The first year. I could only imagine what being around a baby was like before becoming a mom. Sure, I had hung out with kids, but not babies for any length of time. On top of that, I had never been at home for an extended period of time. I knew the birth of my daughter would flip my world upside down, but in what ways? All I knew were vignettes of mom life via social media.
So inevitably, the past year has been slightly different from what I imagined. Here are my biggest self-created myths:
Baby will need fancy gear to be comforted.
You need every expensive swing/bouncer/carrier/etc. to soothe your baby, according to sample baby registries. While some moms will swear by these things – my baby rarely wanted to be confined by gadgets. She only wanted to be held and fed. I had to switch my mindset from “I’m going to drop her off in this swing while I load the dishwasher” to “my job is to hold her, not keep the house spotless.”
Making my own baby food will save us money.
I was right that making your own food, versus buying jarred, is frugal. Unless your baby refuses to eat anything you make — in which case you’ll be buying plenty of jars. This is what my literature said to avoid the food pouches, in order to promote utensil skills. That advice went out the window once I realized she will suck down a 4-oz pouch without flinging half of it back at me.
If I’m lucky enough to make breastmilk, I will definitely be done by a year.
I didn’t expect breastfeeding to actually work for me, based on many of my friends’ experiences. Sometimes it’s nice to have the excuse to cuddle, but oftentimes, I find breastfeeding to be a chore. And yet somehow we’re approaching a year of this relationship! I’m attempting to cut out one more feeding every week – but it’s hard. I can’t handle her tears.
I’m going to be completely isolated while my husband is at work.
Not being a Genesee County native, I had no idea how I was going to find my Mom tribe. Circling our subdivision with the stroller revealed that most moms are working. Luckily, I started searching online and found MOMS Club of Grand Blanc. As a member you can participate in as many as a few events a week with the kiddos – and once a month we even have “Mom’s Night Out”. I truly have a great social life, thanks to MOMS Club, Parents as Teachers, and GCMB.
None of these Mom realities are bad, they’re just different from what I had pictured. No two Moms have the same first-timer experience; no two babies are exactly alike.
How was your first year as a Mom different from what you had anticipated?