When you’re a mom, or about to become a mom, advice comes with the territory. Good advice, unsolicited advice, advice from unexpected people. But not all advice is equal, and some of the best advice somehow manages to elude the moms who need it most. So we ask: What is the one piece of parenting advice you wish you’d been given before having kids?
What is the ONE thing you wish you’d known before you had your first baby? That thing that is like, “Why did no one tell me THIS?”– Mamas Uncut Facebook Page
The Mamas Uncut community responded in turn with all kinds of advice they wish they’d been giving before becoming moms for the first time. Let’s get into it!
Pregnancy and Labor Advice
“That giant list of what you and baby need for the hospital is silly. I only used like 1/5 of what I packed.”
“That I could wear Depends instead of those gigantic pads, that you can get the shakes during labor from hormones, that back labor is very real and hurts super bad, that an epidural can fail, that some babies can get hooked on your tail bone. Number One: Make Sure You Speak Up for Yourself if You Don’t Like What’s Going On!”
“The cramps after birth when your stomach is going back to normal. Those were the absolute worst. Also, I wish someone would have told me about the first poop and also about how much you bleed after the baby.”
“When you have a C-section, don’t sleep on your side. It’s something nurses will never tell you, but it will mess up your incision on the side it’s on.”
“1. Speak up for yourself, nurses aren’t always right. Doctors aren’t always right either, and you deserve to be respected and not bullied.
2. Pushing legit relieves some of the contraction pain.
3. It’s NOT a big deal if you poop.
4. You bleed for like 6 weeks after giving birth.
5. You can also get your period right after that bleeding stops, too, even though you’re breastfeeding.”
Advice for Moms with Newborns
“If they are favoring one side of their head when they are sleeping, that’s abnormal. And to start sitting them up on the floor without a seat around 5 months to get some wobble practice. We’re only through 6.5 months so far so that’s all I have.”
“Cluster feeding and that your baby might never want to be put down.”
“That breast feeding is so hard and there is a possibility the baby will never latch…”
Good Things to Know
“That every time you sneeze from now on you’ll pee a little!”
“That you will never ever sleep again.”
“Sometimes they cry and nothing you do will help. So you cry with them.”
“That having a baby is the easy part. It’s when they grow up that all the trouble starts.”
Mental Health and Emotional Advice
“Constant guilt. I feel guilty for showering, eating, or just sleeping at night. All the every day things that you NEED to do I feel guilty for even thinking about doing.”
“How likely it really is to develop postpartum depression.”
“Postpartum depression can show up within the first 12 months, not just weeks after. Thought I was in the clear, but I was diagnosed 5 months postpartum.”
“That when you come home you most likely will spend a long time crying! I was never warned about the hormone change and when I came through the door after leaving the hospital, the first thing I did was sit and hold my son and SOB!! It was very emotional and very confusing because I couldn’t understand why I was crying.”
“Postpartum anxiety. I’d never heard of it. The constant paranoia and weird images of awful things happening to my baby. It was so scary because I never knew about other people going through it. Well, it turns out, 90% of new mothers experience it! You’re not alone!!!”
“The emotional stress afterward. I love them all of course, but my emotions sometimes got the best of me. Almost made selfish decisions while down.”
“That you are going to be an emotional wreck and hormones will be out of wack until baby is almost 2. That your relationship with your partner will change for the worse! And that sometimes it’s okay to want to do it on your own, but enjoy the help. Dishes can wait. Snuggle your baby, and don’t talk baby talk.”
“Everyone tells you how expensive diapers and formula are. THEY ARE NOT THE EXPENSIVE PART OF CHILDREN! HELL NAW!!! It’s when school starts is where it gets expensive! The new clothes, backpacks, binders, this and that. Then you have to buy this shirt for this event, buy this booster, and om and on. It’s expensive as f*** when school starts up!”
Big Picture Advice
“Don’t feel like you have to do it all yourself. It’s ok to take and ask for help. Let other people cook and clean if they want, let them take the baby while you shower alone or nap, and it’s ok to nap when the baby does!”
“When someone trustworthy offers to help, take it! Feed her while you shower? Sure! Help with the laundry? Yes, please! Play with her so you can sleep for an hour? Yup! Don’t feel guilty, take the help!! Don’t run yourself into the ground!”
“That ‘motherly instincts’ aren’t all instant and doesn’t cover everything. I remember my daughter crying and my husband asking me what was wrong with her. I felt like a failure, like we hadn’t bonded at all because my ‘instincts’ weren’t saying a thing other than cry with her.”
“It’s ok to ask for help or accept help. That does not make you weak. And postpartum depression is a common thing, and nothing is wrong with you if you get it.”
“That parenting gets harder and they need you more the older they become.”
“That everything is a phase; good and bad, equally.”
Do you have a question you’d like answered? Submit it to the Mamas Uncut Facebook page, and we may feature it along with some of the best answers on this site! You can remain completely anonymous while still getting the information and support you need from other moms who know what it’s like.
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.
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