Friday Five – Five Things I’ve Learned as a New Mother

Its hard to believe how quickly time is flying and that Wednesday marked two weeks since little man’s birth.  No matter how much I’d read or how much I’d heard from others, nothing could have prepared me for the emotional roller coaster that being a new mother is, or better yet, how much I’d love my little guy.

tummy time

The past two weeks have been quite the learning experience, and I’m sure that I’ll continue to learn even more as the weeks, months, and years continue on.

1.  You can prepare, anticipate, and plan as much as you want, but nothing will go as you expect it to.  I had actually mentally prepared myself for things to go much less smoothly than they have, namely sleep and little man’s eating, but we’ve been blessed with a great sleeper (we’ve already had two nights with him sleeping for almost six hours at a time, though those periods have started around 8pm), and breastfeeding has generally been going well too.  What I hadn’t prepared myself for was how gassy he’d be, or how helpless I’d feel when trying to figure out what he wants, or needs, and it sometimes taking upwards of an hour to be able to calm him down.  I also hadn’t prepared myself for how difficult it would be to get simple things done, like taking a shower or taking care of chores around the house.

2.  Finding “me” time is important for both my mental and physical health.  I’ve been blessed to have my mom here since I went into labor (my parents pulled into our driveway after their long drive from Illinois only about 40 minutes after my contractions started – talk about great timing!), and her assistance around the house has allowed me to put much of my focus into my little man’s needs as well as my own.  Her being here has also allowed me to escape the house solo a couple of times during the day, including twice to the gym to be able to powerwalk on the treadmill.  Those few escapes have helped me to feel like me for a little while, and then I’ve been able to return home and refocus on my little guy.

3.  You’ll learn to acclimate to any and all environments.  This has especially applied to breastfeeding in public, which I’ve already tackled twice.  The first time I found comfort in the privacy of a changing room at a clothing store at the mall, and the second time when little man didn’t like the nursing cover I pulled a chair into a bathroom at a restaurant.  You do what you have to do.

4.  Being “on time” takes on an entirely new meaning.  Between appointments with the lactation consultant, the pediatrician, and the chiropractor, we’ve had more days with appointments than without appointments since we came home from the hospital.  I never realized how long it would take to get both myself and little man ready to get out the door, and just getting someplace within five to ten minutes of the actual appointment time is starting to be considered a success in my book.

5.  I thought I liked taking pictures before little man’s birth (I was always that friend in high school and college who had a camera in their purse), but I really like taking photos now.  With him growing and changing as much as he has over the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to capture as much as I can through the camera lens in order to preserve these memories.  Thank goodness for smartphones, since I don’t always have quick access to a camera, or a camera on me.


QOTD: What lessons did you learn as a new parent?  If you aren’t a parent, which of these lessons surprises you most?

As always, thank you to the DC Trifecta Bloggers (Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, Mar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up For What?!) for hosting the weekly Friday Five Link Up.  Be sure to check out their posts as well!


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51 Responses to Friday Five – Five Things I’ve Learned as a New Mother

  1. heathersmean says:

    Expect the unexpected-rule to live by. My little man is 8 now and the years and months and days and moments bring you around and around! Congratulations and enjoy!

  2. he is seriously so precious! enjoy every second!

  3. Lesley says:

    That was great timing with your parents. He’s just adorable, and Riley seems to like him 🙂

  4. He is SO adorable! I’m so glad you are adjusting well to motherhood. I hope he continues to be a great sleeper!

  5. mkadens1 says:

    Yes to all. You seriously cannot plan/control and have to just flow with whatever. Honestly I thought I wouldn’t be that “into” parenting and would suck at it. Then the instincts kicked in and all is right with the world. He is precious! Glad you’re taking lots of pics cuz it flies.

  6. I can only imagine how different reality is from what you imagine when it comes to your first child. That’s so great you’ve had your Mom around to help, I bet that makes such a difference.

