*Guest Post by Guava Family Ambassador Natasha Pleis
Motherhood is hard, yet rewarding journey. There is just something magical about those first few months as a new mom to the sweetest, newborn baby. Everything the baby does is absolutely amazing and hilarious. It truly leaves you in awe. Along with the precious moments, comes a slough of hardships. With half a year down with my first born, here are six things I’ve learned along the way.
1. Motherhood Can Be Isolating
Between the breastfeeding, the lack of sleep, and the healing — there’s a lot going on those first few weeks and months. Leaving the house started to seem like a luxury. Getting the baby situated and figuring out the feeding times were stressful, let alone managing to get myself together. I learned to ask for the help and ask for company as I realized it was beneficial to my overall demeanor. And I soon realized people, especially family were more than willing to help. It takes a village, right?
2. Self-Care is Important
Mothers spend all day and night caring for their families. I started to feel an immense pressure to have everything perfectly in its place and dinner on the table every day. While there is nothing wrong with that notion, it started to become an unnecessary stressor and I began neglecting myself in the process. I realized I needed to start doing things for myself, or else I would not be able to give to my family. I had to learn that taking a little time for myself was not selfish, it was actually incredibly healthy.
3. My Husband is a Parent Too
Someone once told me that my husband may have his own way of parenting and that I should trust his style too — I soon figured out what that person meant. For the most part, I knew what my baby needed. After all, I had been bonding with her 24/7 for the last few months, right? It was so easy for me to jump right in and soothe my daughter if she was fussy. However, it started to leave my husband in the dust. He needed to figure out his way of doing things with his daughter too. What works for me, may not work for him. And that is okay.
4. Every Baby is Different
I received so much advice during my pregnancy and those first few months, whether it was solicited or not. I could hop online and within seconds I could see five different moms posting about how well their baby ate, slept, etc. I began to think, “what is wrong with my baby?” How sad was it that I started to compare my baby to someone else’s? Every single baby is different. And there is no such thing as a bulletproof solution to any issue. I began to listen to that “mama instinct” and we slowly figured each other out. While the process was tiresome, it was also beautiful.
5. Schedules Changed the Game
When my daughter turned three and a half months old, everything changed. She hit the fourth month sleep regression early and from there, everything was all out of sorts. I am a planner by nature and this lack of schedule was starting to affect all aspects of our lives. We decided it was time to start her on a routine. Not only did this improve mine and my husband’s wellbeing, but we also noticed that our daughter thrived being on a schedule. It took a lot of diligence but the outcome was worth it for us.
6. The Love is Indescribable
I was nervous about meeting our daughter for the first time and bringing her home. What would our life be like? Would we love her? I don’t even know her yet. When they placed her on my chest for the first time, everything changed. She manages to make all of the hardships and sleepless nights worth it with just one look. The love and joy she brings to our lives is almost impossible to put into words.
Everyone’s birth and parenting story is vastly different. However, one common factor remains — no matter what the story is, it is absolutely beautiful. While I have only been on this journey for six months, it is without a doubt, the most rewarding experience thus far.