Camp Laurus
July 21, 2001
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7 Things I Wish Someone Told Me about Becoming a Mom

“Your life will turn 180 degrees once you have a baby.” This could be the biggest understatement of the year. For me, my life did not just turn 180 degrees when I gave birth to a bouncing 6 lbs. baby. I feel like I was thrown to Mars and have to adapt breathing a different kind of air. Whilst motherhood is certainly a blissful experience, it’s not an all walk in the park. It can be a crazy roller-coaster ride and if you did not come prepared, you might end up tossed in the ground. I may be surviving as a new mother but things would have been way better if I knew some things. Below are some of the things that I wish my mother, mother-in-law or friends told me about before I jumped on this journey. 1. PPD is as real as it getsIt is said that approximately 10 – 20 percent of new mothers are suffering from Postpartum Depression. With this statistics in mind, I was confident that I belong to the other 80% who would not be susceptible to this condition. Afterall, I am a strong, confident and independent woman. The first few weeks were the hardest. The excitement and the anticipation that I felt crumbled when I gave birth. I was constantly battling several emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety and fear. The baby blues that I thought would be gone lingered and worsened in the following months. PPD can happen to anyone of us, even the strongest Amazonian warriors are not an exemption. And when it hits you, it hits you real hard. When you feel that you are struggling and drowning, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Seek support from your partner, family and friends. You should not face this battle alone; there is a huge community out there that is willing to help you fight PPD. 2. There's No Such Thing as Being Totally PreparedAs soon as I found out that I was pregnant, I went all crazy with the preparation. I perceived it as how I would prepare an apocalypse. I horde all the pregnancy books that I can get my hands on and I made sure that I signed up to all newsletters related to motherhood. Halfway through my pregnancy, I already know all the possible child-birth scenarios and mastered all relevant baby hacks. And so when I was wheeled to the delivery room, I felt that I was as ready as a true Girl’s Scout. But nothing can really prepare you to the actual moment. All those learning evaporate into thin air as you stare at this little creature. You thought you knew everything, but no prior knowledge could explain the warm fuzzy feeling that overwhelms your entire body the first time you held her in your arms. Motherhood is a lifetime of learning process. You learn something new every day; you also get to know yourself even more every day. 3. You Would Feel Left Out SometimeImagine this:Pre-baby: You may be an outgoing person and the life of every party. Post-baby: You stay home 99% of the time to take care of your little one. The only adult interaction that you have is when your partner gets home from work. It’s quite hard to transition from an easy-going lifestyle to a stay-at-home mom. New mothers feel that they are caged inside the house. They have almost zero social life. And so, they can’t help but feel left out. Your friends stop inviting you out anymore because they assume that your hands are already full taking care of your baby. And just like putting salt to an open wound, you would see a photo of your friends on social media having a blast and you’re not even invited. So if you feel that you’re being left out, know that you are not alone. You’re just a human being and you can’t dismiss the need to connect to other human beings. Reach out to your friends, tell them what you feel. It’s also helpful if you join an interactive support group for new mothers. It’s nice to know that a negative emotion like this is truly normal and relatable. 4. Romance Will Take a BackseatWhilst it’s true that your husband should be your priority, he must settle with the fact that this may not be the case during the first few months or years of your motherhood stage. As soon as we let a human being out of this world, our motherly instinct primarily kicks in. You just can’t simply turn it off. It’s hard to be 100% present for your husband when you have a little baby to worry about. Dear husbands, don’t feel bad when you are not our priority anymore. Our little ones need us more than anything in this world and for now, we will spend most of our time and energy meeting these needs. Know though that this phase is just temporary. As we go along in this journey, we’d acquire new skills and knowledge that will make us a better mother and an even better wife. We may be head-over-heels in love with our baby now, but our love for you is timeless. 5. Momnesia: Say What?I was never familiar with this word until I became a mother myself: Momnesia. It’s not just your body that undergoes some changes when you become a mom. Our brain also changes during and after pregnancy. And one convenient change brought by motherhood is the annoying forgetfulness. You easily forget a lot of things – from small ones like where you put your keys to bigger ones like your phone’s pin number. There was even an instance when I almost forgot that I had a husband! As inconvenient as it can be, I guess we tend to easily forget a lot of things because our brains are now focused on providing the primary needs of our baby. In our crazy mother minds, our little ones are the most and only important thing in the world. 6. You'll Develop a Love-Hate Relationship With Your Little OneWhile most of us would picture mothers as someone who lovingly gaze at their sleeping children, some does not know that behind this loving gaze lies a tiny desire to put them in a suitcase and send them to Mars. Just as how much we love their wet kisses and cute antics, we also hate how they can instantly turn from an adorable angel to a mischievous little monster. It’s amazing how they can melt our heart one minute and then test our patience the next. No matter how much we want to send them to the moon though, we always end the day with lovingly gazing at their sleepy faces and marvel at how great of a mother we have become. 7. A Whole New Level of Love and PurposeI have fallen in love with my little one even before I have carried her in my arms. But nothing prepared me for the intensity and power of this love. It’s so overwhelming that you can literally feel it in every cells of your body. You can never know how capable you are of loving until you have become a mother. This motherhood journey has introduced me to a different level of unconditional love. Being a new mother is undoubtedly hard; it can even drive you crazy. But as cliché as it may sound, this little creature gave me purpose and direction. I now fully comprehend the true meaning of motherhood.

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