A friend of a friend is doing a research project and needed first time moms to answer some questions. I thought I'd put them up here to see what you would have said and so I could keep this for our family story. It would be cool to see what other people sent back to her and see if I was just like everyone else, or weirder than weird as I suspect! ;)
1- What surprised you the most when you FIRST became a mom?
Honestly, what surprised me most was how much time out of the day and night was dedicated to breastfeeding. I was exhausted, but of course happy to do it, but surprised nevertheless.
2 - What was the hardest thing about your first year as a mom?
My son was colicky for the first four months and that was tricky and confusing sometimes. I just wanted to figure out what, if anything, I could do to make him happy and more comfortable. Plus, I started working from home so trying to balance that was hard too. Everyone would say, "Oh how nice. you get to work from home." But for some reason it was actually way harder and took up much more time.
3- What was the most rewarding thing about your first year as a mom?
Seeing my child be happy and cuddling up with him and nursing him...etc. I guess just basically feeling that un-ending, crazy deep love for the first time.
4- How did you handle unsolicited advice or critical comments from family or friends?
If I feel at all criticized I always want to cry and then by trying not to I sometimes make it worse. I used to worry about what others thought of me as a mother way too much and now I really dont care as much because I have realized that everyone thinks they are the expert, but each person is usually doing what is best for their own child or their own family.
5- Looking back, are there things you would have done differently as a new mom?
Not really since I didnt know then what I know now. If I could go back (and know what I know now) I would tell myself, "GO TO SLEEP and quit worrying... he can still breathe, he's not going to magically suffocate and die!" and "Give him a bottle for one night and pass him off to Grandma Linda already... the Shins will only come to Hawaii every once in a great while and he'll be fine!"
6 - What advice would you give to sisters, close friends, relatives about to have their first baby?
It sounds cheesy, but seriously, follow your instinct... if you read a thousand baby books- great- but YOU know what to do deep down inside and dont ever give up on breastfeeding because it's seems hard at first. It gets much easier and in the long run it is the easiest/cheapest option of all.