The best parenting advice always comes from people with no kids…”just let them cry”, “a little taste of food won’t hurt them”, “just give medicine to teething babies and they’ll stop fussing”, “you’ll never sleep again, get used to it.” Because they’re trained & know best, right??? Unfortunately, I fell into this category before Drake was born & I’m SO SORRY.
When you’re pregnant, people are always full of advice & for me specifically, it seemed like negative advice/comments. You never hear of the ecstasy birth brings when that sweet warm baby is placed on your chest & you get to study their perfect face for the very first time. Or how empowering it feels to nurse your child & how proud you are of your body to grow a human & then feed it. Or about how you thought entertaining a baby all day would be exhausting, but it turns out you could watch your baby play all day & continue smiling.
I specifically remember telling all of my friends with babies who were struggling with sleep, to all get a sleep coach.
When I was 16, I started babysitting for a woman who had 2 little girls & 1 son. They were well behaved and a blast to be around. When it came to bedtime, it was unlike anything I had ever seen. THEY DIDN’T FUSS OR CRY OR EVER LEAVE THEIR ROOMS. I would give them a bath, everyone got into pjs, say a prayer, then everyone was off to bed in their own separate rooms. Not a peep from any of the children. They all had camera monitors in their rooms, so when I would go back downstairs I would check the monitor screen to see if they were sleeping. Sometimes they were, sometimes they weren’t, but if they weren’t, they would lay there until they fell asleep. It was crazy. I didn’t know that was possible for kids to go to bed so easily. Turns out their mom was a sleep trainer. Pulling from my experience babysitting these sweet kids, I assumed everyone knew & accepted what sleep training was, therefore when my friends would tell me their baby was sleeping horribly, I would be like “hire a sleep trainer, duh!!!!”
Thankfully after having my own baby, I did hire a sleep trainer…because I think I would have had a mob of angry moms yelling “hypocrite” if I hadn’t lol. That being said, the angry moms weren’t the reason I sleep trained.
We all have these amazing expectations of what life is after having a baby. Believe me, life is SO wonderful, but not at all what I expected.
Here were my expectations:
- Uncomplicated birth, no tearing (because I knew everything to do to not tear *ugh*)
- Sleep train baby, but maybe not even have to because baby will be a miraculous sleeper on its own
- Non-medicated birth. Really want my body to “experience” birth.
- Exclusively breastfeed until 6 months
- No real food until 6 months & no sugar until 1
- No co-sleeping
- Pregnancy weight was going to melt off with breastfeeding
- I was not going to let naptime rule my life
- Be a fun mom – I will elaborate 😉
I don’t think it’s bad at all to have expectations for what you think life will be like, but don’t get too hung up on them when things don’t go as planned.
Now that I’m 6 months postpartum, I can say without a doubt that- I AM A SLAVE TO NAP TIME. Sleep training was hard work & involved tears from Drake & tons from me, but he is an amazing sleeper now. The first real taste of food Drake had was raspberry milkshake on his soother. I tried to get an epidural during birth but it didn’t work. I co-slept for 2 weeks & hated it. Breastfeeding was harder than pushing a watermelon out. I did have an uncomplicated birth, but my baby’s head was(is) MASSIVE. I went to the movies like 10 times with Drake. We went mini golfing with Drake. We played 12 holes at the golf course with Drake in the cart…I’m a fun mom okay!!! My baby weight didn’t just “melt” off & I am working my butt off to make myself stronger & healthier than I was before I was pregnant.
This is my mom holding Drake in the popcorn line at the theatre. We were laughing so hard because of the looks we were getting.
Am I a bad mom because my expectations of motherhood were vastly different from what is actually happening? NO.
The thing is, is that we can’t get caught up in preconceived notions. I feel ashamed for some of the silent judgements I had about other moms, feeling like I knew a “cure.” If someone does ask our advice, and they will, give uplifting advice! Don’t focus on the “downs” that motherhood brings. And when things change & plans fall through, accept it and move along.
We’re all just here surviving & loving every minute of our precious babies (while they still are babies) because time is a thief. Now go kiss your baby 100 times because they won’t let you when they’re teenagers.