I had the opportunity to write this post for Lifehack this week. I am excited to share it here as well! Originally posted at Lifehack.org.
There is nothing that can prepare you for how tiring being a new mom is.
The late night feedings. The aching and leaking. The diapers and soreness. The fog and confusion. A recent study by Fitness et. al showed that women experienced excessive daytime sleepiness even at 18 weeks after giving birth. So if you find yourself feeling like a zombie, you are not alone.
There is also nothing that can prepare you for how awe inspiring being a new mom is.
The first time you look into your baby’s eyes. The sound of your baby’s giggle. The coos and babbles. The sheer volume of love you have for this new person in your life can be overwhelming.
It is amazing, joyful, ecstatic, humbling, frightening and confusing all at once, and you wouldn’t give it up for the world.
Here are 12 Things Only New Moms Would Understand
1. You are filled with relief when you finally hear your baby cry
You’ve just endured 40 weeks of aches, pains and body changes you couldn’t have imagined. You’ve been through who knows how many hours of labor, contractions, needles, waiting and pushing. You’ve done all of this knowing that eventually you get to meet your beautiful baby. There is nothing more glorious than those first wails, when you know he or she is finally here and healthy.
2. You sweat constantly
Between the natural hormone detox your body goes through and the actual physical effort it takes to move, lift a baby and carry a car seat, you will sweat more than any other time in your life. All you want is a shower, which you usually don’t have time for.
3. You realize how scary the world really seems
You lived in ignorant bliss before your baby came along. Intersections and parking lots and public spaces seemed innocent enough. Watching the nightly news never bothered you. Now you see everything as a possible cause of injury or harm to your precious newborn, and you realize how much danger there can be in the world.
4. You never actually sleep when the baby sleeps
In a perfect world, a new mom could gently close her eyes and immediately fall into a peaceful sleep the moment her newborn falls asleep. In the real world, new moms have laundry to do, milk to prepare, emails to answer and maybe a phone call with a friend (if she’s lucky). On the rare instances she can fall asleep, it’s guaranteed the baby will wake up ten minutes later.
5. Your body looks different, but you actually love it more
Your body just created, housed and delivered a human being. It was asked to do incredible things and stepped up to the task. It may feel battered and broken, but it is also stronger and more powerful than ever before. Your body gave life and nourishment to your baby, and that is truly amazing.
6. You will find your cold breakfast on the counter at 1:00pm and remember you never ate
Babies know the moment you are about to eat, and they tend to chose that moment to need something from you. You will either stuff whatever you can in your mouth in .5 seconds, or, more likely, make food and then forget to eat it because you have to deal with diaper explosions and spit-ups.