I think I remember my pregnancy with my first child more vividly than the others because…well…it was my first. It was a very joyful time for me. I remember people telling me I looked radiant with that pregnancy “glow”. I was truly looking forward to motherhood. I had three younger sisters, tons of younger cousins and I had spent much of my teen years babysitting other people’s children. I was ready to have my own children.
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What no one prepared me for was the little stuff and of course no one could guess what high expectations I had as a young expectant mom. Now that I’ve been a mother for 16 years, here’s what I would say are my top 5 ways to prepare for motherhood:
- Lower your expectations. As I stated, I had very high expectations. I was determined to put my baby on a schedule even when it went against my mommy instincts. Let yourself be you and let baby be themselves too.
- Relax. Enjoy your pregnancy and then your baby. Relaxing is very beneficial to you and your baby whether you are still pregnant or have a newborn. Babies pick up on our moods. Remember that saying, “If mama ain’t happy, then ain’t nobody happy” it rings true in family life.
- 3. Your baby will only be a baby once. There’s a sweet little poem I liked to remind myself of when I was antsy to get the housework done:
“Babies Don’t Keep”
Cooking and cleaning can wait til tomorrow
For babies grow up, I’ve learned to my sorrow
So, settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep
- Sleep when baby sleeps. Rest when baby rests. This is advice my grandmother told me, as she did this when she had my dad and his four younger siblings ages 5 and under. I started this when I had 3 girls ages 3 and under and continued it right through with my last child who was born in 2010. I would tuck my little ones in around me while nursing the youngest and fall asleep with them. I wish I had done this with my first two just because I struggled with my milk supply, probably because I was too busy and not resting enough.
- Learn to listen to your baby ‘s needs. They cry to communicate not to irritate. They cry when they poo, they cry when they pee, they cry when they want comfort an warmth. Learn what he or she is telling you.
- Your baby was in your womb for nine months, expect them to want to be with you for the next 2-18 years. Once baby enters the world it’s easy to forget that baby was nice and cozy warm within us for all those months. Babies were not made to be alone, they want to be with their mama. So if you think you are going to get some me time once baby arrives, think again. It will have to be carved out with the help of loved ones.
Motherhood is a life long job. 24/7. It is the hardest work we will ever do as women, but oh the most satisfying and rewarding. Our babies need us for long time to come and that is motherhood.
About the Author –
Theresa has been married for over 18 years and is mom to 8 beautiful children. She is also a WAHM (Work-At-Home-Mom). In addition to blogging, she is a Virtual Assistant with her own company as well as an independent contractor with Your USA VA. Her interests include: reading, writing, travel, education, business, being self sufficient by growing her own food through farming and gardening. To learn more about her and her family visit her blog Faith and Family Reviews.