  7. Stephanie says:

    Finding “me” time was the hardest thing for me. Now my daughter is nine years old and she flat out tells me that she is happy for me that I do have my “me” time, she enjoys encouraging 🙂

  8. You’ve brought me back to when both my girls were born! So much can change it such short time! I remember my youngest sleeping 10 pm – 6 am around 2 months old…it was amazing. Then she turned 4 months old and never slept a full night again FOREVER!!! And the appointments, oh my! Take it one day at a time.

  9. emma says:

    These are all SPOT ON! The first year has always been the hardest for me. I’m constantly taking pictures of my kids now 🙂 I still struggle with finding me time. Well, really finding Me time and not feeling guilty about it.

    I think the biggest lessons I learned are 1) Sleep really IS important for mental health. My anxiety was through the roof on days I didn’t get enough sleep during those newborn/infant days (still can be). 2) Exercise also helps my mental health – when I do it 3-4 times a week.

  10. Yes to all of those! I think I would add that I never thought that I would love someone as much as I could love my kids. sounds corny but it’s so true. Enjoy!

  11. kristenk says:

    Awww OMG! I have dropped off the face of the blogging world during my vacation and totally missed this big new! Congrats! He is so adorable ❤

  12. Yes to all of these! I’ve also learned that I can handle bodily fluids only if they come from my daughter :). I was really nervous about dealing with that, since I’ve always had a weak stomach when it comes to vomit.

  13. MCM Mama says:

    Soon you’ll learn to nurse wherever, whenever, without the cover. I got to the point that I could walk around the store nursing a kid and people would comment on how cute it was that he was sleeping in my arms. Ummm…

    You’ll also learn that you do what’s right for you and your family and it might not be what you thought was right a day/week/month ago, but have faith in your ability to KNOW what works for you.

    Keep up the great work!

  14. I think you hit the nail on the head with expecting the unexpected and needing me time. Don’t ever feel guilty about that.

  15. Ivanna says:

    You have a beautiful baby and you are doing great so far. One day at a time is all we can do 🙂

  16. Kim Hatting says:

    Motherhood is the ultimate humbling experience, but also the most satisfying 😉 I was not a runner back in the day when my kids were babies, but I certainly would have benefited from a little “me” time. And, it was quite amazing how much time and prep it took for a trip to the grocery store….only to have the little one decide to poo as you were walking out the door. Enjoy this time, you will be amazed how fast it really goes 😉 Congrats!!!

  17. jillconyers says:

    This is such a wonderful time in your life with so much more to come. Savor every moment!

  18. aw, such a sweet post! he’s such a cutie and i’m glad that he’s sleeping so well so that you can also get some sleep! 🙂

  19. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    Awww, so cute!! Definitely taking care of you is SO important, I can’t stress that enough. That is my sanity to get out of the house alone, even to go grocery shopping alone!

  20. Michelle says:

    You captured the feeling of having a fresh itty bitty perfectly! My youngest will be 8 months tomorrow, it goes so fast. Getting a baby carrier is a great way to nurse in public discreetly. I recently was able to walk around Disney nursing and no one could tell at all! Good luck with everything 🙂

  21. Simone says:

    So adorable & congrats again on the little one! Biggest thing I learned is that I’m still learning! And only you will know what’s best/right for you & your baby.

    I wish you success on your breastfeeding journey. It took about 3 weeks before I was able to nurse in public. The biggest thing that helped me become comfortable was to always wear a camisole. That way I could nurse & pull my top shirt down over the breast, leaving nothing exposed. People never even knew when I was nursing.

  22. While I have no reference point (no kiddo, duh! 😉 ), it sounds like you are adjusting well. And that’s great that your son is sleeping now. I feel like so many people I know said they could barely function because they never slept the first few weeks. So I’m glad that you are able to get that much needed element in life. And good for you for getting your “me” time and exercise. That’s fantastic!

  23. SharitaFit says:

    Beautiful post! I’m sure there will be many many more lessons along the way! Thanks for sharing!

  24. irenejean says:

    My baby is 4.5 months old now, I can relate so much to everything you’ve said! I was surprised with how quickly he changes too. Just when I think I have one thing figured out, he switches up on me. It keeps us on our toes!

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