What I Wish I Would Have Known Then

There are so many things I have learned being a mommy that I didn’t know before.

Let me preface by saying that I nannied for a family for 7 years!! They started with 3 kids, and by the end of the 7 years they had 6 kids. I thought I knew a lot about parenting and raising children, but I quickly learned after having my first that things are very different when they are your own.

Let’s rewind 5 years ago when I had my first baby, Lily.  I remember that first week so well. We were in an apartment. She would cry in the middle of the night, and I would stress out that we were waking up the neighbors. After feeding, burping and changing her I found myself wondering why she was still crying. I remember being frustrated and a little stressed. We later found out she had gas (who knew what I ate affected her because of nursing, lol?). I may have shed a tear or two that night, but I’m happy to report that things got easier (and a lot easier) with each child, and that’s because I’ve learned the following:

1 – Do not compare your kids to other kids.

One of my best friends had a baby two weeks before me. It was her first as well and we were constantly making comparisons between our babies. Well, her baby started walking at 8.5 months. I remember thinking it was early (it’s actually super early!!) and also thinking that there was something wrong with my baby because she wasn’t walking yet. I learned then that you’ll just create more worry and stress for yourself if you are constantly comparing your kids to other kids. Now, with each kid I have become more lax and have realized that every child develops differently and that there should be no set expectations of what they can do and when they should do it.

2 – Nursing isn’t always easy.

I remember that first night in the hospital as I was attempting to nurse my baby for the first time. I thought things were going well (she seemed to be eating just fine), and then a nurse came in. I was holding Lily in my arms in front of me and the nurse said I was doing it wrong. I remember giving her a puzzled look thinking “What am I doing wrong?” She went on to tell me I needed to be holding her in the Football Style and nursing that way (positioning the baby under my arm like a football and nursing). The football what?! I had no idea what she was talking about. After a half hour of attempting to get her to leave, she finally did just that and I went back to nursing how I was. Fortunately, everything was fine and nursing came pretty easy for me. Even though it was easy I learned that nursing became more difficult with each kid. I had others to tend to and sitting down for an hour to nurse wasn’t always possible. I’ve also had family members and friends that had a more difficult time with even producing milk. I know some felt like failures because they had to use formula and such, but that’s definitely not the case! You just need to do what works for you and go with it. I didn’t produce as much milk with my last and had to supplement. If anything I was grateful that there was formula that could help with that. Just remember that people nurse different, nurse for different lengths of time and sometimes decide not to nurse at all. These are all personal decisions and no one else should tell you otherwise how to do it.

PS – On a side note: Something no one ever told me that I learned for myself was that nursing can be very painful the first few days following each subsequent birth. Not sure how it happens but your uterus will contract when nursing to get back to it’s normal size. These “contractions” feel like regular birthing contractions and can be very painful. My doctor reminded me that this usually gets worse with each birth. Yay! :/

3 – Boys and Girls (and kids in general) are different.

This is obvious in so many ways, but after having my second (a boy), I learned how truly different they really were. My first (a girl) was calm and clean. My son – not so much. I’ve had to be more patient with him, and am constantly reminding myself that “He’s a boy!” Aside from the fact that girls and boys are different, it’s also important to remember that in general, each child will be different. They may nurse, sleep and eat differently. They may have opposite personalities. They may look very different. The hubby and I have had to remind ourselves that because each child is different we cannot always have the same expectations for each child and they way we teach, discipline and show our love to them will also be different.

4 – Babies cost a lot of money.

It’s true. I thought we had budgeted right when I had my first one, but quickly realized I was off at least $100/month. LOL. We learned pretty quick that diapers, formula, clothes, medicine and all other baby supplies and products were not cheap. It’s important to come up with a realistic budget for each child and be smart about your purchases. Sure, it’s nice to have the hottest stroller on the market, but also remember that there are others 1/3 the cost that have the same ratings and functionality. It’s smart to be sure to use coupons and shop the sales because when you have one, maybe even two still in diapers you’ll be happy with every dollar saved.

5 – Cherish every moment.

A man named Thomas S. Monson said the following:

{Courtesy of Three Little Monkeys Studio}

When I first heard this quote, it struck me hard. I know I will miss these crazy times, and I want to make sure that I’m enjoying them as much as I can now, because I don’t want to regret not spending those times with my children. My oldest is 5 already, and I’ve seen how quickly she has grown, and it’s a constant reminder to me that I need to find joy in the journey and truly cherish this precious time I have with my kids and family. :)

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Share your tips below and the first 350 to reply will receive Comforts For Baby coupons for products like baby formula and diapers.

Check out Comforts For Baby’s Pinterest page for more tips for moms like you.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Comforts For Baby. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Discussion

  1. 1

    No need for coupons as I no longer have babies.

    Just wanted to post a big thank you about nursing. For a number of reasons I didn’t nurse. I wanted to. I Planned to with my first. It just wasn’t good for me or the baby when the time came. I remember seeing a news show months after having my first and a lady was saying that people have no business having children if they are not going to nurse. That choice was a very emotional thing for me and I was in tears over this show. Still I knew what I did was right for me and my child.

