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My pregnancy was amazing. No lie! Apart from initial nausea and sleepiness the first few weeks, the rest of the journey was a breeze. I could eat the same foods as before, and the smell of detergent or perfume didn’t make me feel like throwing up my guts.
And so, I had high expectations of motherhood. I mean, could you blame me? I thought my baby would sleep for hours in the crib like I had seen in many crib commercials on TV. (Clown moment right here!)
And not only was I clueless about infant sleep and how tricky and overwhelming it can be for a first-time mom. Nope! But I was utterly shocked that motherhood didn’t end up as smooth as I thought it would be.
For some strange reason (blame perfect curated photos of happy mothers online), I thought I’d naturally know how to be a mom and love every minute. Two years later, I understand how ridiculous my expectations were and how they skewed my perception of motherhood.
I thought the love of being a mom would make parenting easy all the time. But barely three weeks in, I was tired, emotionally drained, and confused, thinking, “Why does motherhood feel so hard?”
The main problem was that I was desperately trying to love every part of being a mom. I was convinced that to measure up as a good mom, then I’d have to like every stage of parenting, from the sleepless nights to blowouts and everything else in between.
But the truth is that it’s okay not to love every moment of being a mom. That’s normal. And so, if you’re a first-time mom struggling to enjoy all phases of motherhood, I’m here to reassure you that you’re perfectly normal.
Plus, I’ll give you ten reasons why you might not be loving parenting right now and practical mom tips you can apply right now to make your experience better. Okay, let’s dive right in.
Here are the top 10 reasons you’re not overjoyed about being a mom and useful tips to help you out.
Reason #1: You have high expectations
It’s easy to feel disappointed when you have high expectations about anything. It might be your work, career, and heck, even family.
No one wants to be a bad mom, I get that. But by having high expectations about how glorious motherhood will be 24/7, you’re setting yourself up for a big disappointment.
Motherhood is messy and challenging and will test your patience like nothing else. There are days your house will be unrecognizable with toys everywhere and food splatters on the walls. And if you have a newborn, they’re days you’ll not want to get out of bed.
One of the best advice for a first-time mom is to have low expectations. Setting your expectations low makes it easy to go with the flow and not beat yourself up when things don’t go according to plan.
You’ll not see yourself as a failure or a bad mom because your kids had takeout instead of the usual three-course meal you spend hours prepping. And for sure, you’ll not feel awful when your house is a mess and you have zero energy to clean up because you understand that’s how kids operate.
Reason #2: You’re clueless about your child’s development
I plunged deep into motherhood, 100% oblivious about how babies sleep. I expected my baby to not only love the crib but also spend hours in it without needing me to put her back to sleep.
Let’s just say I learned the hard way that babies don’t sleep as soundly as we see on TV. I thought that if my baby wasn’t sleeping in her crib for hours, I must be doing something wrong. Maybe I didn’t feed her enough, I might not have burped her correctly, or perhaps I bought the wrong cotton sheets.
It was only when I studied normal infant sleep that I stopped being stressed about my baby taking short naps or waking up a ton a night. The best parenting tip for new moms that I can confidently share with you right now is to familiarize yourself with your child’s development and expectations at that age.
By being knowledgeable about your kid’s milestones, you’ll not freak out when your toddler has a complete meltdown at the mall. Instead, you’ll understand it’s a normal part of their development. More importantly, you’ll not feel like a bad mom if your child has a meltdown in public.
Reason #3: You take things personally
One of the exciting things about becoming a mom is being an expert at coming up with an excuse when your child says or does something embarrassing in public. I’m only two years into this mom gig, and I can tell you that kids will embarrass you unprovoked.
You might be at church, paying close attention to the sermon, when your child blurts out an embarrassing statement that makes your heart drop to the pit of your stomach. Or your child yanks off your wig in public
Such uncomfortable moments don’t make you a bad mom. Laugh about it instead of getting upset and triggered by your kids’ behavior and comments. Your kids acting out like typical kids isn’t a reflection of your success as a mom.
Reason #4: You take everyone’s advice
Honestly, the first six months with my daughter were a trial and error period that left me exhausted and stressed out. I was trying to survive motherhood and make it to the next day with my sanity in check.
Sadly one of the biggest mistakes I made was taking everyone’s advice and trying to apply it to my child. I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did. Not everyone’s words of advice for a new mom are worth your time.
The bad thing about hoarding advice is that it gets overwhelming over time. Instead of enjoying time with your child and learning their cues, you’re busy implementing a piece of new advice just as fast as you drop another.
I’m not asking you not to take advice from people. But be cautious about the advice you get. Instead, it’s wise to learn your child’s needs first, then slowly incorporate smart tips from people you trust. Otherwise, you’ll have a challenging ride as a first-time mom.
Reason #5: The comparison game is always on
As a first-time mom, you’ve probably seen how your friends and relatives take care of their children. And so, when you have a child, you assume everything will be the same for you. I mean, your friends make it look so easy.
