Mama Q & A: 16 Questions New And Expecting Moms Want To Know
Wondering what motherhood is like? Is having kids worth it? How do you adjust as a new mom? I have a tribe of mama friends that rallied together to get your questions answered.
Everyone’s pregnancy, birth, and motherhood journey is different. There are so many unknowns and advice thrown at you from all directions. Thinking about it can be overwhelming.
What is motherhood like? What’s the best advice for new parents? How do you prepare yourself for having a baby?
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I captured answers from different perspectives and from all walks of life. I appreciate my friends and family’s candid and honest responses.
Keep in mind, there is no right or wrong answer to these questions. You may experience something different and that is okay!
What Tips Or Advice Would You Give To First Time Moms Relating To Labor And Your Birth Experience?
JF- Trust the care and be open minded about the birth plan.
LM- Have a plan and be prepared to change your plan.
JO- If you’re planning to get an epidural, request it as soon as possible in case the anesthesiologist gets backed up with other patients.
KR- My answer is definitely different. Write out and discuss your birth plan with your significant other and anyone else you have in the room. Explain to them the importance of your decisions and tell them to help you stick to it.
RK- Have a birth plan and a backup birth plan.
KP- I always waited until last minute when I gave birth so when I went in I didn’t have to be hooked up to a bunch of screens and wires. I would say be honest about your comfortability and wants/needs.
GW- Trust YOUR own intuition and your body. It’s smart and you can do hard things without intervention if that’s what your intention is. What do you want your environment to be like? Don’t allow people at your labor and delivery that you don’t want there. Give yourself and your partner time with baby before allowing visitors. Remember how sacred and magical birth truly is and how powerfully it can transform you.
How Do You Handle Work/Life Balance After Having A Baby?
LM- Give yourself grace. Don’t try to do everything you did before a baby because your life was different and so were you. Do your best, be your best, and enjoy your new life.
JO- Prioritize and enjoy the time with your kiddos as your laundry will literally always need to be done.
AN- Kids come first. Time goes by so FAST. You will spend most of the time trying to obtain balance and you never will.
How Has Motherhood Changed You?
KD- I have had to accept that I can’t “do it all” any more. I used to pride myself in being a perfectionist- but nothing about being a mom is done perfectly! It’s been hard to accept, but once I did it made me a lot happier.
JO- It has definitely kept me moving while slowing me down at the same time… also I’m so amazed about how much I accomplish compared to before kids.
RK- Motherhood has changed me in more ways than I ever thought it could. The way I think and process things is completely different than before I had kids.
AN- Realizing I don’t know anything. I’m constantly learning... about myself and life.
Do You Wish You Had Waited For Longer Or Had Kids Sooner?
JO- Nope! I’m right on target for all my future plans!
GW- If you wait until you’re ready you’ll never have kids. You’re never gonna be ready. I’m glad I had my twenties to find out who I was and what I wanted for my life. My husband didn’t know he wanted kids until his forties. It’s all divinely timed for sure.
How Did You Adjust Going From One Kid To Two?
LM- I went from one to three and the adjustment wasn’t easy. But, learn how to balance attention and teach your kids from the start that it’s not always equal in time and items, but always in love.
JO- I moved my mother-in-law in… haha jk sorta…She did move in, but not right away… I just made sure to make time for myself when feeling overstimulated by all the baby love and such.
AN- That was easy. It was going from 2 to 3 that seemed hardest.
What Was The Least Helpful Advice You Received Regarding Parenting?
JO- Hearing other parents say that their kid never behaved this way or that way.
RK- Sleep when the baby sleeps. I did this with my first and household chores never got done. Don't get me wrong, I took a few naps here and there, but having that "quiet time" to get things done was really needed to keep up with the housework.
GW- People always say, “just wait…” about all the “negative” aspects that are a given in the parenthood journey. Like duh, it’s hard and exhausting, but it’s literally ALL about your mindset. If I’m mad and sleep deprived, that’s my issue. Not babies fault.
What Was The Most Helpful Advice You Received Regarding Parenting Or Motherhood?
JO- To get to your kid’s level when working through an issue. It really promotes teamwork vs the feeling of a power play.
KP- The best advice about motherhood was from my own mother and she always told me to soak up the little moments because they’ll become the big ones eventually.
How Do You Keep Your Relationship (Marriage) Strong After Having A Baby?
JF- Had the baby in her room with a camera and breathe-wear.
