January 20, 2019

Lots of women who have experienced the bliss of motherhood more than once swear that the first time is the most difficult. So why is being a mum for the first time so much more complicated than the subsequent times? The lack of experience and the self-imposed necessity to do everything right can be daunting.

The "firsts" freak you out!

The first time the baby cries without a reason, the first time she sneezes, the first time she has a runny poop, and other such ‘firsts’ cause mums to completely flip out! I remember fussing over the number of times my baby peed and I had a minor panic attack when he spit up curdled milk after a feed for the first time. And all that stress about whether the baby is reaching all the milestones at the correct age! The pediatrician’s number is on speed dial for all first-time mums.

 

The vice called "advice"

There are just too many people with their opinions and advices for a first time mum. I was so overwhelmed with the advice doled out to me, I had no idea how to filter and what to filter from the shower of advices. So, while someone says that co-sleeping with the baby is best, someone else says that the baby should be encouraged to sleep on her own from the first day. While your mother-in-law believes in rocking the baby to sleep, your sister-in-law firmly believes that letting the baby cry-it-out is the only way forward.

mother and baby
Image credit: Thanasis Zovoilis


Life is full of surprises!

Women have been giving birth since times immemorial. So, figuring motherhood can’t really be rocket science, right? I thought the same and I somehow knew that once the baby comes out of my belly, I will just figure everything out because I would become a mum. The problem is, most mothers aren’t prepared for the surprises. And the interesting part is that you never know what to expect. My son would start crying for milk the moment I would try to lie down for a bit. He would ‘magically’ soil his diaper just as I would have the first spoonful of my meal. And he would wake up at night without warning at the oddest hours! I never knew I had signed up for all this!!


The constant, nagging self-doubt

As a first-time mum, you are constantly questioning your ability to raise a baby. I too had my moments of total confusion when I felt that somehow I am to blame for everything that is not right with the baby. Is it because I had some spicy food that the baby is gassy? Is he crying because I am not capable of breastfeeding him enough? Am I spoiling my baby by letting him use the pacifier? For women who are experiencing motherhood for the first time, this lack of certainty can be extremely distressing.

mother and baby
Image credit: lev dolgachov

I found my peace in knowing that I am not the only mum who feels that it’s hard being a mother for the first time. I also realized that nobody is the perfect mother.

So don’t worry if you ever feel bogged down with your responsibilities. A good support system, a little patience, some belief in yourself, and lots of love will see you successfully ace the job of a new mum!