When I found out that I was pregnant I was very excited and overwhelmed I thought gosh I better start reading pregnancy books because I have only babysat for family and friends. Now I am going to have this little human and I don’t know what to expect when she gets here. Yes, I did read books about what to do when the baby gets here but it did not give me real-world insights. So I thought I would share the 3 most important things I would have told my first-time pregnant self.
#1: Being a stay at home mom is not EASY!
First, and foremost hats off to stay at home moms, being a stay at home mom is not easy! When my husband and I decided I would be a stay at home I was thrilled it meant that I was going to see all of my daughters first’s like sitting up, smiling, crawling etc. Nobody bothered to give me a heads up everyone told me that it was a blessing and I was going to love being at home. Little did I know that it was not as easy as everyone claimed it would be. I am not talking about the day to day tasks that needed to be done. I am talking about how hard it was to transition from being a full time employee to being a full time mom with no lunch hour ,breaks and days off. It was very hard for me to make that transition I stupidly did not realize that I was going to confined to four walls. As a new mom I was not going to be going all over the place, I had my daughter during the winter and flu season was in full effect so I was really confined to the house. I was used to running to my beloved Target anytime I wanted. That all changed drastically, I felt like I was not given a heads up by anyone saying “hey you will be at home for a long time you may get stir crazy.” Since we were down an income as well I thought gosh I better reign it in on my Target trips. Plus taking a newborn out was exhausting because no sooner I got her in the car seat she needed a diaper change even though I just changed her or she would start crying (my daughter hated the car seat).
#2: Don't sweat the small stuff!
Another thing that I would have told my pregnant self is to not drive yourself crazy about the house not being perfectly cleaned. I am the type of person who likes to clean it is a therapy for me I know that is weird but having stuff cleaned and organized makes me feel so great! Because I am this type of person this was a hard thing to let go. It is not like I let the house get out of hand because in truth I could never do that but the laundry, stripping the beds and cleaning the bathroom twice a week was going to have to take a back seat. I had always done laundry on Sunday and Thursday I broke it into two so that my piles were not so big. I had a lot of people tell me not to sweat the small stuff. I felt that if my husband was going to go to work all day and provide for his family the least I could do was to have the house clean. After a few months I just couldn’t keep up the routine and it was giving me anxiety and stressing me out. I had to remind myself that I am human and some of the chores will just have to wait especially now I had another person to clean up after it was not the same amount of chores that I was used to. I spoke to my husband and I found out that he really didn’t care about the house looking perfect.
#3: Take some time for yourself!
Finally, and very important was to take some time for myself “me time” is what I would call it. I believe it is so important. I needed that time for recharging my batteries and I also felt that being a mommy 24/7 was a bit overwhelming and it really started to affect my mental health. I had this huge guilty feeling that because I had in vitro fertilization that I could not take a break that I had prayed and endured so much that now that I had finally received this blessing that I asked God to give me, I was being a hypocrite for taking a break. But how could I possibly go on when I feel overwhelmed, emotional like I could cry at the drop of a hat. Not only that, I also felt guilty about asking my husband to watch his own child! I felt he worked hard day at work because he does air conditioning, we live in Texas and he is outside in the hot temperature sometimes in attics or on top of buildings and it is just not fair to ask him “ hey do you mind if I have some time for myself?” My family is also very busy and I hated to ask them to. People would often say “hey you wanted to stay at home or you are a stay at home mom what do you need help for, or you asked for a baby !” that was really hard to hear and made me feel even more guilty. I guess those people watched their own kids 24/7 and NEVER took a break they were perfect. My daughter is now a year and a half and I have had some breakdowns of crying and stress because I had not taken time for me I finally had the guts to just ask my husband to let me have some me time and admit that I cannot do it all.
Being a stay at home mom is really amazing and it is a blessing. But for some mothers, it is really hard to make a big transition in their lives. I mean when you have worked for nearly have of your life it becomes a habit and you socialize with other adults and that makes working fun. When you stay at home you don’t get to socialize with an adult you are speaking with a child who cannot conversate like an adult. I have come to the understanding that some things will have to take a back seat as far as the house chores go and so far so good. As for my “me time” I am not going to let anybody make me feel guilty about me needing a break and to fill up my energy tank. I am only human and not one person that I know can do something 24/7 365 days a year and not need a break. I think it is important so that I can be a better mom. I hope that this post helps some of you moms because it took me a long time to find the courage to admit that I cannot do it all and that is okay.