Read to read? Preparing mentally for a baby can be a challenge when you’re balancing all of the advice you get on a daily basis. Here, we talk about three hard truths to accept, but also emphasize the positivity in becoming a mother.
I got a ridiculous amount of advice when I became pregnant. Some advice was really encouraging, like “you’re going to love being a mom!” or “being a boy mom is the best!” I even appreciated “it’s hard, but you’ll figure it out.” I can appreciate a little realism every now and again, ok!
But man, did absolutely no one prepare me for the bad advice. How helpful is it to tell a scared pregnant mama about how she should “enjoy the sleep while she can” and “your life will never be the same?“
Talk about an anxiety attack.
Change is hard for most people, myself included. Facing that my normal routine would change drastically, not to mention my life in general, placed so much worry into my heart. The bad advice made pregnancy and having a baby more scary and less exciting.
It’s hard to admit, but all of the advice ended up having elements of truth. Yes, there were many times when I wasn’t sleeping more than 3 hours at a time. Yes, my whole life is different in a lot of ways.
What they didn’t tell me is that sleep does return eventually (if you are blessed with a good sleeper, even earlier) and that your life is different, but so much better.
It’s all about getting the whole picture, mamas.
If you are struggling with loads of unsolicited advice or just fears about what the transition will be like, you’re in luck! This post is all about the hard truths about preparing mentally for baby, but don’t fret. I’m also going to show you how you’re going to be just fine!
Preparing Mentally for Baby
Hard Truth #1: You Will Never Be Prepared
When I found out I was pregnant, I started to research everything I could ever need to know about baby products, safety protocols, and postpartum recovery. I pinned articles and signed up for all the best apps to track my pregnancy. I asked anyone with children for their best advice.
All of this information seeking is extremely important. I didn’t have any baby experience, so I was starting from essentially no knowledge. These are things I needed to know!
However, the piles of clothes, the excess of diapers, and the perfectly designed nursery were just things. Buying these items or setting the space up might have helped me feel prepared, but actually having my brand new baby boy using all of the stuff was a whole different ballgame.
You can conceptualize all you want about how it will go, but you just won’t get it until you’re there. And that’s ok.
Which leads me to…
Hard Truth #2: You Won’t Get It Until You’re There
Something happened when I graduated from college and moved to a new city to start graduate school.
I had been told by those who had gone before me that the time period after college was often very challenging, lonely, and stressful. I could understand at a surface level why this might be the case. All of your friends disperse, you might be starting a full time job for the first time, or maybe you end up moving back home to figure things out.
But girl, when I got there… I suddenly understood.
The same thing happens when you have a baby. You can understand why it’s challenging at the basic level: lack of sleep, martial conflict, or being constantly needed, to name a few. But experiencing it puts things into view so clearly.
You might find yourself going “oh, that’s what they meant” when reflecting on all of that advice. I’ll admit, this part was kind of fun. 🙂
Hard Truth #3: Nothing Will Ever Be Normal Again
Hey Linley, didn’t you say you were going to be encouraging and helpful? Why yes, yes I did. And that is still my intention. Hear me out.
“Normal” as you knew it before kids is a thing of the past. Honestly, this begins as soon as you get pregnant! You will never again be a solo human being. Decisions revolve around that little being, and you will be forever tied to this new person (someone you haven’t even met yet!).
And while that might sound daunting, rest assured that there is so much to look forward to about this huge change. Suddenly, there is so much opportunity for personal development. Your best and your worst self come out, giving you the most clear picture you’ve ever had about your areas of needed growth. What a beautiful opportunity!
Eventually, that old “normal” will barely be a memory, and this new normal will be comfortable and real. Change is tough, and often the anticipation and the transition are the hardest parts. Embrace the change and know you’ll come out the other side confident and strong!
The Big Takeaway
So here’s the best news of all! Those of you mamas (myself included) who are trying to learn everything there is to know, rest in this: you can’t.
It is impossible. So, mama, don’t stress too much. Truly the best advice is that you will figure it out. I promise!
In the meantime, do something for you and check out my newsletter. It will help you focus on the things you can control in this new transition and support you in postpartum and beyond!
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