Oliver is almost a year and a half, and as friends and family have babies, I started reflecting on the first few months on being a mom. I thought I knew just about everything there was to know going into motherhood, but there are some things that most people don’t tell you about being a first time mom. I thought I would share the three things that I wish someone had told me before I became a mom, so that other moms-to-be or new moms going through these things will read this and hopefully find encouragement that they aren’t alone in these struggles.

1. It’s Okay to Cry

In the first few days, weeks, and even the first few months, you’re bound to cry. Your  hormones are out of whack and trying to balance, you grew and birthed a human, and learning to be a first time mom is hard and stressful! The tears will come and come often, but you shouldn’t be ashamed or feel like you’re failing as a mom. It’s okay to cry, just so long as you get back up and keep going. The reward of seeing your child grow and flourish in life is worth every tear and all the ice cream you may stress eat.

2. Let Your Husband/Partner Help

Unless you’re a single parent (kudos to you for doing it alone!!), parenting is not a one man show! I thought because I was the one home with the baby all day, I was the one that had to take care of Oliver no matter the time of day. I would get upset at Chase and complain that he didn’t help me, and then I realized it was because I hadn’t given him to opportunity to learn alongside me as I learned. I also thought I was wonder woman (jokes on me) and that I could do it by myself, so I’d never ask for help. They want to help, so let them! If they offer to do laundry or help make dinner, accept their help, accept the fact that you can’t always do everything!

3. It’s Okay Not to Breastfeed

As a mom-to-be or a new mom, you may feel this incredible pressure to breastfeed. Even if you aren’t being pressured by others, our society has drilled it into our brains that we MUST breastfeed, and if we don’t we are bad mothers and we won’t have a connection with our baby. That thinking is just oh so wrong, but it’s what I thought. I breastfed Oliver for six months, and every day was a struggle. If it wasn’t the pain, it was the lack of milk production. At about 2 months in, is when I started to struggle with breastfeeding, but I didn’t want to give up, mainly for the reason that I thought I would be a bad mother if I decided to switch to formula. There is nothing wrong with formula!! While breastfeeding has many health benefits, both for baby and momma, your baby will not love you any less and you will still have a great connection with your baby, whether you choose to breastfeed or not. Just remember, it’s better to have a happy, healthy baby than force yourself to breastfeed even though you may not produce enough milk, or the pain is just unbearable for too long. I have a great connection with Oliver and he is a big momma’s boy, despite only breastfeeding him for 6 months. Don’t give into the pressures people put on you!

Meet the writer:

"Hello! I’m Gabrielle, a 21-year-old Pennsylvania girl. I do life with my handsome husband, Chase, our perfectly mischiveous little boy, Oliver Theodore Charles, and our Redbone Hound puppy, Finn Montgomery. I’m fueled by coffee and baby giggles, I love fashion and photography, and I love to cook and bake. I’m a Pastry Chef, turned stay-at-home Mom. We live, we laugh, we eat good food, and we love the Lord. My little family is my greatest adventure. The Brunette Factor was created out of a mix of a need to be productive with my days as a new mom, and a way to show off my unique style to provide creative inspiration to others, and share what I love most."

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