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Can you still have a life after a baby? Yes, you can. With a little preparation, life after baby can be a smooth transition into parenthood.
Anyone who tells you having children is a walk in the park forgot what the early days of postpartum looked like. Not that it’s horrible, it isn’t, but it isn’t easy either.
Your life after baby is born will face some pretty quick changes. Between your own body’s physical changes, learning how to be a mother, and figuring out how to make time for your relationship with your partner while parenting.
The problem is, nobody ever really wants to talk about these major changes new moms and parents face.
So, here we are.
I’m going to share with you 7 things NOBODY tells you about life after baby so you can prepare and enjoy those early days after birth.
7 Things NOBODY Tells You About Life After Baby
1. Your life and priorities will change.
It’s true, life after baby will bring many priority shifts and life changes. For instance, instead of going on every Friday night, you may feel more inclined to have a casual night in because let’s be real, you’ll be pretty exhausted!
You might also find yourself taking on other interests. Look at me, I started this blog to help me cope with my challenging postpartum journey and now it’s become a huge part of my life. Something I would have never experienced in my life before I had my children.
The point is, things may change, but it’s ok. Life is full of growth and lessons that help you become who you are.
2. It can feel very, very lonely.
It’s not uncommon to hear moms express loneliness after birth. Yes, you just had a baby and technically your household is filled with one more family member, but that doesn’t make the journey any less isolating.
Chances are, you probably aren’t seeing as many friends or family during those early days of motherhood.
Just remember, in motherhood, you’re never alone. This adorably illustrated book, “The Lonely Haze of Baby Days” is a great reminder. It’s also a great bedtime book to read to the kiddos too!
Other reasons you might feel lonely could be because you’re unable to physically perform past-time hobbies or have to set them aside. After all, your baby needs your constant attention 24/7.
If you’re a career mom — the struggles of balancing your first love, your job, and your new baby can pull your heartstrings in opposite directions.
I also always suggest reading this book written by licensed perinatal mental health therapist Abby Burd, The Postpartum Depression Workbook.
Regardless of the reasons, you feel lonely, try to remind yourself that in motherhood, you’re never alone.
3. Your relationship with your partner changes.
You and your partner will share different journeys throughout parenthood. If you find yourselves keeping score over who did what or arguing about who’s way to burp baby is better — stop.
Remember, you two are a TEAM! In any relationship, there will be times when one person carries more weight than the other, and you know what? It’s ok. Don’t you want to support your partner in their time of need? Better yet, don’t you want your partner to support you in your time of need?
The hardest part about a relationship after having a baby is that everything changes so rapidly that neither one of you gets the time you need to adjust to those changes.
As much as I believe mothers are in such a sensitive state after birth between trying to recover physically, deal with motherhood mentally and emotionally — their partners shouldn’t be forgotten either.
Many think since dad didn’t have the baby, he has it easier, but did you know up to 25% of dads can experience their own form of perinatal and postpartum depression?
So yes, becoming a mother is challenging, and you deserve ALL the support you need from your partner and your support team, but don’t forget to take some time to check in on your partner periodically too.
4. You will be incredibly sleep-deprived.
Oh, the dreaded sleep deprivation. Let me just put this out there — I did a gentle sleep training method (you can see for yourself here) with my first and he slept INCREDIBLE from the time he was 5 months old to now.
My 2nd on the other hand I have spent the last 10 months praying he will one day sleep through the night. Though I didn’t want to do any form of sleep training this time around, I did consider a sleep consultation with Baby Sleep Answers.
Now to backtrack. It’s completely normal for your baby to wake up multiple times a night for feedings and diaper changes in those early months. It’s also normal for them to wake up throughout the night when they’re older!
The trick is, being creative to sneak in naps so that YOU can get the rest you need throughout the day.
When I had one baby, it was easy to take naps with my baby right next to me in his bassinet throughout the day. With two kiddos, it was impossible with my toddler, so I began delegating certain tasks for my husband to handle so that I could get some rest.
Ultimately the takeaway here is you do whatever you need to do to get rest. Yes, even if it means the floors didn’t get mopped today. I promise they can wait.
5. Don’t waste your energy on comparisons.
Comparison is the thief of joy. I’m not sure who came up with that phrase, but gosh is it so true.
Early motherhood is the perfect time to question every decision you make. It’s also the perfect time to start comparing your decisions to every single mom you know or follow on Instagram. Don’t let those habits steal your joy.
