There’s a reason why there are countless books about being pregnant, giving birth, and raising tiny humans. While so many of them are genuinely informative (to downright life-saving), a huge percentage of baby books mostly prey on the fierce insecurity of first-time parents, who have literally never done this before. We will take all the advice we can get, and yes, we will pay money for it. In the end, nothing can truly prepare you for motherhood, which is why so many mothers have at least one thing they wish they had known before having their first kid.
When I got pregnant, I quizzed my mom, visited all the websites, and pestered my two mom friends to share everything they knew about parenting. My first pregnancy was very much planned and my parents had raised me to be a decent human being, so I wasn’t worried I’d fail miserably at being a mom. Still, no matter how much I thought I knew, it just wasn’t enough. When my first kid was born, it didn’t matter how hard I had studied; there were some things that took me completely by surprise.
I didn’t realize how little a baby could sleep. My newborn daughter would nap for maybe 30 minute stretches; barely enough time for me to shower and brush aside the remnants of my last meal before I was parked on the couch with her for another hour-long feeding session. I had no idea that my body would react so viscerally to her; my heart froze in my chest every time she cried, my gut seized when someone reached out to touch her, and endorphins flooded my whole body whenever I experienced “let down” when breastfeeding her. I have never felt more powerful than when I got that rush nursing her in the early months.
So, for every time a first-time mom thinks “I got this,” there are countless moments when we could have used a heads up. Having a baby rocks your world, and these 37 moms share the one thing they wish they had known before the ground underneath their feet started shaking: