Scary Mommy

5 Things We Wish We’d Known As First-Time Moms

You ever look at an expecting or first-time mom and think, “It’s too late for me…but it’s not too late for you!” Usually the only thing that stops us from lunging toward a new mom to drop our hard-earned knowledge is the worry that we might scare her off.

Because the reality is that no matter how many books you read, no matter how much the nurses try to prepare you before sending you home with a car seat and a cheery “good luck!,” there are some things most of us learned the hard way.

Being a first-time mom is something you’ll only go through once. And you’ll do it your own way. But there are a few things we’ve learned that can make it all a little easier.

1. Phases aren’t forever

When you have a new baby, time is…different. Sometimes it feels sped up and sometimes it feels like it’s slowing to a crawl. So when your baby is going through a challenging stage (teething, not sleeping, thumb sucking, potty training) it can feel like “Ok, this is it. We’ll be sending him to college before he stops coming into our room every night.” But be patient, sister. Because all of those challenging times do pass. Babies will move on to the next stage. Will that next stage be easier? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure: you’ll get through it.

2. Stretch marks are not a big deal

First of all, stretch marks are normal. The reality is that most women will get stretch marks somewhere on their body (thighs, belly, butt, boobs) during pregnancy. And they’re nothing to be ashamed of. But minimizing the appearance of stretch marks, as well as healing your postpartum skin, may make you feel more confident as you navigate life in this new body. Do this: grab some Bio-Oil® Skincare Oil. It’s made with a combination of plant extracts and vitamins and it’s super light and non-greasy. It’s also super easy to spread on your skin. And if you have dry skin, Bio-Oil® Dry Skin Gel is your new best friend. It creates a protective barrier to resist moisture loss and helps return dry, chapped skin to its optimal hydrated state. So many moisturizers out there can be up to 70% water, but Bio-Oil® Dry Skin Gel contains only 3% water. It has a unique gel-to-oil texture and you only need a dab because a little goes a long way. The great thing is that even if you’re three, five, 10 years postpartum, Bio-Oil will help you love your marks.

3. Sleeping > scrolling

If there’s one bit of advice that’s handed out like candy, it’s “sleep when the baby sleeps!” But we get it. Sometimes you just want to scroll social media in peace for a couple of hours like you did in your pre-baby life. In those new baby days, it can feel like you’ve lost your “me” time. But facts are facts: you NEED sleep. And if the past thousand years of raising babies is any predictor, chances are you’re not getting enough(if we’re honest, you probably won’t get enough for the next 18 years but that’s for another day). So believe us when we say: sleep at every opportunity. You will never, ever regret it!

4. Eat more. No, even more

Stand in any grocery store checkout line for 90 seconds and magazine covers will have you believing a woman’s greatest achievement is getting her pre-baby body back. Riiight. Taking good care of yourself and your body is always a good thing. But for the love of your sanity, do not stress about numbers during this incredibly challenging time. Your body is trying to heal from a pretty major life event and needs nourishment, not some kind of whacked-out weight loss plan. If you’re nursing, it’s even more important that you eat well and plenty. You’re already not getting enough sleep. Be kind to your body and your brain, too.

5. Trust yourself

“Trust yourself” is something you hear all the time but there’s a reason for that. When you’re feeling stressed and unsure, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you know more than you think you do. There will be days where you feel like you’re not doing anything right and that your name is probably being added to the big master list of Worst Moms of All Time. But it’s not true. And on the toughest days, remind yourself that women have been doing this for centuries and the vast majority figured it out. You will, too.

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