Preparing for motherhood is something most women hope to learn about as they get ready to have their first child.
So, what do you do? You read a few articles, buy a few books, and take some notes from mothers all around you (family and friends).
However, as you will soon find out, some of the things you learn before becoming a mom, but some others, you won’t ever learn until you live it.
The popular phrase, ” you live and you learn” couldn’t be more accurate in describing the motherhood journey.
With that said, other’s experiences and knowledge can help you avoid some common mistakes and prepare you to become a mom.
So, with that in mind, here are 10 things that will help prepare you for motherhood, and 10 things about motherhood no one can prepare you for!
10 Things About Motherhood No One Can Prepare You For
Oh, the joys of motherhood!
The ups the downs and the everlasting need to make sure that you are doing the best that you can to ensure your children are safe and happy.
Before I had children I thought I had a pretty good idea about what motherhood entailed. After all, I am the oldest of 6 children who also worked with kids all throughout high school and college.
In addition, I became a nurse at the age of 21 which allowed me to care for children and learn about them at a professional level.
You would assume that would have given me some sense of motherhood, right?
I knew that there was so much more to motherhood that I did not yet comprehend, but the extent of it caught me by utter surprise.
No motherhood book you read and nothing anyone tells you will be able to ever come remotely close to your own motherhood experience.
So, here is a list of a few things I’ve gathered throughout my motherhood years that no one could have prepared me for.
1. You will never use the bathroom alone again
Well, maybe not ever, but for a long while.
Having a toddler sing the ABCs on a bathroom step tool as I use the toilet has become the norm around my house.
When you take a leap into motherhood private space lines blur quickly.
2. Disappointment is an understatement
It is a mother’s nature to want to perfect her craft. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a good mother?
However, because motherhood is ever-changing we often feel as if we failed in some way.
Not realizing in the process that our wins as mothers shouldn’t be attached to society standards but the ones we set as our own.
Dictated by our own individual circumstances and the individual needs of our children.
3. There isn’t a rule book
I’m sure you have heard the phrase “babies aren’t born with a manual”. Well, motherhood doesn’t have one either.
No one can truly prepare you for what your motherhood journey will entail.
All we can do is live it, own it, and cherish it. For it is precious in the rawest form.
4. Learn to pick your battles
Our initial mother instinct is to want to tackle every single task that comes our way.
However, you will quickly realize that not all tasks require the same energy, and some tasks we can even learn to pass on.
Tackling everything, perfecting everything, and being in control of everything is a false expectation that can get you in a deep emotional and physical hole.
I didn’t understand much of the “pick your battles” concept until my second child was born.
With so much to do and so little time, I’ve now learned to prioritize and to say “no” to those things that don’t contribute to the bigger picture.
5. Expectations are what you make of them
I have always had a type-A personality. I have put high expectations on myself and ensure to meet those expectations at all costs.
Before I had children, I used to keep an agenda of all my daily/weekly/monthly tasks. Then, I would tackle those things accordingly.
Well, let’s just say things have changed a bit since then.
Although I still have my monthly planner and I still plan on meeting each goal, my expectations have changed.
Learning to be more flexible and less harsh on me has been an ongoing process that no one could have prepared me for.
Go with the flow has been my recent motto.
Learning to perform your daily tasks using your means and adapting to your current circumstances removes unrealistic expectations and reduces stress and disappointments.
As I was writing the outline for this article in the playmat of our family room, my daughter was climbing on my back performing a choke-hold. It was taught to her by my husband who insists on teaching her self-defense. She just turned 2!
If my expectations would have been to finish the outline within a certain timeline and in a specific environment, the outline would have never been completed.
6. Taking showers is a privilege
Taking showers is currently one of my most treasured possessions.
Yes, yes… I take them daily, barely!
It is incredible all the things we take for granted before we have children.
Daily necessities can sometimes become big, orchestrated tasks in motherhood.
Things as simple as sitting down to have dinner, taking a shower, or using the bathroom.
Having to make time in my day, literally, to take a shower, is something no one could have prepared me for.
7. Who needs to eat anyway?
Although this might not be the case for every mom, sitting down to grab a bite can sometimes be challenging.
Throughout the day I find myself catering to every aspect of the house, kids, chores, computer work, which barely gives me time to grab a proper bite.
It is also not rare to find me eating lunch standing by the kitchen counter as I overlook the kids and finish other tasks while I’m eating.
Now that my daughter is 2 and my son 5, my husband and I have managed to create a great family dinner dynamic.
Most nights go uneventful where I am not required to stand up 3 times throughout my dinner.
Some other times, however, we are cleaning up spilled water and settling down a screaming toddler because her brother stole a chicken nugget.
8. “Should” is an elusive word
“Should’ve, could’ve, would’ve.”
Questioning yourself about your parenting choices and meeting societal expectations is an ongoing process in motherhood.
Although often inevitable, this mindset can steal our peace of mind.
Living in the moment, embracing your present, and owning your truth is the antidote.
No one could’ve ever prepared me as to how “mom guilt” would have made me feel. Oftentimes, even on things that are out of my control.
9. The sun had never seemed so beautiful
Ever since I had my daughter over 2 years ago my husband and I decided I would become a stay-at-home mom and take care of the kids full-time.
Although an incredible blessing, the stay-at-home journey hasn’t come without its challenges.
Having worked all my life since the age of 17 (12 of those years as a registered nurse) staying home full-time has been a huge adjustment from a social, professional, and emotional point of view.
