Truths Most People Wouldn’t Dare Tell Parents-To-Be About Living With A Baby

“At times you’ll think you made a huge mistake. No one talks about it, but I think a lot of first-time parents have these thoughts.”

“You just have to take a deep breath and remind yourself that your partner is new at this too and you’re in it together. And communicate! Tell them how you’re feeling and what you need from them!”

“The ‘splash zone’ when changing a diaper is larger than you might think — for both numbers one and two.”

“I really struggled when I first had my daughter. I felt like I lost my identity, and I felt guilty if I took time to work on my art, watch YouTube, or do anything I enjoyed. It gradually dawned on me that you can still be you and a parent!”

“Have a small package of diapers the next size up on hand at all times. Trust me — when your baby needs the next size, it happens fast.”

“YOU DON’T HAVE TO BREASTFEED. You don’t even have to try it if you don’t like things near your tits. You don’t need an excuse, a reason, any justification. It is no one’s business.”

“Not every mom and baby take to nursing well. Lots of babies don’t latch on, your milk production may be slow, and it definitely does NOT mean you’re a failure if you have to use formula.”

“I made a list of ways people could help, checked with them that they would be willing to do the task I assigned to them, and put my husband in charge of activating the list if/when needed. If you don’t have family you can rely on, set money aside for a postpartum doula (or register for it). I used one for two nights when I was having a very rough period, and it was a lifesaver to have someone I could pass the baby over to, someone who could do dishes or fold laundry, and most importantly, someone to keep me company.”

“Talk to someone and seek treatment if you need it. It’s a terrible thing to live with, and it’s a symptom/expression of PPD/PPA that no one really seems to talk about.”

“I struggled with breastfeeding, and at a certain point I realized it was adding to my PPD. I remember feeling like everyone told me to suck it up and keep breastfeeding because it’s ‘what’s best for my baby.’ But you know what was best for my baby? Having a happy mother. It felt like no one cared about my mental health.”

“You’ll most likely lose friends. Some of my friends were genuinely happy for me, but after the initial excitement of the new baby, their lives didn’t change and mine sure as shit did! It happens. We were in different places. People drift apart. It’s sad, but I kind of feel now it was for the best. Most of those friends weren’t great relationships to begin with.”

“I would shower when my baby went down for nap, or I’d put her in her infant car seat and set it in the bathroom while I showered. Showering really made all the difference!”

“When people you trust and love offer to help, take it. Don’t have too much pride. I did with my first and it was foolish. You won’t believe how much good an hour or two alone will do for you. When I had my second and people offered to help, I took them up on it, and it was amazing.”

“Yes! Their cries go straight to the stress part of your brain and set everything off. It’s so horrible, and it makes problem-solving basically impossible.”

“Parent guilt is very real and insidious, so remind yourself constantly that you’re doing the best that you can and no one’s perfect in order to combat those negative thoughts.”

“Nobody really talks about what will happen to your body after you’ve pushed a little human out of your vagina. There will be blood, and lots of it. You may need to sit on a blow-up ring. Pooping will hurt (especially if you have an episiotomy, like I did), and you have to go through all of this while looking after a baby who wakes up every two hours to pull at your boob. It’s hard!”

“Before I went on maternity leave, I was convinced I’d miss work, social activities, etc., and I’d literally be twiddling my thumbs. My baby is so cute and so much fun, but bloody hard work at the same time, and because I’m breastfeeding, he’s with me 24/7. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but it can be tough.”

“Yes, they will still probably be screaming the entire time, but those few moments alone will let you reset and come back ready to try again.”

“But about two years later, I stumbled upon an article about postpartum anxiety and intrusive thoughts, and realized it wasn’t just me. I’m sure more people have experienced this but have felt too terrible or guilty to tell y’all about it.”


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