Oh, motherhood. It has its highs and lows, and there never seems to be anything in between. Thoughts of new mothers like yourself often range between extremes, from adoring love to absolute frustration. Here are nine thoughts practically every mom has had about her new little infant:
1. “I’m a superhero.”
After nine months of developing a tiny human being – not to mention however many grueling hours spent delivering it into the world – you’re bound to feel like you can handle anything. It’s an awesome feeling when that emotion is fueled by everything you do right – when you correctly guess whether your baby is hungry, gassy or just missing her toy, when she latches on during the first try, when she and your long-time pet companion bond instantly. Motherhood isn’t so bad, is it?
2. “I am the worst mother in the history of mothers.”
Then, of course, something goes wrong, and being a mom turns into a nightmare. One night your baby won’t stop crying, and you start to wonder if you’re cut out for this. Not only that, but soon you’ll start to think that everything you’ve done is wrong. You’ll question your birthing choices, your parenting style, even the color of the teddy bear you chose and quickly conclude that you’re the worst mother, ever. This anxiety is normal, if a little frustrating, but trust us: You’re a much better mother than you think you are.
3. “Being a mom is the best.”
Nothing on earth is more amazing than seeing your baby smile. When that giggly face is directed at you seemingly out of nowhere, well, it’ll make you feel sky-high. You were born for this: to raise a baby into a model child, teenager and adult; to go to mommy-and-me yoga; to impress the other neighborhood moms with your amazing prowess. You are, in a word, exceptional.
4. “Being a mom sucks. Can I get a refund?”
Except, of course, for when you realize that nothing is worse than cleaning up a dirty diaper while your face is covered in vomit. And where did that snot come from: you or your baby, who can’t seem to get over his cold? When will your body stop feeling like a stranger’s? How many more months until your baby sleeps through the night? Come to think of it, what does a good night of sleep feel like?
5. “Did I put this together right?”
Whether it’s a crib, a car seat, a baby bouncer or all three, chances are that something you bought requires assembly. Even if you follow all the instructions to a T and watched the how-to video to boot, chances are you’ll randomly feel insecure about your skills as a carpenter. Fear not – thousands of people assemble baby products every single day without incident. In fact, your parents did so, and you turned out perfectly fine. You’ve got this.
6. “I can eat again!”
Caffeine addicts and sushi lovers rejoice: Your favorite foods are back on the menu. That said, you shouldn’t go drinking like a college student or downing three lattes in a row if you plan to breastfeed. Also, keep in mind that some foods change the flavor of your breast milk, which your little one may not like.
7. “I don’t have time to eat anymore!”
Of course, just because you can eat your favorite foods doesn’t mean you’ll have time to enjoy them. When you’ve got diapers to change, laundry to wash and a baby to feed, even ordering takeout seems to take too much time. At that point, you might start eyeing the baby formula – easy to make and consume.
8. “Why isn’t my baby cute like all the other babies?”
It’s a fact that no one wants to admit, but some babies – especially newborns – just aren’t cute. Their features are squished, their skin looks raw and their bodies look animatronic.
“A surprising number of mothers think their babies aren’t cute.”
If you feel like your baby isn’t cute, you’re not alone. A surprising number of new moms feel exactly the same. Just Google “I don’t think my baby is cute” and count the number of pages of results.
The short answer? Don’t worry about it. Whether it’s a matter of your child growing into his features or your ideas on cuteness shifting over time, you’ll eventually come to realize just how adorable your little one is.
9. “Fact: My baby is the cutest baby in the world. Ever.”
And again, that smile appears and every motherly instinct you’ve ever had comes flooding back. Your baby isn’t just cute; she’s the absolute cutest. If there were a worldwide contest for most adorable baby in the history of mankind – nay, the galaxy – your child would win without question.
If motherhood has you wavering between frazzled and fabulous, don’t worry. Every new mom feels similarly at some point or another. Just go easy on yourself and enjoy these years as best as you can.