What no one told me about motherhood
After I gave birth to my son, what surprised me most was how much I needed my mom. I expected to want her to visit and to get to know her new grandson but I never anticipated how much I would want her to take care of me. Despite my partner's good efforts and best intentions, nobody was able to take care of me as well as she did. My mom cooked me three meals a day and cared for my every need. As a result, I was able to focus all my attention and energy on my new role as a mom.
-- Jordana in MA, mom to Lucian
-- By Lexi Walters Wright
I had no idea that the nature-nurture balance of was tipped so heavily toward NATURE. My two children couldn't be more different from each other; their differences were readily apparent the moment each one arrived. Parenting my kids requires completely different approaches, which has caused me to open my eyes to differences all around me.
-- Asha in OR, mom to Mimi and Luke
From the moment I saw my daughter's brand new face—neither mine, nor her father's—I realized she was her own new person and always would be. It's a strange thing to create this person and carry them inside you and provide for their every need, and then watch them turn up their nose at your best cooking and say, "No hugs!" I love watching my 18-month-old develop her own preferences and ideas about the world, but it somehow never fails to shock me when she does.
-- Kylie in IA, mom to Beatrix
It's amazing how "dirty" is relative now. Before becoming a mom, I'd Purell my hands after touching a doorknob, now I can handle having poo and pee on my hands and clothes and not bat an eyelash!
Video: How to tell if toys are safe
-- Yuzhi in NY, mom to Ellie
No one told me that it was possible to not produce enough breast milk, despite my best efforts, and that supplementing with formula would not make me a bad mother. No one told me that this happens to women often, actually, and that my bond with my daughter would not suffer because I had to bottle feed her, too.
Finally, thanks to loving words of wisdom from real-life mamas around me, I made peace with the situation. And just in time, too, because my daughter is extraordinary. I'm so glad I didn't waste any more time judging myself.
-- Heather in IA, mom to Hazel
No one had ever told me that when I had to dig down deep and be the strongest advocate for my daughter while being her greatest source of comfort I WOULD. Every parent should know that there is NOTHING you can't do when you have to.
-- Anissa in GA, mom to Peyton, Rachael, and Nathaniel
I was surprised that parenting was easier than I thought it would be. We hear such horror stories of the lack of sleep, no time for friends, the messy diapers and the temper tantrums, but it really wasn't that stressful (at least the first year)! I think babies react to your energy so if you're happy, relaxed, and calm then your baby will be, too. Knock on wood!
-- Susan in NY, mom to Trevor
What no one ever told me was how much I could learn about myself from my own kids. I've realized that being a mom and needing to give up myself in the process, as I was told, is not true; my children have showed me that my overall happiness makes them happy too. These adventurous, curious little people have complemented my life and helped me become a more fun person. I worry more, plan more and sleep less, but I am also happier and more excited about the world because I get to see it through my kids' eyes, and I can't think of any other moment in my life when it all looked so beautiful.
-- Carol in NY, mom to David, Liam, and Aidan
I didn't realize how silly I'd be. I'm normally pretty reserved. But whenever I'm with my little guy, I'm constantly talking, singing, and making goofy faces and sounds. It's hard to say which of us enjoys it more!
-- Julie in IL, mom to Collin
Being a Type A multi-tasker, I thought being a supermom would be easy. But after a couple weeks of crankiness, fatigue and frustration, I realized I couldn't go to work, exercise, cook, clean and take care of my baby every single day. Splitting up more duties with my husband and giving up something on my agenda every day saved me mentally and physically!
-- Rajasree in MN, mom to Maya