The way I see it is if you’re questioning whether or not you’re doing things “right” — it’s because you’re a great mom who cares. And want to know another secret? There is NO ‘one size fits all’ to motherhood!
Everyone’s postpartum, pregnancy, childbirth, etc…all look different. What works for one family may not work for the other.
Embrace the differences. Love them. They’re beautiful and they’re yours. All yours.
6. It’s OK to say NO to visitors after baby is born.
Maybe you’re planning to have visitors lined up to meet your little bundle of joy. Maybe you’d like some privacy to soak in those first few days of becoming a mother, but everyone keeps persisting to visit.
If you find yourself walking on eggshells trying to let friends and family know you prefer a no visiting policy after birth, check out these tips to help you let them know!
7. Baths and showers will feel like a vacation.
They really shouldn’t. I mean baths, showers — they’re a necessity to everyday life! However, as a mother, we don’t always get them when we need.
BUT…when we do, they feel like much less a chore and more of a vacation!
Some will argue showers aren’t self-care, but I beg to differ. We ALL have unique parenting situations. For my schedule, a shower is such a refreshing break from running around and chasing my boys around all day.
So, if you get to a point where you look forward to a nice hot shower, don’t let anyone dim that light girl!
Can you still have a life after a baby?
One of the BIGGEST questions new expecting parents want to know is whether or not you can still have a life after having a baby.
I think the question should be whether or not your lifestyle may need to make some adjustments?
If you are someone who is always going out to the bars or clubs, taking tons of vacations, or just living a very lavish social lifestyle, you may find having a child to be a sticker shock. You’ll likely find some of those “usual” hobbies have to be dialed back a bit. After all, you’ll be recovering from birth too.
However, having a baby can also be tons of fun! Just because you have a baby, doesn’t mean you can’t bring them with you to places!
One of my husband and I’s favorite activities before kids was to go out to eat once a week and make a little date night out of it.
After our first was born, it was about 8 weeks before I felt comfortable enough to go out for a date night as parents. So I fed & changed our little guy right before heading out and he joined us for dinner!
Thankfully, during the newborn stage, most babies will eat, sleep, and pee/poo. So taking them out to dinner in your favorite baby wrap or the stroller is pretty easy.
How much has your life changed after becoming a mother?
I won’t lie, becoming a mom has changed me in so many ways. All for the better, of course.
Physically — My body really took a hit after having both kids back to back. I went from being in the best shape of my life to not being in the best shape, but I can’t blame having kids 100%. Life changed. I had to set fitness aside so that I could be more present with my babies. One thing I did after my 2nd was born, is I signed up for The Mutu System to help rehabilitate my pelvic floor right away. You can read more about how the Mutu System can help you too!
Mentally — Postpartum brought upon lots of struggles for me after my first was born. It was tough after my 2nd was born but in very different ways. It’s taught me how to be strong for my children and how to also embrace my vulnerabilities. It’s taught me to look inward at myself, to identify areas in my life I needed to heal so that my children don’t have to bear the weight of those issues. It’s a skill I don’t think I ever would have been able to learn without becoming a parent.
Lifestyle — Oh how our lifestyle changed. Before I was able to work out and spend as much time as I wanted on working out, meal prepping, running errands, taking a shower, visiting friends, you name it! After kids? Well, everything has been done around their schedule. At first, I was working from home with my first little guy. It became very overbearing trying to talk with clients, fill out paperwork, communicate with doctors, etc… all while managing an infant. Once I found out I was expecting again, I left my job a few months into the pregnancy and officially earned the “stay-at-home-mom” title.
The key here is that each of these areas has room for give and take. You won’t always have unlimited amounts of time, but you also won’t always be stuck to a baby’s schedule.
You learn how to work through the challenges, learn from them, and grow from them.
And if the challenges get too hard, because they can, you can ALWAYS get the help and support you need before it becomes unbearable.
I noticed my personality changed after having a baby, now what?
You’re not alone mama. Have you heard the phrase, “with the birth of every baby, comes the birth of a mother”?.
Becoming a mother makes you stop and reflect on yourself, life, and decisions unlike ever before.
I like to think that these realizations, however, always end up being for the better.
Just remember, there’s nothing “wrong” with you if you end up evolving after becoming a mom.
Children or not, different seasons of life usually bring different changes we at some point grow from, it’s just parenting seems to expedite the process for some.
So, which of these 7 things nobody tells you about life after baby did your friends or family not bring to your attention???
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