RK- Communication. It is imperative you that communicate your needs with your partner. Don't get mad at them because they aren't being helpful. They can't read your mind that you need something.
JO- Make sure to build in date nights inside and outside the house.
What Is Your Top Must Have Baby Item That Made Mom Life Easier?
KD- Electric nail file! I hated trying to use clippers and the regular file took too long. It was my only real game-changer.
RK- Mamaroo Swing!
JO- Tush baby
BR- Owlet Sock & Camera and Hello Bello Diapers- You can pick how often you want them delivered. You can even pick out fun designs for them. Each shipment comes with wipes too!
What Is The Hardest Part During The First Few Weeks Postpartum?
JO- Breastfeeding and pumping
TSP- Breastfeeding and sleep deprivation
KP- The hardest part postpartum was finding a routine and learning my new little one. We often have an image in our minds about how things will or should go, but once we are home that usually is determined by your precious little baby.
RK- Finding a routine and learning my new baby. Every baby is different so even if something works for your first, it doesn't mean it will work for your second.
GW- Sore nipples and allowing yourself more time to heal than you think you need.
BR- Sleeping. Baby had his days and nights mixed up and boy did it suck.
On Average, How Much Did / Do You Spend On Child Expenses In A Month (childcare, food, clothes, diapers, toys, etc)?
JO- Stay at home mom probably $300-$400. Working mom/daycare kid roughly $600-$700
BR- Between $200-300.
RK- About $1,700 for two
How Do You And Your Partner Share Parenting And Household Duties?
JO- We alternate kids’ bedtime routines and typically my husband does the vacuuming and cooking and I do the laundry and organizing. My MIL does the dishes usually, but we all kinda mix it up and share it all.
RK- We kind of share it all. My husband really helped pick up the slack after we had our babies. He has been doing a lot more of the cooking, we each clean when the other one is busy and take turns with bed-time based on who a particular kid wants that night.
What Was The Most Helpful Support You Received After Having A Baby?
JF- Not having to cook and having time to take a shower.
JO- After having baby, it was so nice to have the dogs boarded so we could get settled in without their crazy energy.
RK- Having someone make us dinner!! It was such a relief not to have to worry about cooking or dishes.
AM- Honestly, someone just coming over to help do stuff around the house. Someone coming over just to hold the baby wasn't helpful to me...My anxiety went through the roof when she started crying and the person holding her just tried and tried to calm her down instead of just giving her to me to calm down. This might sound bratty, but it's truthful (for me anyway).
BR- Friends and family. We had two close people who stayed late many nights so that we could get some sleep. We also had visitors during the day that would spend time with baby so I could take a shower, nap, etc. Thank goodness for them!
What Surprised You Most About Being A Mom?
JO- How they can drive you legit nuts, but you then miss them when you take a trip without them…. Like I’ve graduated a bit from the adult partying trips to preferring the PG adventure trips with my kids.
RK- They make you bat $*!% crazy, but at the end of the day you miss them when they are asleep. WTF.
What Is Your Favorite Part About Being A Mom?
JF- Watching them grow and discover new things.
JO- Seeing my kids evolve especially when they progress from their moodier, or I guess their big emotion developmental phases I should call it to their more affectionate and excited behaviors.
AM- Watching them grow up (it's really bittersweet). When you see them learn how to do something new or when they can talk and they tell you about something you never had a clue they knew about. Little one came home talking about wood chips one day… blew my mind.
How Do You Overcome The Lack Of Sleep That Comes With Being A New Parent?
JO- You don’t fully lol. You just keep on keeping on… When they’re babies, I was lucky to sleep better since they slept through the night early on, but the toddler stage just requires a lot more energy all around. I will say setting up a solid sleep routine early on goes a long way for you to at least get a good night’s sleep most of the time. But I recognize it’s not always in your control for many reasons so just do with what you have and lean on your support system if you can to squeeze a good nap in.
RK- You don't really, you just push through it and drink a lot of coffee. Really just make sure you set a routine as early as possible. I think we started one when our baby was about 2 months old. Obviously that doesn't work for everyone, but it worked so well for us.
BR- Having an amazing support team willing to help out. Within the first 10 days, my mother-in-law kept him overnight. I don’t think I’ve ever crashed so hard. Even now, about once a month one of the sets of grands will keep him on a weekend night for us.
Becoming a mom is one of the most rewarding challenges a woman can go through. I hope you found these answers helpful and know you are supported and loved through your journey.