Family

What I’ve Learned in the First 8 Months of Motherhood

We made it! We survived long nights, early mornings, diaper blowouts, and hormonal breakdowns for eight full months! Being a mom to an 8 month old baby by no means makes me an expert (or anywhere close to it), but I have definitely learned a lot along the way.

I’ve been pretty bad about blog posts lately because I have figured out that an 8 month old baby take up even more time than newborns do. In the past month or so, baby boy spends a lot more time awake during the day. All he wants is for his mama to keep him entertained. While I love playing with him and spending as much time with him as possible, between that and my full-time job, blogging has taken a bit of a backseat. Sorry about that!

Anyway, as well as figuring out how much more demanding an 8 month old baby is than a newborn, I’ve noticed that I’ve learned a lot of things since baby was born:

Staying in PJs all day is not a bad thing

During my six weeks maternity leave from work, I can probably count on two hands the number of days I got out of my pajamas. Since then, I (unfortunately) have to put on real clothes to go into the office, but on the days I work from home, it’s PJs all day long. I usually shower, then immediately hop back into my comfy pants and a big tee-shirt and don’t feel bad about it. Being a mom is hard. Why make it harder on yourself by being uncomfortable when you’re at home? I have found that when I do get out of the house, I look forward to getting a little dressed up.

One of the very few times I have dressed up since having baby boy.

Sometimes babies cry for no reason

When my bebecito was born, I wanted to find a reason for every one of his cries. Obviously every mom wants to soothe an upset baby, but when all attempts fail, sometimes babies just need a good snuggle and to cry for a few minutes. I found once I stopped trying to figure out why my baby boy was crying (after attending to his needs first, of course), he would calm down much faster because I was much calmer.

It really does take a village

Seriously, I cannot say this enough. I’m incredibly lucky to live near family who helps out more than I can even say, but I know not everyone is as fortunate. In any situation though, a support network is so necessary. Whether family, friends, babysitters, neighbors…as a new mom, your “village” are the people that keep you sane. They are the people who listen to you recount just how many times you were up with baby the night before. They are the people who bring you casseroles when you’re back from the hospital. They are the people who you can count on through all of the laughs, tears, and everything in between during the adjustment period of becoming a new mom.

Pregnancy and labor have serious lasting effects

And I don’t just mean the things most people think of after baby comes (hello, mesh underwear and low-carb diets!). Since having baby boy, my back has been so messed up. Back pain was never something I had dealt with before getting pregnant and even during pregnancy, it was nothing crazy. Over the past months, my back has gone from slightly sore during pregnancy to a constant nuisance. I have had neck pain, lower back pain, mid back pain, and pain so bad I went to the ER. I have tried both chiropractor visits and massages to help and so far, nothing has made a dent in it. The back pain is just one lasting effect that pregnancy and labor had on my body. I know other women experience long lasting postpartum anxiety, depression, infections, preeclampsia, and so much more. Pregnancy and labor is really a battle that makes its lasting mark on mothers and it takes much longer than just 9 months to heal.

No one really knows what they’re doing when it comes to parenthood

This one pretty much speaks for itself. No matter how many baby books I read, motherhood podcasts I listen to, or advice websites I visit, the one takeaway I have is that no one knows what the eff they are doing. All we can do is listen to our instincts, try not to Google too many questions, and cross our fingers that we’re doing the right thing.

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