1. Postpartum is real
I wish I knew that postpartum depression is real, not imaginary. I wish I knew everyone’s postpartum journey was different, and that mine was just mine. You see, after my first born there were times I felt lonely, disappointed, sad and happy all within the same day, within a few hours. I felt lonely, not because I didn’t have support from my husband and family. I felt lonely because I didn’t know everyone’s motherhood journey was different, and that mine didn’t have to be like someone else’s. I felt disappointed when I couldn’t figure out how to breastfeed my baby, and when I did finally figure it out, after hours and days of disappointment he didn’t care for it. I was disappointed in my motherhood ways of not being able to breastfeed, as if that truly mattered. Fed is fed. I felt sad because I didn’t know what I was doing all the time, and sad because others tried to tell me that holding my son is not good, he wouldn’t sleep for me, he wouldn’t do this or that. I felt sad for no reason sometimes. Then, I felt happy. I felt happy because I was a mom, I made this tiny human and he is a bit of me and a bit of my husband, pure perfection. I was happy to have a little family, and a boy that gave me the most beautiful title ever — mama. All these emotions would twirl around and I wish I knew it was okay to feel all of it.
2. It’s okay to not have it all together all the time
I wish I had know that it is okay to not have it all together all the time. Like who does? Nobody. There isn’t one person in the world that has it all together all the time. I thought I was failing as a mom, and as a wife at times because I couldn’t do it all. Like make breakfast, feed the kids, prep for lunch, get them to nap, be on top of laundry, tidy up the house, vacuum, clean, take the kids to the park, read books to the kids, have date nights, make dinner, and etc. Yes, I do all that. But, not all the time at the same time. And, that’s okay. I wish I knew with my firstborn that, that was okay. It took me a while, one baby, two babies, three babies and now expecting our fourth baby but we figured out what works best for us and it makes us happy. That’s all it matters. I don’t have to have it all together all the time, like I don’t even care.
3. It’s okay to say NO
I wish I had been more stern on saying No. NO when others offered their unwanted advice. NO to overwhelming myself trying to make it to every event, every place and seeing everyone. It’s okay to take time for yourself, to recover with your baby. It’s okay to tell guests to come a few weeks later than when they wanted. It’s okay to not want company, etc. Some things you don’t know how to react to until you’re experiencing them, if that makes sense. But, come second time around I was way more prepared. It’s okay to say NO and put your well being first. Your mental well being is way more important than what anyone may think.
4. We are in this together
I wish I knew that we are all in this together and that comparison is a thief of joy. We don’t all recover the same, and we certainly don’t all mother the same. I wish I had just minded my own ways, like I did eventually but it took a few months. It wasn’t a competition on who did motherhood better, it takes a village instead. Focusing on my own journey helped me be a happier mother to my children. And, I always say I am the only one that can give my children a happy mother. So, if you’re feeling alone in your journey, just know that you are not. We are all going through the same just at different times, stages and perhaps different mindsets. Motherhood is motherhood.
5. Believing in myself
I wish I believed more in myself, in my motherly instinct and not allowed other’s judgement to affect me. But, hormones got the best of me, and the fact that I couldn’t bounce right back after my first born really had a huge impact on me. This kind of goes hand in hand with not comparing yourself to others too. I choose to focus on my own journey. What about you?
6. United in Motherhood
I wish I had the MOM support after having my first born that I have now. I have met so many amazing mamas on this platform that it makes me so happy to be here. It makes me happy to be sharing things I have learned over the last five+ years of motherhood but it also makes me happy to have other moms support when I feel like I am failing at motherhood. When moms united beautiful things happen.
7. Having bad days is OK
I wish I knew it was okay to have bad days, and not feel like you’re failing as a mom. I would be having a bad day, and of course the kids sense that so they are not on their best behavior either and it just makes for a one whole bad day. Here I was thinking I wasn’t enough, enough of a mom for them. But that wasn’t true. I was always a good mom to them, I just happened to have a bad day. We are allowed that, right?
8. My husband is my partner
I wish I was more united with my husband from the start. Like when we had our first born, we were figuring things out together yet apart. We’d get mad at each other for no reason, and my emotions were all over the place thanks to hormones so I wasn’t as pleasant to be around. But, once we realized we were in this together, like forever it was so much better. I wish someone would have said to us, “hey! team up in this parenting gig and you’ll make it work.” I guess it takes time.
9. Being prepared for labor
I wish I was more prepared for going into labor the first time around. I didn’t have a birth plan with any of my kids, but being prepared as to what is going to happen would have been much nicer. I don’t like going blind into something, even though I did read and research it still wasn’t enough. The 2nd and 3rd time around was much better as I knew what was going to happen, etc. maybe you can never prepare for the first time, but I feel like you can at least know.
10. Motherhood is Beautiful
I wish I knew Motherhood can be beautiful too, and not listened to others say things like “oh wait till you have kids you won’t be able to do xyz”. I don’t know why people like to scare new moms of how motherhood is not going to be “fun” or how you won’t have time for yourself, or how you won’t be doing your nails, or your hair, etc. People would say things like, oh when kids come you won’t have a life., etc. I wish I never listened, and part of me in the back of my head kept saying to myself, I don’t care what everyone is saying because I will make Motherhood beautiful. And, so Motherhood Charm was born.