When I wrote Nine Reasons I'm Afraid to Have a Baby, I was overwhelmed by the responses from both women in my same, non-mama boat, and from women who were mothers. The mamas out there had some amazing truth and wisdom to share, which got me thinking: why not have them share what they would go back and tell themselves before they became a mom? I knew I'd be interested to see what they didn't expect or what they wish they'd known before, so I reached out to some blogging mamas, and this post was born! I wish I could have posted every single response, but I ran out of space. I'm so grateful for the honest words from these 25 amazing women, and am honored to be sharing them today for all women to read and benefit from!
"Having a baby won't stop you from pursuing your passion. We have traveled to 15 countries in a year, and started when our baby was 6 months old. Having baby makes you more organized, multitasking, and a better person. Moreover you will love yourself more."
Rashmi from Go Beyond Bounds
"I would tell my pre-mom self to enjoy every phase while it's happening - not when you are looking back and remembering it. Also appreciate the differences in all of your children. I didn't realize how much it would hurt me when my kids were hurting or struggling with something. And lastly, parenting never ends - it changes as your kids grow older, but you will always feel responsible for them and want to be involved in their lives."
Therese (My Mom!)
"There is no such thing as perfection in mommy-hood. Do your best, love with everything you have, be present in the moment and you will do great! Just like any other role in life, you will have bad days and amazing days... Cling to the Lord and know you are doing a great job mama!"
Jenna from Espresso Ever After
"With your first child you automatically get superhero powers! Two extra invisible hands, the ability to function on near no sleep, and the uncanny ability to "just know" things with no prior training!"
Cynthia from Mrs. Wright Writes
"You are going to be so amazed at how much you can love and how unselfishly. Your world will change in one second and the everything looks different as soon as you hold that baby. Cherish the little things and be strong like I know you can be. Your wisdom surpasses your youth, darling, and you will be marvelous."
Eschelle from Mumfection
"Accept help during the first few months, you need the sleep to repair your body, spirit and mind. The depression, anxiety and other mental health issues postpartum get better gradually and ease up around a year, they won't last forever."
Rebecca from New Crunchy Mom
"You can never be fully prepared. We wanted a baby and we planned for a baby. I had younger siblings, I'd babysat, I had young nephews. I thought motherhood would be easier for me than it is for a lot of new moms, but it wasn't. When it's just mom, dad, and baby, in the trenches, you have to figure it out as you go. Google stuff, text your mom, crowd-source your questions on social media, but don't think you're alone in not having a clue what to do with a tiny baby. Just because you love and plan for that little person doesn't mean you're magically equipped with all the knowledge to be the perfect parent."
Abby from Winstead Wandering
"When I first looked down at my daughter, I loved her fiercely. Not because she had done something for me, or because we cultivated it together, but simply because she was, and she was mine. Becoming a parent has brought me greater understanding of God's love for me, which was a happy surprise."
Michelle from My Simplified Life
"I would tell my pre-mama be ready for the unexpected, because everything in life is unexpected. The things you're worried about probably aren't a issue, and the things that will be a issue you haven't even thought of. Enjoy each minute of this journey, or at least try to be present because soon every minute will just be a memory."
Robyn from After the Honeymoon
"You are totally strong enough. You'll cry a lot, you'll feel like a failure quite often, things will never go as you plan-but you're strong enough. For the fostering, the adoptions, the sending kids back to biological parents, the pregnancies and the births. You are stronger than you know."
Lauren from Bellows in the Berkshires
"Utilize the ultimate resource- God. Books and people will give you advice, some good-some not, but ultimately, any need, any want, any thing that comes to your children- take it to God. Don't be afraid to give Him the reins on a situation and trust His guidance. And know- that even the most seemingly perfect parents, make mistakes, have regrets and wish they could do certain things over."
Jess from Six Figure Faith
"I would tell my pre-mom self that everything will fall into place - even if it's not always neat and pretty. I was so afraid of figuring out what I'd have to let go of to make room for a child, and my priorities just adjusted naturally out of my love for her. I'd also tell myself not to fear childbirth -- it's more painful than I ever imagined, but it was also the very best day of my life. I felt like a superhero after giving birth!"
