Prior to having children, I think it's normal to think about the type of parents you'll become. However, expectations are often far from reality and momming can be hard. A tiny baby depends on you for everything after all. Mix that in with the everyday changes of life… well let's just say it can feel like a lot at times. As parents, we all have to find things that work for us, even if it doesn't make sense to others.
I know the first year of motherhood for me was met with a lot of judgement and eye rolls from others. We bought a house, had a baby, and moved all within a 2 month period. Which is why I'm thrilled to have Pampers at Sam’s Club sponsoring today's post on my mom confessions from my first year of motherhood.
The first year of becoming a parent can feel tough, but you can make it through by adjusting what you have and sticking with that works for you. I hope you get some relief from my confessions – or maybe ideas you can try adapting to make your life easier too! And remember, in our kids’ eyes, we're perfect! Don’t believe me, just watch this video and try not to cry: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ewztvjm0A0
Plus Pampers is here to keep moms moving forward, challenge after challenge, change after change. Now through 3/22/2020 you can save $8 off any two boxes of Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers diapers, and Pampers wipes at Sam's Club with Instant Savings. Pampers' Swaddlers gently wrap your baby in Pampers' blanket-life softness and Pampers Cruisers fit better around our daughter's bottom now that she's walking PLUS they keep baby dry for up to 12 hours!
13 Mom Confessions From The First Year Of Motherhood
I'm no parenting expert, just a real mom with some real confessions. These worked for our family; but every family is different. So do what works for you. Your baby chose you to be there mama, so there's no “right” or “wrong” here. All opinions, experiences, and thoughts are solely my own.
Mom Confession: I didn't feel that all-encompassing love right away
Everyone talks about the moment they held their baby for the first time being this all encompassing, sparkly, loving bubble that's unlike anything they've ever experienced before… but that wasn't the case for me.
The truth is, I was so confused about what had just happened that I felt like I was more in a bubble of shock and awe than unconditional love. You can read more about my birth story here – but it all just happened so fast that I don't think it even hit me I had a daughter until we were home from the hospital.
Mom Confession: I took extra diapers from the hospital
My friends told me to stock up on everything the hospital gave us, so we packed all the diapers they'd left in our room for us! Which was a huge help since I didn't know what size diaper we'd need and didn't actually have any diapers to bring her home to. We were so grateful for Pampers' Swaddlers blanket-life softness!
Mom Confession: I let my daughter put [almost] everything in her mouth
R has always wanted to put everything into her mouth since she was a tiny baby. I tried to stop her for a couple of weeks early on but realized it was just easier to let her do it. Of course, I draw a hard line at knives, scissors, and anything else dangerous. As far as small choking hazards, I remove those pieces before I give her something (e.g. small pieces from a puzzle) and for in-between sized choking hazards I watch her.
I'm not saying this is right for everyone, but for us, she has taken far less interest in an item the more I let her have it, versus trying to keep it from her. Plus, as I read more about babies putting items in their mouths, I found more people who consider it a good thing because it introduces them to their environment more and can strengthen their immune system.
Mom Confession: I shower with my baby
Bathing her always just seemed easier if I took a bath or showered with her. I have no idea how she's going to eventually shower or bathe on her own at this rate.
Mom Confession: We've declined and asked the giver to return baby gifts
I know this is wildly unpopular and not the norm… it's not that we aren't grateful either. It's just the greatest gift for us as new parents, was to feel seen, supported, and understood.
As new parents and new homeowners, we didn't have time to return gifts ourselves. In fact, a year later we still haven't unpacked all of the boxes from our move. The idea of bringing in gifts we didn't ask for, want, or need actually felt more frustrating and hurtful to us, than if people had skipped a gift altogether since it didn't show care or concern for our time and current life circumstances.
I think it's also noteworthy to say: our friends were always great and respectful about getting us gifts from our registry or talking with us first – this has been related to family, extended family, and friends of family we've never met before that just go rogue and don't know or listen to us as parents. Setting the boundary became important to us in setting the tone for the future of gift giving with our daughter and teaching her about consumerism, waste, and the current state of our planet.
Mom Confession: I've left my house totally unprepared …and holed up in coffee shop bathrooms while my husband went to get Pampers
On more than a handful of occasions, we've left the house totally unprepared. I mean, the first time we went to the pediatrician, our diaper bag wasn't packed, and I just took the entire diaper caddy from our house instead!
One of the more momentous outings we went to visit my Grandma. We thought we had everything, only for her to go through the two diapers we'd packed. And not just go through them… but that second diaper? One of the gnarliest blow outs of her life.
We found a coffee shop, I went in to change her, realized we didn't have any diapers left and called my husband in a panic.
While I waited for him, she peed all over the changing table. He finally made it, with a towel… We didn't have anything waterproof in the car. He said “let's wrap her up and go to the store and get diapers.” – So I started wrapping her and realized there was no safe way for her to wear this towel and get strapped into a carseat and set him off to get some diapers.
During the 30 minutes it took him to get diapers, she peed everywhere again. Finally Pampers to the rescue! Pampers' blanket-like softness and superior absorbency got us out of that pinch and home in one piece! We keep a spare pack of diapers in our car at all times now.
