There are several things I wish I’d known when I had Emma. Things that you just don’t know until you have kids. I’m sure there are some things I still won’t know the second time around but there are also some things I will have a better handle on and will know. I’m so excited! It’s great not to have to learn some things twice. There’s too much already that I have to learn over and over again.
Enjoy her MORE. When Emma was first born, I struggled a lot with all of my discomfort. I really don’t think I ever had bad postpartum- just really sore breasts. During my six week maternity leave I cried. A lot. I would call JR around 10 in the morning already asking him to come home from work. I don’t know how he put up with me. There was one day I dropped some milk and spilt about an ounce. You would have thought I had set the house on fire and lost everything inside. I was so ready for my leave to be over because I stayed so tired that I didn’t realize how much I was missing. During my final week, I was finally ready to be home and be a momma and it was too late (at least for the maternity leave part). Take my advice- enjoy the leave. Embrace it. If you can afford to take more time off, do it. I’m not sure six weeks or even eight is ever the right amount for a woman to adjust to everything that comes with being a mom. I wish looking back that we had taken more time off but I didn’t realize how important it was. Next time I will know.
Six weeks IS the magic number. I remember people telling me it will all get better at six weeks. Seriously? What in the world are these people talking about? I wasn’t sure it would ever get better. How awful is that? I just couldn’t imagine the sleepless nights ending, being less sore, or understanding how to comfort my crying child. The truth is that it DOES get better and easier. I’m not sure your child is necessarily in better shape, but you are. I remember that realization that Emma would be ok if she cried. That I would eventually sleep again. You also begin to get some balance in your life and are out of the phase of being in a constant daze. Emma was about five weeks old when I came to this realization. Thank goodness. I don’t know what I would have done if it had been five months, or even years. I think it’s just a naturally instilled thing as a parent. It WILL get easier.
Babies don’t cost a fortune. I think one thing we really worried about was money and how much we would be spending with Emma. We knew our budget was limited and we couldn’t afford everything under the sun and still pay bills, save, and more. I’ve come to find out a lot of the stuff people say is nonsense. You don’t HAVE to spend an arm and a leg on your child (minus certain medical needs they may have). God definitely provides and takes care of you and remember that this child is HIS child. He wouldn’t have given him or her to you if he didn’t have it all planned out anyways. Emma has never cost us more than we could afford. And guess what? We’ve also been on vacation with Emma, too. I can’t tell you how many people told us we’d never go on vacation again. Seriously. You choose to make the changes that happen in your life. We just chose bring Emma along with us.
Listen to my momma. There are a lot of things growing up and even now that I dismiss when my mom says them. I struggle with being a know it all. There, I admitted it. My mom would tell me things and I would shrug it off and think, “sure…” and come to find out she was right. I hate admitted someone else is right. That’s part of the illness of being a know it all. What I realized is that if I’d listened to my mom just a little bit more I could have saved myself a lot of grief. Oh well. You live you learn. And then you listen to momma.
Stress never makes anything better. I stress out a lot and that was an understatement when we first had Emma. Due to my exclusively pumping, I didn’t ever create an abundance of milk. It was just enough for her to get by. Imagine my concern when my supply in the fridge would drop. Then I would panic. Anytime this stress hit, it NEVER helped my supply. No matter how much water I drank or how much I ate, my supply would continue to drop until I calmed down and realized that everything was going to be ok. Stress isn’t good for the body, or your milk supply. I think it also carries over to your child. Emma always seemed more tense when I was more stressed. So try to cut back on the stress.
These are things I wish I’d known but I hope I’ve learned from and will do differently from this point on and the next time around. I’m glad there’s room for mistakes and lessons learned, I have sure had plenty of them.
What things do you wish you had known prior to having your child?