What I Wish Someone Told Me Before Becoming a Mom

bethany beach

Disclaimer: I wrote this about a year ago when Jimmie was 8 months old. It was then when I realized I had postpartum depression. I was too embarrassed to tell more than a few people. Too embarrassed to go to a doctor right away. I have now accepted that it was/is nothing to be ashamed of. I have been debating about whether or not I should post these feelings since then. I never did because I thought people would judge me. Now I know that the only person who can judge me is God and he loves me no matter what. If anyone is going to judge me for being honest and open, then they’re in the wrong, not me.

No one ever tells you everything you need to know before you have a baby. There is an unspoken rule about not speaking the whole truth to expecting moms. Everyone tells you how rewarding it is to be a mother. How amazing it is to see your child smile, hear them laugh, and watch them grow. But no one ever tells you how hard it really is. No one ever tells you that first couple months are the hardest months of your life.

I wish someone told me.

No one ever tells you that you may hate breastfeeding. No one ever tells you that by­­­­­­ hating it, you’ll hate yourself because you’ve read how breastfeeding is supposed to be a natural, beautiful feeling that bonds you with your baby. No one ever tells you how in the middle of the night, while breastfeeding your sweet chubby cheeks baby, that you may feel more alone than you have ever felt before. And it hurts. Not just from them latching on, but the pain of being tired and feeling so alone, and the pain of hating yourself for not enjoying breastfeeding, it all just hurts.

 I wish someone told me.

No one tells you that in those early moments of motherhood that you silently think about life before the baby and you wonder if you made the right choice. You think about if you waited another month to start trying, another year, another decade, if things would be easier. No one ever tells you that even though you may love your baby with all your heart the second they’re born, that it may take months until you actually like them.  No one ever tells you how you then think you are the worst mom in the entire world for having these thoughts. You think you are probably the only mom in existence that has felt this way. No one ever tells you that you are not the only one.

I wish someone told me.

No one ever tells you that once your baby sleeps through the night, you suddenly have insomnia that keeps you up around the time that you used to wake up to feed them. No one ever tells you that during those times you’ll pray that your baby wakes up too, so at least being awake will have meaning. No one ever tells you that you may have nightmares about the most random things, not just your baby being trapped under your covers (even when you’re not co-sleeping), and you’ll wake up feeling like you never slept at all. No one ever tells you that you could have these nightmares for a really long time.

I wish someone told me.

No one ever tells you how there will be days that you are just tired for no reason, even after you slept well the night before. No one ever tells you how not only will you be physically tired, but how you will be emotionally tired too: Tired of crying, tired of not napping when the baby naps, and tired of worrying. No one ever tells you how you will count the minutes until you put your baby to bed but then spend hours looking at photos of them. No one ever tell you how you will then miss them as if you haven’t seen them for days.

I wish someone told me.

No one ever tells you it gets easier. No one ever tells you how one day your baby will smile at you and you will smile back. And just like that, you are best friends. No one ever tells you how hearing your baby laugh for the first time will bring you to tears because you’re laughing so hard too.  No one ever tells you it is okay to stop breastfeeding because you are absolutely miserable. No one ever tells you that sometimes the best decision you make for your child is to make yourself happy first.

I wish someone told me.

No one ever tells you how you will look back at those first few miserable months and only think of the good parts. No one ever tells you that you really don’t forget the bad parts, but they become less important. No one ever tells you that even though you miss life before your baby, you wouldn’t change your new life for anything.

I wish someone told me.

I’m telling you because maybe if someone told me that the first few months of raising a baby were going to be the hardest, most emotional, months in my life, then I wouldn’t have felt so alone. Maybe if someone told me it was okay to cry and maybe if someone told me that it was okay to think that I’d made a mistake, then maybe I wouldn’t have wondered if I was normal.

I’m telling you, you’re normal.

Seeing your baby smile, hearing them laugh, and watching them grow truly are the most rewarding moments in your life. Don’t let these moments pass you by. Because before you realize it, they’re crawling, walking, running. And before you know it, they’re going off to kindergarten with their backpack and lunchbox, waving goodbye.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing more than just “baby blues,” please contact a doctor. Postpartum depression is a real disease. Moms (and dads) can experience an extended period of sadness after their child is born. The sun will rise again and you will feel better, I promise.

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7 thoughts on “What I Wish Someone Told Me Before Becoming a Mom

  1. 'Becca says:

    This is a great post! It’s important to share these feelings as well as the shiny happy ones.

    One thing I’m glad someone told me just after I became a mom: My son was about two weeks old, my mom was visiting, and my son had been screaming for more than an hour for no apparent reason. My mom said, “When you used to do that, I would look at the freezer and think about how you would fit inside and I wouldn’t be able to hear you through the door. Then I would think: But I Will Not Do That. Not doing it made me feel braver.” Two weeks earlier I would have been horrified, but at that point I completely understood! It helped me to resist getting scared when images of hurting my baby flitted through my mind. Instead, I would sing myself hymns about being strong against temptation and having God’s protection through the fiery trials.

    • Rosie says:

      thank you! Screaming for no reason really was one of the hardest things to deal with! I would walk around my house with my son in my Ergo for hours. I would also sit on my toilet (with the lid closed) and put on the bathroom f. As soon as someone has a baby, I want to be like, “I am here for you. You can tell me all of your struggles!” Even if I haven’t talked to them for years. Once you’re in the moms club, you change your perspective on life.

  2. Stephanie says:

    I wish you and I could go for coffee. This was perfect, and a message that isn’t heard enough. I will always remember your sweet email when I was struggling with breastfeeding and how supportive you were that I didn’t feel that sweet sweet loving bond and feel amazing about everything breastfeeding. It meant more than you will ever know to have someone reach out. I wish more would talk about the emotional swings that occur as a parent and that you wont love it all the time. I think that it makes us more real, and I am right there with you that I want to reach out to all the moms!

    • Rosie says:

      I wish we could too! Maybe one day there will be a chance. Ya never know, right? I feel like we are already friends 🙂 I wish more people would talk about it, too. All we can do is use our voice and hope that someone, somewhere will listen.

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