When I was pregnant with my daughter, I thought I had a lot of things figured out. I knew I would breastfeed on demand and co-sleep. I knew what car seat I wanted. But the first time she cried out from gas pains, I froze and I had no idea what to do. Fast forward a year and I thought I had the whole baby thing down. But then my daughter smacked me across the face one day and that led to me sending a plea for help on my Facebook page about what to do.
Someone needs to seriously write a manual for raising children.
In the meantime, I talked to some other moms about what they wished someone would have warned them about motherhood, in hopes of sharing their advice with others about the newborn days and beyond. Here’s what they had to say:
"I was so worried when I was pregnant with my son. I was sure I would lose him too, because of my past miscarriages. Bu, nothing prepared me for the worry I feel now that he is here. And the older they get, the worry never stops. It just changes." - Ann F.
"The first three months are a living hell. I cried so much those first few months, and at times I actually hated my baby. I don't think anything prepares you for that." - Angela N.
"No one told me toddlers could be as bad at sleeping than babies. My kids slept through the night as babies. Now? Not so much." - Jennifer S.
"He knows how to push my buttons faster than I ever imagined. Sometimes during a tantrum, we both would end up in time-outs to cool off before we were able to calmly resolve the situation." - Jenny R.
"The mom anger takes me by surprise every time it happens. I spent years going through infertility, and a lot of time in the NICU to have this child, so how can I possibly be this furious at him?" - Renee C.
"No matter how much I read and discussed preparing for the important topics, I wasn't ready. My daughter asked in first grade if her teacher was going to have a hole in her stomach from having the baby cut out. I always pictured these controlled conversations and not the random questions that spring up in Target." - Melissa L.
"It’s heartbreaking to see how hard daily activities, like making friends, can be for my daughter. I can work with her on strategies, take her to therapy, and help build her confidence, but ultimately I have to let her go to school every day. Meanwhile, my heart breaks as I wonder if she will spend another day alone." - Beth L.
"You don't always know what’s wrong with your child when they're sick or hurt, because they can't communicate it. Its gotten better as my daughter gets older, but that first year and a half were tough." -Kathy S.
"I wasn’t prepared for the mom shaming. It seems like no matter what you do, someone seems to disagree with how you parent or gives you a ton of unwanted advice." - Sarah S.
"I never expected to feel this lonely. I’m definitely the hot mess mom and I may provide comic relief, but it's much harder making friends once other moms have figured out that you're 'that' mom." - Manushka H.
"If I do anything that involves just me, and not my husband or kids, I feel this gigantic sense of guilt. If I go out without my family, I feel like I am being a bad mom because I am giving myself 'me' time, even though in the long run, I think it makes me a better mom." - Jolene S.