So you now have a new little life in your home, and you are learning new things all the time. You are probably finding that there is more to this whole motherhood thing than you ever imagined. Much of it comes to you instinctively. You're learning what the different cries mean and how to change a diaper without having to change your own clothes afterward.
There are, however, a few important truths that may seem contrary to everything you thought you knew. Here they are:
Naptime trumps dirty dishes
Growing a little life inside of you was exhausting, but it was nothing compared to the "on-call 24/7" life you now live. You may have been a meticulous housekeeper before, but now you might realize the importance of taking care of yourself first. When the baby sleeps, you need to take advantage of that time to get some much needed rest. You will quickly learn that some things can wait.
The bathroom will never be your sanctuary again...until it's time to scrub it. When children are infants, they lie in a seat while you shower. When they are toddlers, there will be endless catastrophes while you try to take a quick break. When they are pre-teens, everything they need to know will be asked through the locked door. When they are teenagers, they figure out that the best way to get a "yes" answer from you is to ask through that same locked door. But, don't worry. You will get the bathroom to yourself again when you are cleaning it and the children are nowhere to be found.
Don't expect a hot meal. Ever. As babies, children scream to be fed the minute you sit down. As they grow, they will invariably need something, and then they'll need something else. Learn to put everything on the table your children could possibly need before you sit down. Better yet, have your children get up and get their own needed items — unless it's a heavy gallon of milk (see Floors).
Floors become great places for babies to graze. Old crumbs, dust bunnies, pennies and bits of paper are all things you quickly learn to see from your little one's eye level. You will notice things you never noticed before. Vacuuming and mopping will become more frequent. Floors will become the only clean thing in the house. That is, until your baby begins to walk. After that, don't ever expect to see clean floors again. Spills, muddy shoe prints and play dough caked into carpet all become new indoor landscaping options — and it's OK.
You won't fit into your jeans right away. You won't be the same size leaving the hospital as you were pre-pregnancy. It just doesn't work that way. Be patient. Love your body for the brilliant miracle it just performed! Your husband may fit into his jeans just fine, but he can't do what you just did.
If you choose to breastfeed, bear in mind that breastfeeding is not instinctual and must be learned. It is an area for patience. Keep at it. Don't give up. You will probably worry that your baby isn't getting enough and will starve to death. Not the case. It's just that breasts don't come see-through with ounce marks on them.
Baby sleep patterns
It is not normal for babies to sleep through the night, and your girlfriend who says her 6-week-old does is probably a liar. Babies run through milk quickly with their rapid growth and development. Your baby will need to be fed so frequently that you might think you'll never have a moment to yourself again. You will.
You may very well hate your husband as he sleeps through the nocturnal feedings, the changings, the teething and the mystery fevers. It won't last. If he ever reasons his way out of those duties by saying the words that every woman hates hearing ("But, I have to work"), just don't do anything that will land you in jail. Baby needs you just now.
There's so much to learn. Motherhood will feel like a crash course, but learn to laugh and enjoy. Children grow so fast. Love every minute of being a new mom. Next time, you'll be the expert dispensing advice to the newbies.