    So I just want to say to all the new moms out there – try things like nursing. Take suggestions from others. Read books and learn. be humble and teachable. But if in the end it is right to be different than the majority don’t stress over it. Every situation is different and you just have to listen to your heart/God to know what is right in your situation.

  2. 2

    I loved reading this post. I have a 17 month old son and one on the way and I know things are going to get a whole lot crazier!:) TIme is flying by and I realize how important it is to truly slow down and enjoy these fleeting moments. The most mundane, ordinary things in life are actually the extraordinary things that make up this wonderful life. Thanks for sharing:)

  3. 3

    Totally agree with ALL of this advice. I would just add that when you are on your 2nd or 3rd baby, to set aside 5-10 minutes every couple hours to focus on the older children! (Play a quick matching game, read a story, sing songs… etc) A newborn is alot of work and sometimes can take all the focus, so it is easy to tell the other children, “Just a minute…” and before you know it, it is bedtime!

  4. 4

    As a new mom myself with a 12 week old, I don’t have any tips yet. But, thank you for sharing! My sister it’s also a first time mom and our babies are only a few weeks apart, and we are already comparing, it’s amazing hire different they are already!

  5. 5

    Oh Kristyn- This post made me cry. My littlest ones are six now and I feel like I have forgotten so much! It goes by so quicl;y. Just love them to pieces. Thanks for sharing this personal post.
    XO,
    Jenny
    Jenny Raulli recently posted..Link PartyMy Profile

  6. 6

    I am in 2 months into this mom thing, and the one thing I wish I had known was that it’s ok not to breastfeed. My milk never really came in, and I spent the first two weeks of my son’s life angry at myself and wondering why I was a failure. Looking back on it now, I wish I would have just accepted the fact that breast feeding wasn’t an option and to just enjoy the important things, like holding my son while he slept.

  7. 7

    I wish I would have known that you don’t have to have a baby the way the hospital tells you to. Listen to your body, educate yourself beforehand and communicate communicate with your doctor. Neither of my 2 births went the way I had hoped, which in the end was ok because I also knew I had to roll with the punches to make sure they got here safely, but next time I will be adamant about a few things. In general, kids know how to get here on thier own. I want a doctor there just for the “in case”, which so happens was just what I needed with my first.

  8. 8

    These are all so true! Also–
    It’s okay to step away and take time for yourself. Take a shower, take a walk, get a pedicure :) A happy/relaxed mom is a better mom.
    and
    Just smile and nod when other moms give you advice. Then keep doing it your way. I never thought I would get so annoyed with hearing opinions I didn’t ask for. Just remember that (most of the time) it comes with good intentions.

  9. 9

    All of these are so true!
    My first took to breastfeeding and made me look like a genius! The lactation consultant commented that I must have taken classes… read a ton… nope I just kinda stuck him on there as soon as they handed him to me and he did all the work. So of course I expected the same with my second son. WRONG. It was work, and it hurt! I had mastitis, thrush… he was a lazy latcher, you name it! It took us around 3 months to figure it out. And then I lost my milk completely at 6 months. I felt like a failure, I breastfeed my first for over 9 months and we both loved every minute of it.

    So now I know! And me and this third little guy (due in a few short weeks!) will just play it by ear, and see what unfolds. :)
    Chrissy recently posted..Ipsy December 2012My Profile

  10. 10

    I know everyone says it but sleep when the baby sleeps – whenever possible. Oh, and don’t do the dishes or other housework while they are napping. They can sit and watch you and interact while you are working. You need a break for you so take that nap, play on Pinterest for a few minutes, whatever will restore you.

  11. 11

    I’m glad to say that my pregnancy went very well, even lost 35 pounds after delivery, which is a lot when you are overweight! Everything was great! People gave me tons of advise when I was pregnant… “You’re gonna feel this…” “Just wait till this happens…” “I experienced this during my pregnancy..” It’s great to get advise and I took it with a smile and a nod. But… Just like you shouldn’t compare your children to each other or others’. DON”T compare pregnancies! My sister had a semi-difficult time with pregnancy and my sister-in-law is having a very rough start to hers right now. Every person experiences things differently. It also depends on what your body, mind and soul have been through before becoming pregnant. My delivery was the hardest part so far. I am blessed greatly that my son, now 15 months, has slept through the night since day one (except maybe a total of 6 or so, usually with teething or his sleep schedule shifting) BEWARE sleep schedule shifting! Control nap times! And this lady is so right, day 2 home from hospital I became so engorged, I cried all day and felt like a complete failure because I couldn’t feed my baby. Thank God and my wonderful cousin for liquid formula in ready-to-go bottles!!! If you suffer engorgement, try ice (I know, doesn’t sound fun) or a very hot shower and massaging, IT WILL HURT! My sister helped me through that one. One more tip: Be prepared to cry. Every time a song comes on the radio about kids growing up fast and to cherish those moments or *cough cough* quotes above… I cried. I know kids grow up so fast but don’t stress too much on cherishing their every moment, there will be lots. cherish yours too. (That’s how your kids get siblings after all) :)


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