Five Things New Moms Don't Talk About
New babies are all sweet smells and snuggles, right? It’s what the books and movies would let you believe. And some moms – particularly those who are far-removed from the infant stage – tend to look back with the kind of rose-colored glasses that make you assume new moms should experience nothing but pure bliss.
That’s not always the case. Here are five things new moms tend not to talk about:
- It’s okay to want to be alone. Particularly for moms who are natural introverts, the switch from being alone and independent to having someone with you at all times can be a difficult transition. Feeling like you want space does not make you a bad mother. Being exhausted or overwhelmed doesn’t make you a bad mother. That said, if you consider harming either yourself or your child, seek help immediately.
- Nobody else’s house is clean, either. That picture on Facebook? She totally has a mess on the other side of the camera. Or in the next room. Or in her car. Or all over her shirt. Don’t feel pressured to make your house look like a show home when you have toddlers routinely destroying it.
- Breastfeeding is hard. Or it’s easy. Whichever experience you get, it’s yours alone. Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different and one person’s is not better than another’s. What’s important is that your baby thrives and grows. Talk to your pediatrician or lactation consultant if you need help making that happen.
- Moms make mistakes. I was fretting over something insignificant with my firstborn, and mentioned it to a friend who had five kids. “I just don’t want to make a parenting mistake,” I told her. “Let me know how long that lasts,” she laughed. (The answer? About 10 minutes after leaving the hospital, and every day since.) Moms aren’t perfect, but the good news is that kids are resilient. Put that mom guilt to bed.
- Everybody’s kid has a temper tantrum eventually. It’s a rite of passage. Some moms are lucky enough to be home alone for the tantrum. Others get the joy of experiencing it in the middle of Target. You might feel humiliated and ashamed and think all of the other moms judging you. Nope. Know what they’re thinking, “Man, I’m glad that’s not me!”
And by the way, every mom has a temper tantrum eventually too.