What I want you to know about becoming a new mom

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here.  Today’s guest post is by Melissa Divaris Thompson.

As I journeyed into motherhood, I felt quite overwhelmed. The day I became pregnant and the moment I gave birth, I was changed forever. Even though I was so much the same, something in me was so different. My new journey had just begun.
As I stood in line at the coffee shop one morning, deeply sleep deprived, I reached for my purse and a mum mum fell out. I had a moment. Does everyone even know what a mum mum is? (In case you don’t, it’s a teething biscuit). I smiled to myself, knowing now that I was a mother, I understood certain things; a secret language between mothers. At the time I had felt so overwhelmed at the newness of everything and I craved community. I wanted to know, how do other moms feel when they become mothers?
I decided to ask a few of my mom friends: You know you are a mother when… The 40 answers were sweet, surprising, funny, and heartfelt. What I realized in all of them, is that I could relate.
You know you are a new mom when… 1. A mum mum falls out of your purse and you are not with your baby-you even know what that is! 2. You realize you and the shower have yet to meet that day-or two. 3. Your judgements of other mothers wash away when you become a mom and you realize how little you know and how vulnerable you feel. 4. You realize the moments of ‘when I have a baby, I would never do that’ fade into the background. 5. You realize that such little sleep is an excellent choice of torture. 6. You run as if in a race from one thing to the next, praying the baby stays calm. 7. You feel that everyone is judging you and you feel so sensitive. 8. You start to crave alone time-even 10 minutes to drink a cup of tea in the sun. 9. Your heart bursts more open that it ever has before with love. 10. Childbirth and having a child is crazier than you ever could have imagined-and no one could tell you this before hand-even though they tried. You had to experience it first hand. 11. You start out obsessing about germs. 12. You have less control than you think. 13. You question everything and wonder if you are doing it right or well enough. 14. You smell baby poop everywhere-even if you are no where near your baby. 15. You have more compassion for your own parents. 16. You forget things and your mind isn’t as sharp. 17. You know you’re a mom when a hot date night means buying toilet paper at Target with your hubby! 18. Your living room looks like a toys r us exploded. 19. The theme songs to Thomas the Tank engine and Dinosaur Train take turns on repeat in your brain. 20. Every time you go to rite aid you make a b-line for the bubble aisle (god forbid you should run out). 21. You use diaper wipes as a kleenex for yourself. 22. You look and stand and speak more and more like your own mom. 23. You think ‘sleeping in’ is until 7:30 am. 24. You think nothing of wearing maternity clothes well after your baby is 5 months. 25. You are too tired to go out with your husband AGAIN, even if the last time was 6 months ago. 26. A day ‘off’ is going to work. 27. When you will fight the nastiest bug to protect your little one. 28. You realize that you haven’t looked at yourself in the mirror all day, and have no idea what you look like! 29. Going to the grocery store alone is your new guilty pleasure. 30. When you’re by yourself and you feel like you’re missing a limb. 31. When you don’t get a manicure because all the real deal stuff you must now do with your hands. 32. Everything that was once big now seems small. And one thing that is small feels so big. 33. You tingle all over with joy and giddiness at the thought of home. 34. You can say ” I’ve been there” and know it and mean it. 35. You know you’re a mom when a shower on your own feels like a day at the spa. 36. You know you are a mom when you sacrifice your sleep, food and a hot shower in order to make sure you baby’s needs are met. 37. You know you are a mom when your baby first laughs and your heart completely melts. 38. You enjoy getting your teeth cleaned because you can lay still for more than a minute without someone needing something from you. 39. You stop thinking about yourself first. Whether it’s just a small daily task or something on a deeper level, it’s just not about me every minute of everyday anymore. 40. What you would previously consider a vacation is now really just a change of scenery (when traveling WITH the kiddos).

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