Christine A Howard

The Things They Don’t Tell You About Motherhood

Motherhood is one of the biggest, most challenging things that you can ever go through as a woman. It doesn’t matter what people tell you, the conception, pregnancy, labour and birth of a child is only the beginning of the challenge that awaits you. There is nothing easy about getting pregnant. There is nothing easy about carrying and building a human being from scratch. There is nothing easy about something the size of a watermelon exiting your body – no, really, there’s nothing easy about that. However, motherhood is a whole other challenge that you may not have expected.  These are the things they don’t tell you about motherhood.

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Motherhood Is Not What It May Seem

Many mothers picture themselves having children.  They see the beautiful newborn baby with a button nose and tiny hands, lined and creased because their skin doesn’t yet fit them. We see the joy of their smell and the softness of their brand-new hair.  What we tend not to see is ourselves WITH our new baby. And therein lies the challenge.

For everything that people will tell you about motherhood, there are twenty things that they’re not telling you. Trust me, it’s not because they want you to fail. It’s also not because everyone wants to deny you  the grace and the peace that comes with a new baby in your life. The thing is, no one wants to upset you. 

autism sites

You Will Lose Sleep

People will tell you that you will be tired because babies don’t sleep, but you’ll dismiss it. No one wants to tell a new mother to visit for more information about the best mattress to get better sleep.  After all, that would seem a bit pushy.  You, of course, will want to do everything you can to help you get better sleep.  We all know that babies are sleep-sucking, beautiful creatures.

Babies are also the unknown. They’re the unpredictable. People can tell you that you’ll never sleep again, but you don’t know what exhaustion is until you’re in it.  The best thing you can do is to plan for it the best you can.  

lack of sleep

Having A Child Changes You, For The Better

You will never be the same person. Ever again. Once you’ve experienced the life-changing experience that is pregnancy and labour, you will never be the same person. You will feel invincible and vulnerable all at once. Your heart now walks around outside your body in the form of your child, and you’re about to reach in and find a lioness-like strength to go on every day. Say goodbye to the carefree woman you were before; her successes, her failures and her dreams have changed irreversibly now.  You will find bravery you didn’t even know you had.

Worry Is Real

You will never fnot worry. Mothers worry – the world knows this – but until you are one yourself, you can’t appreciate the sheer level of worry. The news will no longer be a regular fixture on your television.  Every scenario out there will suddenly relate to you and your child, from school shootings to tsunamis half a world away.  It’s a lucky thing that you have also gained some extra bravery to help you with the worry.  


Coffee Is Your New-Found Friend

Your appreciation for caffeine will never be as strong as it is with a new baby in the house. You’ll find an appreciation for a variety of coffees that may never have crossed your mind before. You will also be drinking this coffee cold. And you’ll like it.  I wonder if it was a new mom that invented iced coffee, but I digress.  

Prayer Helps

The number of prayers you currently know will double. You’ll pray for strength as a mother to get through the day. There will be prayers for the health and happiness of your child. You’ll pray you don’t karate chop your partner in the neck when they say they’re feeling tired after sleeping all night long. Prayer and faith – already important to you – will be more so now than ever, because you didn’t know you needed it as much.

praying hands

You Are Stronger Than You Feel

You’ll find an inner strength that you didn’t know that you had. Someone who never spoke up will find themselves speaking up because your child needs you to be their voice now. There will be instances that you will find that inner lioness rise up and bite when someone tries to make you feel inadequate.  Or worse, they try to make your child feel inadequate. This is a positive one but it’s a new one for most people.

You Will Feel Like Throwing In The Towel

There will be moments where you wish you never became a mother. Believe me, it’s not something that in your restful, happy, relaxed state you will feel. But in the deep hours of the night, where you haven’t slept for a few days and your baby has decided to cluster-feed again, whining because of teething or hunger or nothing at all, you will wonder why you ever did this to yourself. You will cry silent tears and think you made a big mistake. You didn’t. You’re just tired, and that is okay.

You Will Feel Like Crying

You will find yourself putting your baby gently down in their crib, touching their face, then screaming into a pillow. Babies are demanding, selfish and need parts of you that you didn’t think possible. You will be crying for a shower or a meal that can be eaten with two hands or a moment without being touched. And you will feel guilty for those feelings. You shouldn’t. Sometimes you just need to walk away and take a breath – you are human, after all.

Your Love Will Be Immense

You will spend hours staring at your child while they sleep. The long eyelashes. The twitch in the cheek during a dream. The sucking motion their mouth makes while they dream of feeding. Every breath they take will take yours away, because you’ve made something so beautiful and dreamy. You will feel unbridled pride and terror all at once. The joy your baby brings you will make you light, floaty and happy in a way nothing else ever has.

The Things They Don't Tell You About Motherhood

All of these things will be new to you as a mother. Each and every feeling you encounter is normal, natural and defines your journey. You’ll still be tired, but it’s a good tired. And it doesn’t last.

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