Mom Confession: I let my daughter look at screens
I swore I'd never be the mom who let their kids look at a screen until at least two years old… of course I watched TV while breastfeeding, but she had no idea what was going on in the early months. Fast forward to utter exhaustion and just needing an escape one day and I turned the TV on in front of my 6 month old.
Since her first birthday we let her watch 15-30 minutes a day of an educational kids show. Honestly, I need the break and I started worrying that we don't talk to her enough and maybe she'd learn language from the TV? Maybe the latter is an excuse I'm using to make myself feel better? But mama's gotta do what mama's gotta do!
Mom Confession: I leave my daughter alone
Before you have a panic attack: I'm still home with her! I just leave her in a room, let her explore the house and let her investigate our backyard by herself. I don't stop what I'm doing if she wants to go in another direction and I don't crowd her.
TIP: get on the ground and look around to see what hazards are on your baby's level! This is how I've felt comfortable with her exploring: cleared the area of hazards, watched her to see how she interacts with it and if I missed anything, then put trust in her and give her more and more space to explore on her own.
Mom Confession: I lick food off my baby
I started dropping food on my daughters head while we were still in the hospital thanks to cluster feeds and the insatiable hunger of giving birth and breastfeeding… and I proceeded to start licking said food off of her at that time too. A habit I still haven't dropped a year later.
Mom Confession: I don't make my daughter hug, kiss, or engage in physical things she doesn't want
Ever since R could show queues of wanting to be picked up (reaching her arms up), we implemented a “respect the individual” policy that gets more than a few eye rolls from family. Basically we let R guide her physical interactions with others. They have to ask to pick her up or give her a hug or kiss, and then wait for her to move in or away.
I know a lot of parents are starting to do this with their kids; but typically when they are a little older (not the first year). We decided to start it as soon as she was mobile and showed consistent queues for wanting affection so that they boundaries with family are there asap and they aren't taken aback if we implemented later on.
Mom Confession: I used profanities in front of my baby
Yep, I've done it.
Obviously my goal isn't to use profanities in front of my child (it accidentally happens sometimes); and I wouldn't curse in front of other people's children out of respect in how they choose to parent.
But I think when we make profanities this taboo subject we can actually increase the likelihood that our kids will do it as a way to individuate from their parents. I just remember being 10 years old and saying, “I suck at soccer,” and my mom threatening to wash my mouth out with soap… do you know what that led me to do? Curse like a sailor behind her back… at 10 years old.
Of course, I'm not cursing or using vulgarities at people or in an abusive way and would never support that behavior – but I also don't believe in feeling shameful if it happens.
If I stub my toe or just need to have a generalized sigh of release, in the form of: “ahhh F!” type of moment because momming is hard – I do it. We all need to have some sigh of release and there's no use in hiding it. It's not hostile, abusive, or angry. It's just a real moment many of us have as moms.
Mom Confession: I need alone time
Sometimes I have my husband watch her while I eat meals alone in the bedroom just to take a break. Other times, I hide in the bathroom just to get some peace for a few minutes. My daughter was 10 months old the first time my husband took her out for the entire day. I'd had 20 minutes here or there alone, but I hadn't had the entire house to myself for hours like that since before she was born… and it was heavenly.
Mom Confession: We don't sleep with a baby monitor
Whenever I tell others moms this, I see the horror flicker across their face. Let me say: it wasn't a right away thing.
We moved R out of our bedroom at 10 weeks… she was sleeping through the night but when connecting a sleep cycle she'd make a lot of noise which would wake me up and my mom anxiety would jump through the roof. So while she was sleeping great, I wasn't.
Her new room shared a wall with ours. Meaning she was still less than 5 feet away from my head with how the beds were laid out. We used a baby monitor at that time too… but I continued hearing phantom cries which kept me up all night.
My husband and I switched sides of the bed to put more distance between her and I, he put the baby monitor next to his side of the bed, and we put our white noise machine next to my side of the bed. Finally… I could sleep and he could listen for baby cries.
Only the baby monitor kept randomly shutting off, even though it was plugged in. One night, I heard her crying without it, and went in for her. I realized at that point, the baby monitor was more of a hassle and I could hear her crying without it.
The first year of motherhood is a whirlwind. There are so many changes happening all of the time. Finding what worked for us was key. I always remember that she chose me to be her mom.
Mamas, don't forget!! Pampers at Sam's Club has got you covered with products (and savings) you love! Now until 3/22, you can save $8 off any two boxes of Pampers Swaddlers and Cruisers diapers, and Pampers wipes at Sam’s Club with Instant Savings.
Visit Sam’s Club or samsclub.com now to get great savings on Pampers diapers and wipes.
Now tell me, what's your mom confession?!
List Of 13 Mom Confessions From The First Year Of Motherhood
I didn't feel that all encompassing love right away
I took extra Pampers Swaddlers from the hospital
I let my daughter put [almost] everything in her mouth
I shower with my baby
We've declined and asked the giver to return baby gifts
I let my daughter look at screens
I leave my daughter alone a lot
I lick food off my baby
I don't make my daughter hug, kiss, or engage in physical things she doesn't want
I use profanities in front of my baby
I need alone time
We don't sleep with a baby monitor
I've left my house totally unprepared and holed up in coffee shop bathrooms while my husband went to get Pampers