What I wish I had known about motherhood: Real mom wisdom

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the nearly five years I’ve been a mother, it’s this: Fellow mothers are the best source of no-BS, tell-it-to-you-straight mom wisdom you’ll ever hope to encounter. The trouble is we don’t always ask the right questions (or even know what they are), and you probably don’t have other sources telling you the straight-up truth about TMIs like post-birth constipation and just how world-rocking having a baby is. Nearly everyone has at least one “what I wish I had known” detail—so I’m sharing those tidbits of been there, done that know-how from a whole tribe of mom bloggers.

Below, you’ll read about everything: the good (the overwhelming love of your bubs!), the bad (mastitis—need I say more?) and the ugly (postpartum depression and anxiety are real—and all too common). So before you have a “what I wish I had known” about motherhood moment, read on. I can pretty much guarantee you’ll learn something from this mom wisdom—I know I did!

What I wish I had known about motherhood, from breastfeeding to postpartum depression: Mom wisdom from 20 mommy bloggers. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

The best mom wisdom from 20 mom bloggers

What I wish I had known about motherhood: Mom wisdom from 20 mommy bloggers. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

What I wish I’d known about the physical stuff

What is going to come out of where?

“TMI alert: I wish I had known that pooping (for the first time) after giving birth would be scarier than giving birth!” -Abigail at Life with Abby D

Breastfeeding can be tough—and you may need support

“I’m the first of my friends and family to breastfeed longer than a month or so, and I wish I’d had more support. I’m 15 months in but I wanted to give up before. I struggled with making sure I was pumping enough but someway, somehow, we always had enough for the next day.” -Artina at As Told by Tina

Breastfeeding can have complications

“The one thing I was unprepared for (other than how difficult the pregnancy could be) was nursing. I knew I wanted to nurse my kids; however, no one told me about engorgement when your milk supply first comes in, I didn’t know about mastitis (which I suffered from 6 times in the first 5 months) or that you need to be relaxed when you nurse or your milk doesn’t properly let down.” -Julia at The Quiet Grove

What I wish I’d known about baby care

Boobs FTW

“I wish I knew sooner that the key to feeling confident going out in public with a newborn is being able to nurse in my carrier! It changed EVERYTHING for me! Boob solves everything.” -Midori at Midorilei

You can manage on your own with a baby

“I wish I knew or had some reassurance on how to cope with a newborn baby once my hubby returned to work! But with a bit of planning, you can make your life a little bit easier for yourself once you are left to care for the baby on your own. Start by initiating a routine that will work for both you and baby. The best way to do this is by working things around your baby’s existing routine.” -Keyshia at Mommy Intentionally. (For a full post on adjusting to life after your partner returns to work, read her full post here.)

You don’t have to do it solo

“I wish I knew how much it helps to have support and that I didn’t have to try to do everything. It’s absolutely acceptable to ask for help with things you need help with—and turn down help when it’s something you don’t need help with.” -Erin at Pajama Mama Monday

Motherhood is not like babysitting

“I wish I had known that all of my babysitting and watching kids, and my patience in those situations was no preparation for the total sleep-deprived-this-baby-is-here-24/7 situation. I was so patient with kids I babysat. I never yelled really before I had kids. The sleep deprivation puts everything in a whole different ball game and it is hard to operate, much less be patient and composed.” -Amanda at Mummy Confessions

Not every stage is your favorite

“I wish that someone told me that it gets more fun. Newborns are adorable, but I found my kids got exponentially more interesting and fun the older they got. I have a four-year-old and one-year-old right now and they can be frustrating as hell, but they can also be absolutely delightful.” -Shannon at We’ll Eat You Up We Love You So

What I wish I had known about motherhood, from breastfeeding to baby care: Mom wisdom from 20 mommy bloggers. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

What I wish I’d known about the struggle

Sometimes bad stuff is totally normal

“People seem to be so forthcoming with their thoughts and opinions when they’re good (like ‘You’ll never forget that first moment you meet your baby!’) but it seems like the not so fun stuff (like witching hour crying) isn’t talked about as regularly. I remember there were about 6 weeks where my daughter screamed from 4-9pm every single night. Apparently this witching hour is quite ‘normal’ but no one ever mentioned it or told me that even though it’s called witching hour it can actually last for HOURS!” -Alyssa at The Country Mama

New motherhood is hard

I wish I would’ve known that maternity leave wouldn’t be the relaxing vacation I had envisioned in my head. I didn’t really realize how exhausting my days would be with a crying, gassy, reflux baby! Not sure I was prepared mentally for that!” -Allie at Mommy Messenger

Postpartum depression and anxiety are real

“I wish I was more aware of the signs of PPD and PPA, and that they could sneak in and make me doubt every single decision I made. I wish I would’ve known so I would’ve said something to my hubby and doctor earlier.” -Aryn at With Cream and Sugar.

