I talked to some moms and asked them what they wished they knew before they were moms, so maybe they could pass on some wisdom to those of us who haven’t been blessed with children yet! Here’s what they said…
Plan ahead for maternity leave.
“Maternity leave sucks! I had no idea until I became pregnant just how damaged this system is. There are slim protections and accommodations for pregnant women. Even if you’re not planning on having kids for a while, review your benefits at work in advance! Make sure you know ahead of time which insurance add-ons you need, such as short term disability. Figure out if you’ll need to use your own vacation time or sick leave. Don’t get left hanging when it’s too late!” – Michelle Lugo
Build your self-esteem.
“Being pregnant is a miracle. It also is nine months of bloating, being nauseous, fatigue, and weight gain. You have to be comfortable with your body to keep high spirits during this time. Remind yourself that you are beautiful daily, even if you don’t always feel it.” – Angela Sommers
It’s harder than it looks.
“I want you to know that it is HARD work. Being a mom is the best job in the world, but it can always be the hardest. You have to learn that you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of others. You need to learn that it is OK to let other people love and take care of your children so you can have an hour or two (or more!) of peace and quiet. It doesn’t all have to be on you.” – Amber Allen
It doesn’t have to be perfect.
“Everything will not be perfect. Laundry will go undone. The rooms may be a mess, but that doesn’t mean you are not doing your best.” – Tamara South
related: 5 THINGS EVERY WOMAN NEEDS TO HEAR
Discover yourself now.
“The best way to start finding your passions and interests before parenthood- is before parenthood. You are more likely to carve out time for these passions if they are already established in your life – in turn, making you a better mom and parent.” – Sarah Hosseini
Don’t take everything so personally.
“You don’t really get how life changing being a parent is until you become a parent. If you get a nasty look while your child screams at a pizza place, life will go on. The person glaring isn’t an evil creature. He wants to enjoy dinner with some peace and quiet as much as you wanted out of the house just to be out of the house. It’s all good.” – Tara Goodfellow
Enjoy your energy while you can.
“I would have liked to know that you have much more energy and you can recover much better in your early twenties-mid-twenties from lack of sleep. I am in my late twenties now and, even though I don’t have a difficult baby, I find it hard to get up repeatedly and have to organize special sleep time to have decent energy levels! Having a baby younger does make a difference when it comes to physical strain.” – Gabrielle Tardif
Rally the troops.
“Rally your support system (even if they don’t know what they’re being prepped for). If you want to walk in the park, run to the store, or maybe just pee without a little one hanging out with you like it’s the family room, have a handful of good, solid people to relieve you for a few minutes. Be the friend today that you want and need someone to be for you tomorrow.” – Dana Sims
There’s no such thing as the perfect time to become a mom.
“There is no perfect time to have a child and there is no perfect plan for our lives. As long as you feel emotionally ready, go for it. You will not be held back by your child, you will have a new found motivation. I know plenty of young moms that have wonderful careers, others that have gone into business after having children and some that have been able to find their vocation thanks to the experience of becoming a mom.” –Gabrielle Tardif
WAHM, SAHM, working mom…who cares?!
“My advice to young moms is not to feel pressured by any one model of stay-at-home, work-at-home, work-away-from-home, schooling or childcare options. Every family must do what works for them, and that will not be the same for each family. Pray about it, and do what God would show you as the best option for your family. Then be open to change as different seasons in your family and parenting arise.” – Catherine Behrenst
Treat yo self.
“Get in a pattern of treating yourself to something you enjoy just because. Whether you love to fish, crochet, go to the movies, get a massage, make your relaxation a habit. It will be easier to find your happy place apart from stinky bottoms, runny noses, and a house that will never be quite as clean as it once was if you understand what recharges your battery. Your children will learn being an individual and treating themselves well matters.” – Dana Sims
It’s the ultimate learning experience.
“Words cannot describe the profound role of being a mother. You can’t know until you are in it. It is the ultimate learn as you go job: motherhood. And it’s amazing, challenging and gratifying.” – Claire Nicogossian
Moms, what do you wish you knew before you were a mom?
This post originally appeared at The Young Hopeful.