope this helps to give you a more realistic picture of how life can be like after having a baby. While parenting may not feel fun and exciting all the time, it most definitely isn’t all doom and gloom either! I hope that as you anticipate the challenges that come with parenting, it will help you to better embrace the joys of it as well.

Feel free to leave us a comment and send us your questions if you have any! We’d love to hear from you :)

Written by E's Mommy, co-founder of Toddle 'n' Doodle.

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