Life After Having A Baby: Motherhood, Marriage, And Mom Guilt
Hello again, blog friends! Today we are going to dive into the ways my life has changed since bringing Wyatt into the world. First of all, he is so stinking cute and I adore him to pieces. Nothing compares to motherhood. With that being said, I want to give you the inside scoop on motherhood and the things I have learned and experienced in the last 17 months.
To start, lets take it back to the beginning of this journey. The last few months of pregnancy were pure bliss for my husband and I. We were so excited and anxious for little baby Wyatt to arrive. Nothing could get us down. The labor process was also extremely exciting for us. After 27 hours of labor, I needed to have a C-section. Wyatt's head was stuck and a C-section was our safest option. After the adrenaline wore off and we were back in the hospital room, I was overjoyed and marveling at this tiny human we created.
After a few nights in the hospital, we were finally able to go home. I was really excited to be back in the comfort of our home but also very overwhelmed to no longer have the help of the nurses and lactation experts. I spent the first 6 months at home with Wyatt and then returned back to work. Going back to work was an experience in and of itself. I was also experiencing postpartum depression. Needless to say, the first few months can be a huge adjustment for any mom.
Fast forward to today, Wyatt is 17 months and literally running around like a wild child. It's hard to believe how much has happened since he was born. I have learned a lot about myself, gained confidence as a mom and come to the realization that the way other people raise their kids is none of my business. Without further ado, lets jump into a few things that have had the most impact on me since becoming a mom.
1. Your life will change after you have a baby, and not for the worse. It is simply an adjustment. Your priorities change. Your schedule changes. Your work schedule changes. The amount of free time you have changes. The amount of sleep you get changes. There are a lot changes. And guess what? Everyone's "transition" period is different. It may take you longer to adjust than your best friend or coworker, and that is totally fine! Give yourself grace the first few months. Heck, even the first year. Your friends may tell you that "you will never sleep again" and "just wait until you have two". If your friends tell you this, feel free to tell them to shut up. You will sleep again, maybe not at first, but you will. If this is your first baby, or going to be your first baby, you have enough to think about. You do not need the pressure of thinking about a second child. Long story short, people are quick to say negative and scary things about becoming a parent. It may feel like you don't have a choice in how much sleep you get or how often you get to take a bath in silence. But let me tell you, you do have a choice. You simply transition into your new way of life and find what works best for you and your family. Do not let other people determine your happiness, or how much sleep you get.
2. Comparing yourself to other moms is a really easy thing to do. However, comparing yourself to others doesn't do anyone any good. In my experience, I usually ended feeling like I wasn't doing enough as a mom (also known as mom guilt). Or thinking to myself "how does she get so much done?". What has helped me manage mom guilt is reminding myself that everyone's schedule is different. And Instagram does not constitute an accurate depiction of someone's life. If your only comparison is based on a moms Instagram, you should automatically throw it out of the window. If you're comparing yourself to a friend or a coworker, you probably have more insight into their lives. However, they do not have the exact same schedule as you, the same drive time, the same amount of help from a spouse or family members, etc. Long story short, your life is not the exact same as other moms so there is no reason to compare. As hard is it may be.
3. Your marriage (or relationship) will take more work than before your baby arrived, and not in a bad way. Let me remind you, your marriage will always require work. Marriage is a never ending circle of compromise, communication, trust, forgiveness, etc. In my opinion, it requires more work because both you and your partner are adjusting to parenthood. There are new obstacles and transitions that you will experience in different ways. It will take time for each of you to find a new rhythm.
For us, we hit a wall around the 1 year mark because we forgot to take time for each other. We hadn't been on a date with just the two of us in over 6 months. This didn't happen on purpose either. Sometimes it just happens. We were trying to navigate raising a child, working, having a social life, taking care of ourselves, etc. When the one year mark hit, I was worried about our marriage because I didn't know that these struggles were normal. Little did I know, a lot of parents go through exactly what we went through. And that is perfectly fine. It's okay to have rough patches. No relationship is perfect. If you experience some of these same challenges after baby arrives, do not panic. Simply treat it as another adjustment period. Figure out new ways to spend quality time with each other. I would also suggest taking the 5 Love Languages quiz. It is extremely helpful in figuring out how you receive love and how your partner feels loved. For example, my love language is snacks. Ha, just kidding. My love languages are acts of service and quality time. It makes me so happy when my husband goes out his way to do something nice for me. Even if it is doing the dishes or going to the grocery store.
Mallory Ervin once said, "who you marry is the most important decision you will ever make". You can find her on Instagram, YouTube and podcast platforms (she has a podcast titled Living Fully with Mallory Ervin). She is amazing and such an inspiration. I highly recommend checking her out. Anyways, I could not agree with her more. Who you marry will impact every aspect of your life. And your marriage is still just as important after you have a baby as it was before. Once you have a baby, the romance and quality time does not need to disappear. It might disappear as you are adjusting, but it will come back. On tough days, make a list of all the things your partner does that you are grateful for. The list is probably longer than you think. Take time to notice the amazing things they do for you and your child. To keep things fun, plan a date night once a month if possible. Eat dinner at the table every night and catch up your day. There are plenty of ways to keep the love alive. The things you and your partner do for fun might change after baby arrives, and that's okay!
Thank you all so much for reading. This has been such a fun post for me. I love getting the opportunity to reflect on all the things that have happened since bringing Wyatt into the world.