9 Things That Surprised Me About Being a Mom

by Meghan Yost

Grace turned nine months old today. NINE months. That means in just three months she’ll be a year old. I can’t even believe it. It feels like she was just born.

I’m trying to remember to soak up every moment I have with her at this stage because I know a month, a year or a decade from now I’ll look back and feel sad because my baby has grown up. 

Not only has my life changed so much since Grace was born but motherhood has taught me so much. So in honor of Grace’s birthday, here are nine things that surprised me about being a mom. 

-1- How much my concept of time would change

This may be one of the biggest things that surprised me about being a mom. I thought I had no free time before having a baby. Psshh. I had SOOO much free time and didn’t even realize it. I think back now about how much I could have been doing during all of those Office marathons my husband and I used to have! Now the second Grace goes down for a nap, my mind races at the thought of what I want to get done first, “Go to the bathroom? Drink some water? Search online for that rug I’ve been meaning to buy? Work on a blog post?” Usually I end up trying to do everything and as a result, get nothing done.

-2- Being a stay at home mom is by far the hardest job I’ve ever had

The day is long and non-stop (especially if your baby dislikes napping longer than 30 to 40 minutes). I thought I’d have a wee bit more time to do stuff like, say, blog. Nope. I will say though, it’s changed a little with each new stage. At six months Grace started sleeping through the night so I felt less like a zombie during the day. At nine months, I’ve just started going to Barre class, which has made me feel like I’ve found a bit of my self again.

-3- You will most likely become obsessed with your baby’s poop

There are no two ways about it (and this is coming from someone who never changed a diaper prior to having a baby) — poop will take on a new importance as a mom. At the hospital you’re given a chart to log your baby’s bowel movements for the first days of their life. We did it DILIGENTLY. And now still we’re like, “When was the last time Grace pooped? How many times did she poop today? Did she have a good poop? Should we feed her more prunes?! We need to buy more prunes! Get the prunes!” If you’re interested, here’s a handy infographic on 12 types of baby poop.

things that surprised me about being a mom

-4- How obsessed I’d also be about temperature

Babies can’t regulate their own body temperature well so it’s up to you do it for them (Gosh, don’t we have enough pressure as parents??) Lately I’ve started to worry less, but almost every night since Grace was born I have a debate in both my mind and with my husband: What should the thermostat be set at? Should I raise it a degree? Maybe two degrees? Should I put socks on the baby? Is she too hot? Are her hands too cold? Does that even mean she’s cold or does it mean she just has poor circulation?

-5- Breastfeeding can be so hard, but if you stick with it, it can also be so easy

I remember seeing a mom walk down the street breastfeeding her baby in a baby carrier. I marveled at how she wasn’t wincing one bit. My baby fed non-stop when she was little and it HURT like a b. We finally got the hang of it at three months and are still going strong. Now Grace feeds quickly, painlessly, and it’s a special time I get to snuggle and connect with her.

-6- How little I’d care about my body not bouncing back

I thought by now I’d have lost all of the baby weight, but no, there is still some lingering. And honestly, I really don’t care at this point. My abs seem to still be stretched from carrying Grace. My belly definitely sticks out more than it did before.

Some day I’ll worry about it, but right now, I worry about being a good mom and making sure Grace is happy and healthy. My body is making the milk that Grace needs and I’m constantly hungry. So there’s also that.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve started going to Barre and hopefully that will help. But honestly, that’s more about getting out of the house for my own mental sanity. Hehe.

-7- The google machine doesn’t always have the answer. Sometimes you just have to trust your gut.

I googled SO MUCH after Grace was first born. Admittedly, I still do. I have so many questions as a first time mom. But I’ve learned you have to take what you read with a grain of salt. Sometimes it’s better to just trust your instinct.

-8- How much I’d miss my daughter when she goes to sleep

Last night after she went to bed, my husband and I looked at pictures and videos of Grace because we missed her so much. I’m not talking about pictures from months ago. I’m talking pictures and videos from that day. While some days are long and I look forward to the break I’ll get when Grace goes to sleep, I always miss holding, kissing and smelling her.

This was especially true during those first few months of motherhood. I was deliriously exhausted to say the least. But even so, once I put Grace in her bassinet, I would literally stare at her. For one, to make sure she was okay but two, because I love her so much.

things that surprised me about being a mom

-9- Just how perfectly imperfect motherhood is

Maybe you envisioned motherhood being one way but your reality is completely different. That’s okay. You might have planned on getting out of the house today and taking your daughter to the museum but instead couldn’t seemed to get you or her together in time so you stayed at home. That’s okay.

You might have planned on making all homemade baby food but instead bought the jars because it was easier. That’s okay.

You might have planned on using cloth diapers but haven’t touched the stack currently sitting in your daughter’s closet. That’s okay.

As the saying goes, motherhood is a journey, not a destination.. There will be hard days and there will be easy days. There will be days you have so much energy and other days you’re exhausted.

Sometimes you’ll feel like you’re winning at this mom thing, but other days you’ll question if you’re doing it right.

But at the end of every day, there will be so much love.

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