Brittany from The Nested Nomad
"There's a possibility that you won't sleep for a very long time. You will at times get frustrated and want to rip your hair out. In those times, try to remind yourself that this is just a sign of how much this precious little one loves you."
Mallory from Bacons on a Budget
"Soak up the time with your first baby. No matter what life is throwing at you, no matter how stressed you are or how rough your circumstances are, that baby needs you and the closer you are to your baby in the beginning, the stronger your relationship will be through the rest of their years. Love them, squoosh them, kiss them, hold them, watch them sleep. Your house can be dirty, you can be unbathed for weeks. Love on that baby like there's no tomorrow while they are still tiny."
Kayla from The Accidental Nomad Life
"Cherish every moment you can get and do not worry about what other people say. Your baby is a gift from God that he gave specifically to you. He knew you would be the best mom for the job of raising your little one. So trust in him and do not worry over every little problem that comes up (and there will be many). But they will all pass and leave you with a beautiful child."
Amanda from New Life Overnight
"Don't wish it away. When the kids are up late at night and crying or throwing tantrums, or refusing to sleep for 15 months, all we want is for them to sleep, grow up a little, get out of that stage. We wish for it to be better, without realizing that we are also wishing away precious memories. So my advice would be to enjoy even the darkest of moments, because too soon they will be gone and you'll want them back."
DeAnna from The Outnumbered Nest
Belle from Deux Bella
"Enjoy the newborn phase. While you're in it, you are pulling your hair out and you think you'll never sleep again, but then as soon as it's over you'll want it back. So try to enjoy each moment as much as you can. And it's okay to let people help you. If you need a nap, call that friend who said she/he would watch the baby. Take care of you too!"
Sarah from Foxy's Domestic Side
"I would tell myself to stop worrying so much and to just enjoy my wonderful children. I also would tell myself that they would teach me more than I would ever be able to teach them."
Sandi from Happy Science Mom
"There are really hard days, but it gets easier overall. You can still do what you love. Just give it time."
Ann from Kids Travel Books
"It is WAY more fun than "they" said it would be. I'm an aunt many times over and love my kiddos. But I didn't know that motherhood could be just as fun as my auntie days. Based on what I'd heard, I felt like it was going to be way more "him vs. us." I had a sense that I would just feel inconvenienced and constantly overwhelmed. But it's just not that way. (That's not to say it's perfect, or that I'm super well rested!) He doesn't feel "inconvenient" - he's just a member of the family with his own needs. And it's hard to remember what we did before he was with us."
Julienne from Julienne DesJardins
"The first few weeks/months I found I didn't need a big diaper bag when I went out with the baby. I started just carrying a few diapers, wipes, and burp cloths in my purse and that was more than enough for me. Freed me up so much since I didn't have to lug around a diaper bag!"
"I wish someone told me how unnatural breastfeeding might feel and what to expect detail by detail, such as engorgement and leaking, before it actually happens! Coming from a family that did not breastfeed, I had no clue whatsoever that breastfeeding was going to be the biggest challenge I had ever faced."
Rachel from A La Modest
Wow! How amazing is all of this wisdom and heartfelt honesty from these women? Reading some of these was really eye-opening and some of them nearly made me cry. Pretty cool to see all these fabulous mamas out there totally rockin' it (no matter how old their kiddos are), despite the fact that they didn't really have it all figured out right away! I'm so thankful for their willingness to share with all of us. I hope this post gave you hope, made you think, or maybe just made you nod your head and say "yep" right along with all these awesome moms. I think that shared words and experiences are the best ways for us to learn and think, and I know I'm super grateful for the words of these women today!
What would you tell your pre-mama self? I'd love for you to join in on the conversation in the comments below, or you can contact me privately here or on the Facebook page! You can also got check out all the blogs of my awesome mama friends in the links above. Come and join us!
A. Liz AdventuresThe Diary of a Real HousewifeMomfessionalsLife in LeggingsQuintessential Mommy
A. Liz AdventuresThe Diary of a Real HousewifeMomfessionalsLife in LeggingsQuintessential Mommy