GaGA! Growing and Getting Awesome… the Official Loving the Pregnant You Blog

Caring for a newborn. What to expect?

what to expectYou’re expecting! But… you don’t know what to expect!

Newly pregnant? Bringing home a newborn? What to expect?

It will not all go as you expect it to. Some aspects will actually be easier than you thought they would be. Some aspects will be harder than you anticipated.

What will be EASIER and what will be HARDER? That’s different for every mom, every parent. And, again, not always predictable.

I recently asked moms in the Mom + Baby Facebook Group what was EASIER and HARDER than they expected when caring for a newborn.

The responses varied greatly! One woman’s EASIER was another mom’s HARDER. And one mom shared how aspects differed from her first newborn to her second.

Take a look…

KERI wrote, “The lack of sleep was easier for me than I expected. What was much harder for me was being home all day and letting go of chores. I couldn’t sit still and let things go. I wish I had been more willing to ask for help and be ok with things getting a little messy.”

GITA wrote, “Hard: (same as many others) sleep deprivation and nursing (our baby could never latch and pumping didn’t stimulate my supply so my milk never came in) and thus, losing weight (because I wasn’t using calories to supply milk). Easiest: changing diapers and letting other people hold her. I thought I would be possessive but I was only too happy to share.”

CLAIRE wrote, “Easy: losing weight. With breastfeeding, the weight just fell off. Hard: The healing from labor. I had a hard labor, so it was almost 3 months before I felt “normal” again. Much longer than I expected.”

ANNE wrote, “1st baby – Harder: making sure I stayed fed and hydrated, and emotional recovery from a traumatic birth situation. Easier: breastfeeding, housework, sleep, weight loss.

2nd baby – Harder: getting anything done around the house, adjusting to that reality, balancing the needs of two children, weight loss, sleep. Easier: recovery from birth.”

What does this tell us? That we don’t know what to expect? Well, yes.

Yet also…

…our HARDER is bound to be someone else’s EASIER. So there are empowering ideas and perspectives out there, if we want to look for them.

…we’re not alone in having HARDERs. Moms are getting unexpectedly tripped up all the time – we are not alone! It doesn’t mean we’re failing. It means motherhood can be challenging and we’re totally normal.

…our EASIERs are not everyone’s EASIERs. So we can take pride in this and acknowledge ourselves for what’s working well. Celebrate and appreciate your EASIERs!

Parenting is a common journey, yet also a uniquely personal one. Your EASIERs and HARDERs may be unique, but the fact that you have EASIERs and HARDERs isn’t.

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One Response to Caring for a newborn. What to expect?
  1. Marty Dutcher
    February 10, 2015 | 8:44 pm

    I enjoyed reading this and will pass it on to my daughter in San Francisco. It gives a nice perspective, Amy. Thanks. Carolyn and I just became first time grandparents! But we are in Pennsylvania! … for now…

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