You anticipate bringing home your new bundle of joy. During your whole pregnancy, you find yourself so eager to know what your baby will look like, how life will be, and how much you want to soak up some cuddles. Maybe you even find yourself scrolling through your social media accounts seeing all of your friends’ babies crawling and smiling for the first time. You can imagine when your baby will be doing the same.
…. But hold on. Sure, newborns are a joy. There’s no doubt about it. Let’s be real, though - there are some expectations vs. reality that need to be talked about as well. Parenting is not always perfect - there are going to be hard times. It’s important that moms understand they aren’t alone.
1. Expectation: Showing off your new baby shortly after delivery
Reality: During your pregnancy, you may have all these plans to rest a couple of days and then pack the diaper bag and head out to see grandma/grandpa, aunts, uncles, and a few close friends. It sounds all nice and fine while you’re pregnant. The truth is, once that baby enters the world, you’re likely not going to be in the mood to go anywhere for longer than a couple of days. You’re going to want to rest. Ever hear about babies waking every two hours? That’s NOT a myth!
2. Expectation: Breastfeeding will naturally be easy
Reality: Unfortunately, breastfeeding isn’t easy for everyone. There are usually professionals in the hospital during your stay that can help if you’re having trouble. However, sometimes there are factors that make breastfeeding not ideal for some moms (and that’s okay!)
3. Expectation: Sleep when the baby sleeps
Reality: How many times have you heard someone tell you, “Make sure you sleep while your baby sleeps”? You may be able to squeeze in a nap or two. However, you will either want to take the time to yourself, knowing you need sleep but you desperately need some alone time - or you will need to clean the house and realize you don’t have time to sleep.
4. Expectation: Your oldest will be a big helper
Reality: This could go two ways - your oldest child may be totally in love with their new sibling and want to help out with everything, and then the new phase will end. The other is that your oldest child may start to get jealous. Babies soak up a lot of attention naturally as they can’t do anything for themselves, so it’s only typical for a sibling to feel jealous or left out.
5. Expectation: Your baby will be on a schedule
Reality: Not so fast - babies don’t get on schedules right away. Newborns should be waking up every two hours to eat as their bellies are so tiny. Once your baby is around six months, you may notice more of a set pattern for sleep schedules. Until then, don’t set your expectations too high and schedule plans because the baby may change those plans on you and need sleep instead.