Especially in the early baby days, cabin fever was an understatement.
Stepping out of the house and taking a walk by myself seems so much more valuable and meaningful than it ever was.
Enjoying some sunshine, listening to the birds, feeling the wind in my hair… are all things motherhood has taught me to treasure.
10. Embracing your Weird
There many silly and weird things that have sneaked their way into my personality since I had children.
Maybe those qualities were always there and awakened by those two beautiful souls God put on our path to care for and protect.
No one could have prepared me for the fun, embarrassing, quirky, and silly moments that have to enlighten my life with happiness and laughter.
So, embrace your weirdness and show your kids it is okay to be themselves.
Next time you find yourself making a funny face, peeing in from of your children, wiping poop off the crib railing, or singing “Baby Shark” at full volume with your kids in your car, remember you are making everlasting memories.
10 Ways to Prepare for Motherhood
So, now that we have covered some of the aspects of motherhood no one could prepare you for, let’s talk about some of the things you could do to prepare you for motherhood.
1. Surround Yourself with Other Moms
Having a strong support system is imperative in surviving motherhood. Especially in the early days when you are sleep deprived, talking to other adults seems more of a luxury than normalcy.
No one will understand you more and be able to help you more, than other moms. So find a mom pack and stick to it.
Family, friends, local moms groups, moms at church, Facebook Groups for Moms, etc.
2. Get Organized
Another thing that will help you immensely in preparing for motherhood is getting organized. Nothing will spin things upside down more like having a child. So ensure you stay organized and have a plan in place to deal with the demands of the day-to-day.
Examples of this may include decluttering and organizing around the house, managing and keeping track of your finances, filing and organizing important paperwork, creating a daily/weekly/monthly schedule.
You get the idea—simplify your life by creating a plan and organizing your work before the baby comes.
A great resource is the Printable Homes Management Binder.
3. Focus on Health
Another important part of preparing for motherhood is working on being as healthy as you can be.
I am not only talking about physical health but also, mental and emotional help.
Once your child comes into the world, all of your time and energy will be poured into that child. So it is a great idea to focus on your health and be in the best shape you can be (mentally and physically) before the baby comes.
4. Take Time for Yourself
Part of preparing for motherhood is finding time to invest in yourself.
Is there a book you want to read? Movies you want to watch? Do it! Now!
When the baby comes it will become much harder to find time for yourself. So take this time to dedicate some time for yourself and the things you want to do.
Knowing what I know now if I were to be preparing for motherhood, I would:
- Get a weekly massage
- Take afternoon naps
- Go on weekend getaways
- Read more books
5. Make a Plan
When preparing for motherhood it is important to make a plan.
Consider some of these questions to put things in perspective:
- Will I need childcare?
- How long will my employer allow me to take off?
- When will I return back to work?
- Will I be starting an education fund?
6. Take Parenting Classes
One of the best things you can do to prepare for motherhood is to take some parenting classes.
Prenatal and Childbirth classes in particular are extremely beneficial in helping you prepare for labor.
When it comes to parenting and motherhood there are several courses you can take online and several books that will help give you a great jumpstart.
Another wonderful course is Mastering Medical Emergencies for Moms by Shannon Tripp. It is comprised of easy-to-understand video instruction, downloadable PDF guides, and audio downloads, designed to will help you feel confident knowing what to do when your kids get sick or injured.
7. Spend Time with Your Husband
Needless to say, motherhood comes with a full plate of responsibilities. Often times that can take a toll in any relationship.
So, as you prepare for motherhood, don’t forget to make it a priority to spend time with your significant other.
8. Preparing for Birth
Your motherhood journey starts the minute you go into labor. So getting ready for labor and delivery is a very smart choice.
The more you know about the birthing process including the more prepared you’ll be.
You can read all about the 5 Best Childbirth Courses, here.
9. Preparing for Baby
Much like preparing for childbirth, preparing for a baby is also an important aspect of getting ready for motherhood.
It can feel a bit overwhelming to think that a new baby will come into the world that you will be solely responsible for. In addition to all that we need to learn about other aspects of their care, such as newborn basics, breastfeeding, and surviving the newborn stage!
10. Believe in yourself and trust your instincts
I know this will come slowly as you are well into your motherhood days and you have spent enough time in the “field,”
But, I think is worth noting that you, my friend, are capable of more than you know.
Believe in yourself, forgive yourself, and be patient with yourself. Some things will come extremely easy and natural, but other things will take time to practice.
Trust your instinct and follow your intuition—yes, there is such a thing.
More on Motherhood:
- 1o Important Qualities of a Good Mother!
- 30 Trendy and Funny Mom Shirts Every Mom Can Relate to!
- 6 Ways to Prevent and Deal with Mom Anxiety Naturally
- Avoid Mom Burnout: 5 Places to Think Clearly for Moms
- Working Moms vs Stay-at-Home Moms (Pros, Cons, Tips, and Challenges)
- Best Prayer to Pray Over your Children (Hands Down!)
Motherhood at a Glance
Motherhood is a precious and ever-changing roller coaster ride full of surprises and adventures.
No one will ever be able to prepare you for your journey because no one has ever walked it before. However, there are plenty of things you can do to give you a head start.
Your motherhood journey is waiting for you. Waiting for you to write your unique story on its empty pages.
Take ownership of the precious blessing God has granted you and make it the best story you can.
How are you preparing for motherhood?
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