Having two kids is tough

“I wish I would have known more about what to expect with two children. I remember friends telling me that having one more child is not that much different that having one. They clearly didn’t have two kids under 3! Yet as they both grew it did get easier. They became each other’s first best friend.” -Crystal at Busy Mom Diary

What I wish I had known about motherhood: Mom wisdom from 20 mommy bloggers. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

What I wish I’d known about becoming a good mom

Mistakes are ok

“I wish I knew that is okay to have bad days and to not strive for perfection in parenting.” -Cherralle at My Daily Cake

It goes fast

“I wish I knew how quickly time went by. I wish I had not sweated the small stuff so often.” -Sara at Cook with 5 Kids

You change—big time

“I wish someone would have talked about how to adapt to losing the ‘old you’ to the ‘new mom you.’ No one prepares you for how your entire life changes and that it will be ok—that you will find your new way.” -Stefanie at The Red Lip Diaries

There’s no point in following all the advice

“I wish I’d known how confusing it would all be as a first time mum: There is so much advice given to you by so many different people. In the crazy newborn days it’s harder to pick and choose what advice to follow, especially at 3am with a crying baby, so it’s easy to doubt yourself. Pick people who you completely trust, and go to them first. Feel free to seek additional opinions—someone new can have helpful advice!—but don’t go crazy trying to follow lots of differing advice.” -Mica at Away from Blue

You know your child best

“There will always be a critic no matter what you do, and in this day and age where we google everything and the opinions make us think that we are failing at the parenting thing… do not be discouraged.  You are your child’s best advocate and trust your instincts.  Never back down from fighting for what you feel is right for your child.” -Bethany at Delightfully Frazzled

The best quotes about motherhood, and the best wisdom from mommy bloggers. Ten Thousand Hour Mama

What I wish I’d known about my own strength

There’s no preparing for motherhood

“I wish I’d known I could never really be prepared for motherhood. Despite taking all the classes, and reading the pregnancy books, and Googling every random thought I’d have in the middle of the night, none of it prepared me for the immense amount of love and responsibility I felt for my son the moment he was put into my arms.” -Nina at Chaos in Motherhood

We can do it ’cause we’re moms

“I wish I’d known my own strength and that of all mothers—I wish I’d known how amazing women truly are! Having a child is just as much a discovery of yourself as a person as well as bringing a human being into the world. We made people! And our strength in that process is unprecedented.” -Jo-Elle at The Yorkshire Pudding

It’s all worth it

“I wish I knew that motherhood would be the most amazing and challenging ride of my life. Being a mom is a tough yet rewarding job; the good moments definitely outweigh the bad ones.” -Orly at Orly C


Tell me: What do you wish you’d known about motherhood? Share below in the comments!

12 thoughts on “What I wish I had known about motherhood: Real mom wisdom

  • September 5, 2017 at 9:23 am
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    What a great roundup that includes tips and also just that a mom isn’t alone in what she’s going through

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    • September 5, 2017 at 10:38 am
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      That’s such a good point, Pech. I hadn’t thought about that: I hope a mom sees this and realizes she’s in very good company, no matter what she’s going through!

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  • September 5, 2017 at 2:36 pm
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    I love this post and all the great advice that those of us who are NOT moms would have no idea about…

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    • September 6, 2017 at 9:24 am
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      The thing is, many moms don’t know this stuff, either! No one talks about this, and the books can’t cover everything.

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  • September 5, 2017 at 5:54 pm
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    I love all of these. There is this competition that everyone likes to pretend is nonexistant and having your own little tribe of support can really help you while things are changing. great read!

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    • September 6, 2017 at 9:19 am
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      Thanks Dijana! Yes, it’s SO crucial to have a group of other women to support you instead of tear you down.

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  • September 6, 2017 at 6:41 am
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    So much wisdom!! Love hearing the advice from real moms. The breastfeeding in the carrier tip is so smart!

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    • September 6, 2017 at 9:23 am
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      Yep – moms definitely give the best insider advice! Also, BFing in a carrier totally saved me, too. 🙂

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  • September 6, 2017 at 1:24 pm
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    This is so real, raw, and uplifting — the perfect combination. Thank you so much for putting it together!

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  • September 7, 2017 at 8:14 am
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    I wish I knew how little support we would have and of better ways to prepare for this. With our first I had visions of friends and family dropping meals off, coming by to do a load of dishes or laundry and holding our fussy baby so that we could get a few minutes to eat, sleep or shower. The reality was we had one friend who generous dropped off two meals and our doula dropped off a few groceries. That was it. Oh how I wish I had a postpartum doula back then (or even knew what one was). These days I am doing my best to help my friends with new babes because I know how much I wish someone would have done more to help us. I also suggest everyone read The First Forty Days.

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    • September 7, 2017 at 10:37 am
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      I haven’t read that but now am so curious! Your comment is such a good reminder for all of us to pitch in and be the village every new mom needs. Hugs to you Lindsay!

      Reply

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