When you’ve got a new baby on the way, there are so many choices you need to make, it really becomes overwhelming. No matter what advice anyone else offers, you still often feel lost. (If you don’t, or didn’t, you’re either a liar or Superwoman.) for me, signing up for a new moms class at Amma Parenting was easily one of the best things I did for myself- and in turn my little one as well.
I will be the first to admit, as a mom, you really do forget about the struggles of the previous stages your child went through. Of course not in a complete sense- like I know waking up every few hours was rough, and there were a few weeks I know we absolutely dreaded bedtime as it was a loud, screamfest and tearful event (everyone cried at some point during those early days) but having made it through, it’s never that bad looking back. So this being said, as a new mom, it’s often frustrating to hear your more experienced mom friends tell you it will get better. I found it much more comforting to sit with a group of women with little ones experiencing the same things at the same time. It’s really nice to know someone else only got 3 hrs of sleep the night before too, and that there was someone else out there cleaning up a poopy diaper explosion (and I mean EXPLOSION) that same morning. The class was also taught by a nurse/lactation consultant, meaning we also had someone to go to with nursing questions or if we wanted to know if our own postpartum healing was normal. I definitely experienced the “baby blues,” maybe even a mild grade of postpartum depression, as the first few weeks I would turn into a complete emotional wreck in an instant. My moms group gave me a place to go and not feel crazy. It helped me realize I was a good mom, and that good moms are still good moms even when they’re going through a terrible day. No matter how supportive your spouse, partner, or family is, sometimes you just feel like they don’t have a clue what you’re going through. Having a room full of people in the same boat as you, helps. Really.
Some parts of being a parent are truly awful. Saying this out loud will often draw a lot of criticism. It should go without saying my son is the greatest gift I have ever known. But this group of women listened and didn’t judge when we would have conversations that started with, “I love my baby, but…”
I think the greatest part, is you gain a support team. A year and a half later, we are still in contact. Not constant contact, as we’re all busy. Most of us work full time, a couple have already had baby #2. But it’s always nice to know you can shoot out an email if something comes up and you’ve still got the support of that group.
Did you join a mom group or new mom class? Feel free to comment about your experience!