Not all of this will be true for everyone, but this are the things I learned that I thought would be a nice little contribution to the online pool.
8. Having a shopping list is strange. And this will be commented on because it closes you off for the inevitable "Perhaps you would like..." or "Is this your first child? Then you'll need..."
That up there can save you money, time and stress. Make one and use it. I'm a new mother myself but I've seen so many other new parents buying more than they need and spending far more than necessary, in my opinion. To each his own, obviously, but at least know your lifestyle and projected lifestyle changes before purchasing. I have older cousins who will vouch for doing precisely that.
While we're on the topic, don't be pressured by those miles-long lists of things you "must have." No, you decide what you must have. Especially when it comes to bedding. Read up on SIDS while you're at it. That will make you think twice about bolsters, pillows, comforters, bumpers, and stuffed animals inside a crib that can be up to three times your baby's size!
9. Some books will say this but it cannot be emphasized enough: each pregnancy is different. No, not each woman is different. Each pregnancy is different. Some mothers will say "Oh this happened with child number (x) and then child (x) went along this way..." and in the same breath tell you "Oh I bet it will be like that with you too."
Smile, nod, and ignore. Seriously. If you're a first-timer like me, it will get overwhelming to listen to every single piece of advice you are given, often unnecessarily. I can't remember where I read it from but it is a wise choice to pick a person or two whose example you'd like to emulate and take notes from there.
10. The myth of the stretchmark. They will talk about stretchmarks over and over, these books, but old wives' tales will make their way in eventually. So.
You can't get stretchmarks just by scratching your skin. First, the skin itches because it's stretching faster than it can adjust. That is why you want to scratch. But the fact remains that it will stretch and if you either get big too quickly or lack moisture/skin elasticity, you will get stretchmarks. But you won't get it from scratching. Really.
11. Motherhood is its own niche. Whether you are a 9 to 5 mother, a stay-at-home mother, a work-at-home mother, or any other configuration of such, you will find that the simple act of going online will net you an entire world filled with people who may even share your precise circumstances and/or experiences. Embrace this world. It will be of more comfort than you think.
Even the mere act of shopping through another mother's online store or reading another mom's blog will suffice, mind. It will assure you that you are not alone, should you find that there are things you've experienced that those within your physical circle have not.
12. Knowing how to pick up stuff with your toes comes in very handy. This is not a joke. My family used to think it was funny that I could pick up stuff with my toes. My grip is good enough to pinch...hard. (My husband can attest to that.)
You will ultimately lose the use of your waist. It's a terrible thing to suddenly realise how much you've taken your waistline for granted. I'd lived with the lie that all it's good for is to show off my shape--or the occasional lack thereof. Too soon will you find that you can't put your shoes on by yourself and wearing pantyhose and leggings leaves you as breathless as jogging.
But with practice, your toes (and flexibility) will save the day. Many, many times though not necessarily all the time.
13. Advice from new mothers close to your own age and due date will likely be the most helpful. True you may not have the same lifestyle but whatever similarities you may have, especially when it comes to gear particulars? Yeah, their insight will prove very valuable as far as reviews go.
14. Some books will say this but this too cannot be emphasized enough: don't feel bad if...
- ...you are unable to breastfeed
- ...you decide to take the drugs (pain medication) your doctor's offering
- ...you fell short of your ideal pregnancy/delivery/motherhood
15. Do be grateful and feel blessed for what you do have/are able to do.
We are mere humans and cannot understand the reasoning of the Divine. Whatever the Lord has given, take it, be grateful and feel blessed. You were chosen for a reason, and whatever is going on in your now, there is a reason for it in your future.
To be continued as motherhood progresses. :D