Becoming a mother is a life changing experience. In an instant you’ll have this little person to take care of and who will need you attention. You’ve probably already heard about the sleepless nights you should expect or the potential colic babies can have. Maybe you’ve had talks with friends about how your relationship with your husband might change and that you should be aware and maintain communication or schedule date nights. These are things most expectant mothers know will change after a baby. There are, however, a lot of other changes some mothers face that no one talks about.
It can surprise you how many mothers silently compete with each other. Whether it’s about how fast their baby is progressing, how well baby is dressed, how good she looks or showing off what their baby can do, you may suddenly feel that some situations are difficult to handle as another parent continually tries to come out “better”. It may be difficult to handle, but try to ignore these comments and be confident in your own choices as a parent. Know that babies develop at different paces and will grow up to have their own unique characters. Whether you choose to put your baby in hand me downs from siblings or relatives or in couture brands is completely up to you and shouldn’t be compared to anyone else’s standard.
Right or Wrong
Every child is unique, and so is every parent and family, which is why there are many different parenting options and styles. Sometimes doing something differently sends a message to some people that they’re doing things wrong. It can be especially challenging when you choose to parent different from your group of friends or culture. People in your social circles may try to convince you to do things ‘right’ (their way) or feel that if you insist on doing things differently that it implies they are parenting incorrectly themselves. How others interpret their own parenting choices and style is not your fault or responsibility. Again, be confident in your choices as a parent. Healthy discussions and debates are always beneficial in getting new ideas and gaining knowledge and experience, however don’t try to convince others to change their ways and don’t let group pressure get to you into parenting methods that don’t feel right for you, your child and your family.
Friends May Change
Whether your friends have their own babies or not is also a changing paradigm. Social life does in fact change after having a baby, and it’s not so easy to go out at any time or stay out late. It’s a new territory that you’ll all be exploring as parents together. You may end up seeing less of your baby-free friends, or they may be willing to come over and hangout at your place after baby is asleep. You may also find you grow closer or apart from your friends who have babies. Different parenting methods may become an issue with friends who already have babies and you may want to be around others who parent more similarly to you. This doesn’t have to mean losing your friend, it may just mean that you can meet without your babies and spend time doing different things other than parenting related activities. These can be sad situations when you realize you are growing apart from a friend, but it also creates an opportunity to get closer to other unexpected friends.
Making New Friends
Becoming a mom can also mean making new friends! Having a child makes it easier to strike up a conversation with other parents at the playground or daycare. You will find a whole new set of people you get along with and have a new common ground with. If you want to meet new people with your newborn, consider starting a meetup in your neighborhood for new mommies. This can be a great way for you to encourage and support each other, and can be a wonderful supportive, relaxing opportunity for you. It might not sound exciting now, but sometimes it’s great to find other mommies who don’t mind talking about sleepless nights, colic and balancing life with baby.