Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The 10 Hardest Things About Being A New Mother

Ella at four weeks old, February 15th, 2011

I have listed the 10 Hardest Things About Being a New Mother in no particular order.  Please know that I wouldn't give her up for anything though.  And you should stay tuned for my next post, the 10 Best Things About Being a New Mother!

1.  Breastfeeding - It hurt more than I thought it would at first, and it is frustrating being constantly tethered to her.

2.  Everything takes longer - There is no easy running to the grocery store anymore!  Everything takes time.  If we want to go out, we usually have to make sure she has eaten first, and then changed, and in her car seat, and then she is probably screaming, and we have to make sure we have everything we need in her diaper bag, and then I have to make sure I am presentable (as usually, I am not).

3.  Using the washroom and taking a shower is much harder - It isn't too bad when Dave is around, but when he isn't around it is ridiculously hard to use the washroom or take a shower!

4.  Being peed and pooped on, especially in the middle of the night - It is the most frustrating thing to be awake in the middle of the night and then be peed and pooped on while trying to change a diaper and have her gett pee and poop all over everything.  It makes me want to cry.

5.  Having Ella spit everything up after I just fed her - This kind of relates to number one.  This is especially frustrating in the middle of the night.  It means we have to start back at square one.

6.  Breastfeeding between 2 and 5 am - I can handle before 2, and after 6.  But between 2 and 5, I am literally exhausted and it is hard to stay awake.  This is obviously also related to #1.

7.  Not being as productive - I love holding my little baby girl.  But sometimes it is hard when I am holding her and all I can see is a room that looks like a tornado went through it, and I can't get up to clean it up.

8.  Feeling useless - I know in my head that taking care of a baby is useful.  But not doing other things for the world makes me feel useless.

9.  Loneliness - Staying at home all day is hard.  Especially with a child who can't talk to me.

10.  The Screaming - It breaks my heart.  And it also gives me headaches.

What about you?  Do you have children?  What did you find hardest about being a new mother or father?  If you don't have children, what do you think will be hardest for you if/when you do have kids?


  1. Yup, all of these. But be encouraged!
    1. Breastfeeding gets easier. MUCH easier. It's a skill that you both have to learn. I'm good enough now that I'll nurse anywhere and usually not even use a cover but nobody's the wiser :) It also spaces itself out more the older she gets and you'll be able to escape for a few hours. I know the feeling though of wishing you could have your body all to yourself for a little while!
    2. Ok can't help you with that one. Everything will always take longer from now on for forever, I'm pretty sure. Right up until she's in the bathroom fixing her make up and you're honking the horn in the car.
    3. Do you have a bouncy seat? I used to lug it into the bathroom with me when Eli was little. Won't kill her to scream for 2 minutes on the floor for a quick pee break either. I always just wait to shower when Cory's home.
    4. This will pass! In a few weeks she will probably stop pooping at night and needing to be changed. Those middle of the night changes are the worst, but once they get their rhythm they seem to stop going so much during the night.
    5. Mine never spit up much at all, so I'm sorry you have to deal with that. Again though, a few weeks or maybe a month or two from now it will all be a memory!
    6. Ugh. Yup. Are you able to nurse lying down without a light yet? I find that when they're a bit older you no longer need to turn a light on so you can practically keep sleeping while you nurse. Makes it easier.
    7. You need a good baby carrier! Do you have one yet? Invest in a good quality moby wrap or ergo. I know, they're pricey. But SO worth it because baby is happy and you can be productive at the same time. I still use mine for the cranky eight month old sometimes.
    8. Since you already know in your head that you are being useful, banish those thoughts :) I always remind myself that God says to only think about "Whatever is TRUE..." It's not true that you aren't useful, so try not to think that way. Only gets you down.
    9. Yup. That's why I love Facebook.
    10. A good baby carrier will help a lot, but the screaming will only diminish as time goes on.

    It gets BETTER. It gets easier. And then you have to start trying to discipline them, and teach them to listen to you, and figure out how to feed them solids and potty train and get them to sleep through the night and move to a toddler bed and not suck on cords or stick their fingers in outlets or touch the stove or rip up books or eat drywall...

    Ok maybe it doesn't get easier. New challenges replace the old ones. I think that having children was an enormous wake-up call to how selfish we really are. At least it was for me! Being FORCED to no longer think only of myself was so hard to get used to. We couldn't do it without God's help!

    1. Emily, thanks for all of the encouragement! I especially appreciated your use of that bible verse. For a long time, I had found that verse to be fairly elusive until recently, when I heard it used in the "Real Marriage" book/sermon series. All of a sudden a light went on, and I understood it (not that it is a confusing verse, I guess I just never gave it much weight anymore).

      We have a sling I use to carry Ella around in, but I find it hurts my back after a while (especially while bending down and standing up with it on if I am doing laundry or something). Will the Moby or Ergo Baby Carriers help with the back pain (i.e. - are they better designed for that?)

    2. Yes yes yes! I have a bad back too. I borrowed a sling when Eli was first born but I hated it, he never felt secure. Both the wrap and the Ergo were WAY easier on my back. Even still bending down and standing up over and over will start to hurt after a bit, but it's better. I would just putter around and not work super hard with him on, but at least you're getting something done instead of just sitting.

  2. Love the post.

    Love what Emily said too - especially the last paragraph. True, true, true.

    It's moving the truth we know to the life we are living...that's the hard stuff.

    Always here for you - always will love you.

  3. I can totally vouch for everything Emily said :) Wise woman