Change is unavoidable after you have a baby and even as you might read a lot on what to expect after a baby comes into your life, a lot of it will still feel like a surprise. Here, we have talked to some mothers about the ways in which you and your life change after a baby arrives.
- You finally understand why Mother’s Day exists
Along with this, you will feel a new respect for your own mother. The only way to learn to be a mom is to be a mom, but once it happens, at times you will feel a sense of shock at the kind of nurturing and love for a little creature whom is completely dependent on you. You will understand the greatness of this kind of love and see why cards exist to try to celebrate it.
- Your wardrobe changes
Once upon a time, you might have really been into fashion. Maybe putting together the clothes that you are going to wear the next day is one of your life’s pleasures. After a baby comes, this will sadly go out of the window. First of all, it will take a while before your body feels its old self again. And meanwhile, the fact that everyday becomes a time crunch will likely make you repeat certain post-pregnancy “uniforms.” What is easy to get on, easy to breastfeed with, hides stains, well that’s your uniform for the next few months.
- Sometimes you will hate your partner
We wrote a post on how a partner can be supporting to a pregnant mother or a new mother. But no matter what they do, it is unavoidable that sometimes you will feel like you are bearing the biggest burden. After the pain of labor, there comes the chore of breastfeeding; your baby might only want to be fed by you even if you’ve pumped and bottled some of your milk and given it to your partner to change hands with the nursing. So if you feel overwhelmed and start resenting your partner for “doing less.” Know that this is a completely natural feeling. Talk to him about it and try to see what can be changed up in your schedule so that you split the responsibilities even more.
- The world suddenly seems full of hidden threats
You will never feel at ease that your house has indeed been changed into a 100% baby-proof environment. New of bad weather coming, news of E.coli poisoning, movies about kidnapping, everything that did not use to make you even blink will bring on new anxieties. It can seem that the universe out there holds every single potential to harm your baby. After a few months of mothering, this kind of anxiety will alleviate and you will see that you are a tough mother and your baby, is actually a tough little thing as well. But it’s just one example of the weird psychological change that can happen after you have a baby.
- You have no time for small talk
Even if you’ve gone back to work, you will see that the way you relate to people has suddenly completely changed. That friend who wants to gossip about her date, that colleague discussing their househunting adventures the weekend before? Even though you are at work, you might just want to check your baby monitor to make sure your kid is doing okay in daycare. Your ears tune out when it comes to the “unimportant” business of the world. After the first year, you will make time for others again, but for now, do not be surprised by your own distracted energy.
- Your priorities completely change
If you have just moved into a new house, perhaps you used to think that getting your living room to look exactly right was an important matter. After that baby comes, you will have new priorities without even thinking about it. It is not like you tell yourself that your baby is the most important thing, but she just is, automatically. You will shelf your extracurricular interest, your ambitiousness at work, just so that you can make sure you give the best care and nurturing to this tiny thing that has become the love and focus of your life.
- Your sex life becomes temporarily non-existent
It could take as long as six months after birth before your body feels ready for sex again. Plus sex tends to happen when you are relaxed, that state of mind might also become non-existent after the baby comes. Be kind to yourself and don’t give yourself a hard time over this; your sex drive will return. Talk to your partner kindly and reassure them that it will pass and that it is not their fault either.
- Convenience over beauty
Whether it is what you wear, what kind of nursery design you choose, or the baby seat in the car, you will see that convenience comes to rule your consumer choices for the next few months.
- A different relation to the clock
It used to be that you can start getting ready 15 minutes before you have to leave the house and make it to your appointment in time. Suddenly so much less can take place in the same amount of time. With preparing the baby bag, changing the diaper, soothing a baby if he is crying, the simple act of leaving the house can come to need an additional 30 minutes. You start to look at the clock differently and learn to shove less and less things into your calendar with a new consciousness that it will take longer than expected for you to complete any activity.
- You will surprise yourself by how instantaneously more mature you become
Whether it is healthy eating, giving up drinking or learning to not sweat the small stuff, sometimes a couple of months after giving birth, you might take a step back and feel a sense of wonder that you have become this entirely different person. Still you, but better.
- Baby talk disgusts you less
You never knew what was the purpose of it but suddenly you grow a native tongue for this strange language. You coo at your baby and create a dynamic conversation between the two of you with this private language.
- You will feel a new confidence
You will be surprised by how having a baby and reshuffling and knowing your priorities in life can give you a new confidence. When it becomes clear what the purpose of your life is, you will move through your other duties with the same efficiency, but also with a confidence in knowing that the real stakes of your life are invested in the infant at home. You may also remember childbirth and you may think that if you have produced this amazing human being, you are capable of anything. And you are, really.
- You will kick bad habits rather easily
Were you always slow in getting anything done? Did you used to smoke? So many bad habits that seem impossible to kick earlier can suddenly be small matter after you have a baby. Again, it might have to do with the central shift of priority in your life. But you suddenly learn to move faster, because you have more to do, and the little kid’s life sort of depends on it. And you simple stop smoking (I’ve heard from new mothers who were former smokers that oddly, your body just loses the taste for nicotine starting from mid-pregnancy).
- Your bond with your partner deepens
Even given the halt in your sex life and the feeling irritated at them over nothing much, sharing a life where you are both now responsible for the same baby can also deepen your bond beyond your imagination. It is no longer about you and him, separately; you’re now joined together in the form of this baby that is half of you and half of them. The moment when you see your partner coax your baby to sleep lovingly will be one of the most moving moments of your life.
- You think long-term
While you used to worry about your budget for the next month or year, now every decision that you make stretches into the long future involving your kid. A new car or his college education? A more expensive brand of shampoo or a better daycare for him? It is not just about money, the way you take care of yourself through eating better and starting to incorporate a daily exercise routine (ahem, we mean after the first year) will also come from a long-term consideration in terms of wanting to be a happy and healthy mother to your child long into the future. In a way, even your bond with your partner comes to feel a lot more concretely long-term; the meaning of “family” will help you make it through the toughest of days when your baby vomits on your new jumper, and you are juggling work and baby time and bickering with your partner. Trust me.