But unfortunately, that’s not how this parenting gig works. You are different from your friends and family, either by temperament or even beliefs, and that means your parenting style will not be similar to theirs.
And not only that, your child is unique as well, so what works for your tiny niece or nephew will most likely backfire with your kid. So before you drive yourself crazy trying to figure out, “Why am I not enjoying motherhood?” let’s start by getting off the comparison train.
Reason #6: You let challenging moments control you
The first few weeks with a newborn can be tough. You’ll barely get any sleep some nights, and your bloodshot eyes will make you rethink motherhood.
And if you have a toddler, there are days your child will be on a series of meltdowns even before noon. It’s easy to let one tough moment define the rest of your day. But what good does that do anyway?
So, the next time your infant decides to party the entire night, don’t let a sleepless night ruin your day. Go out for a walk the next day, and hope for a better night (because it honestly does get better!)
And on occasion, your toddler decides to have an epic meltdown at 7:00 AM, make a cup of coffee (after you comfort your child, of course), and hit the park later for a much-needed destressing period.
Reason #7: You have a victim mentality
I hate to say this, but we tend to play victims quite a bit as new moms. And I’ve used the victim card a lot as well. And I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one.
I’ve refused to hang out with my friends because, you know, “the baby,” and I’ve bailed out on movie plans with my partner because “the baby might wake up any minute.” Then surprising to no one, I’m out here trying to understand why motherhood isn’t fun or exciting.
I’m calling myself out as I’m writing this because the victim card has been one of my most significant challenges in motherhood so far. The good thing is that I’m enjoying being a mom by slowly letting go of the victim mentality.
There are so many ways you can blame motherhood because you can’t achieve your dreams, apply for that job, go to the gym or even start that business. Slowly by using your kids as an excuse, you condition your mind to only focus on the negative parts, which explains why you might not love being a mom.
So the next time you want to bail out on plan with your friends or partner by using your kids as an excuse, shush that excuse up and go out and have fun. You need to stop playing the victim card and make motherhood the foundation that sets you up to pursue your life goals.
Reason #8: You’re trying to do everything
Mama, you need and deserve a break. It’s hard to love being a mom when you’re always doing everything yourself, especially if you have a partner or friends willing to help.
So, instead of doing all house chores, delegate some to your partner. You can cook while your spouse does the dishes, or your partner can put the kids to bed while you fold the laundry. By sharing the workload, you’ll find motherhood less overwhelming and demanding 24/7.
Reason #9: You’re wallowing in guilt
Please nod if you’ve ever felt guilty going somewhere alone without your kids?
I know I have. To enjoy being a mom, you need to take a break from the kids once in a while. As long as your child is with someone you trust, use that time for guilt-free self-care.
Not only is taking a break from the kids great for having some me-time, but it’s essential in taking off the pressure of being needed all the time. Plus you’ll get time off from hearing your kids yell your name 100 times in 10 minutes.
A few affordable ways you can enjoy self-care as a first-time mom include hanging out with a friend over coffee, getting a manicure, or going for a walk.
If your doctor has cleared you to do light, low intensive exercises, then go to the gym. You’ll not only get a mental break from mothering, but you’ll get a chance to work on your physical health as well.
Related Post: How to Be Confident In the Gym Postpartum
Reason #10: You’re not present
“I can’t wait for my child to grow up.”
“I can’t wait to sign-up my child for pre-school.”
Are you guilty of saying such words? Okay! Maybe not expressing them verbally, but have you had such thoughts?
When you’re having a tough time with your kids, it’s normal to want to skip the chaos and tears and jump right into the good part, where they are more independent and less needy.
But as you focus on the future, you’re missing out on the present. You’re so fixated on your child growing up that you fail to notice how they smile at you from across the room or how they cuddle up next to you after having a tantrum.
One of the most critical first mom tips I can give you right now that I wish I knew sooner is to be fully present in your “now.” It might not be pretty, but months or years later, you’ll look back and miss your baby’s cute smile and funny jokes. By that time, your kids will be independent and too grown to hang out with you.
My daughter is almost two years old, and I casually find myself scrolling through her old photos, and I miss how small and cuddly she was. So, my goal now is to be present when I’m with her.
I put my phone aside and soak in all the moments we share, from the laughter to the emotional meltdowns. I hope you purpose to be present as well with your kids.
Ten reasons you’re not loving being a mom (plus practical mom tips to help you enjoy motherhood more)
There you have it. Ten reasons why you might not be loving motherhood right now, and fantastic mom tips to help you enjoy being a mom more.
I hope you apply the tips I’ve mentioned above because I’m positive they’ll give you a complete outlook on motherhood.
The whole point of parenting, and I bet life in general, is controlling what you can and letting go of the things you can’t. Like all the embarrassing things your child is bound to say in public to strangers.
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Thank you for reading. See you at the next one. 😉