May 26, 2024

11 Radically Honest Pieces of Advice for Soon-To-Be Parents.

In just a few short months, I will be a mom.

It’s a role that I’ve longed to take on for years, but also one that I wasn’t always sure I’d get the chance to fulfill.

I spent my 20s and 30s focused on me. Figuring out who I was as an adult, what was truly important to me, and what kind of life I wanted to live. Spending time with friends and family, taking on the responsibilities that come with growing up, and enjoying what it meant to be young and (relatively) free.

Traveling the world and building my career. Living alone and learning to enjoy my own company. Creating a supportive home and becoming a devoted dog mom. Dating the wrong people and finally finding the right one.

And contrary to what some small-minded, sexist folk may believe, I have never regretted putting myself, my personal growth, and my career and travel goals ahead of my desire to become a mother. I can have and achieve more than one dream.

In fact, I firmly believe that although pregnancy in my 40s is physically challenging, I am far more emotionally and mentally prepared to step into motherhood than I would have been in my 20s.

But one thing I’ve noticed as I inch closer to my due date is how much unsolicited advice and potentially helpful (but also is-this-really-helpful?) tips are constantly coming at new parents, from friends, family members, social media influencers, mom blogs, medical professionals, and even random strangers.

In the first few days after my positive pregnancy test, I searched two or three things on Instagram about pregnancy and motherhood. Within a few minutes, my entire feed and search tab was flooded with “All Things Mom.”

Baby registry tips. Bump pics. Pregnancy announcements. Ads for breast pumps and maternity clothes. Baby name suggestions. Exercise routines for each trimester. Prenatal diet meals. Birth plans. Car seat installation instructions. Postpartum advice.

It was information overload…and I could feel the overwhelm seeping in.

Look, as a soon-to-be new mom, I am grateful for all the parents who came before me and are willing to share their knowledge. But what I need more than Instagram-able snippets about sleep training and stroller suggestions and what foods I can and can’t eat while pregnant are honest conversations about what this next stage of life will look like—the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the terrifying.

Yes, it’s scary and overwhelming but I need to figure out who I want to be as a parent, what’s important to me, and what kind of life I want myself and my child to live.

We recently asked our loyal readers what one thing they wish they knew before becoming parents. While reading through their responses, I finally felt like I’d found the beginnings of what I was searching for.

Here are 11 radically honest pieces of advice for those of us who are still trying to figure out how this new “parent” role will fit:

“Having a kid will change who you are…it will teach you to self-reflect (if a good parent lol) and grow. It’s absolutely mindblowing.” ~ Amy

“The reality of the future I would be leaving for them and their children.” ~ Madi

“The way you speak to your child will be their internal voice…make sure it’s loving. Make them want to run to you when they are in trouble, not hide from you.” ~ Dawn

“Cherish each child, and help them develop an imagination. Read them books, even before they can talk.” ~ Candace

“Every single moment you have with your kids become memories. Yes it is true when someone tells you to live in the moment. Live it, breathe it, accept it. They transform so fast if your not paying attention you will miss it.” ~ Amber

“That it would change me completely, the intensity of my unconditional love for them forever and how it helped me understand and forgive my parents.” ~ Andrea

“Do what works for you.” ~ Laura

“How much inner work needed to be done beforehand…and how much inner work the journey was going to be, I would have therapied up, found more support in that direction.” ~ Elizabeth

“That your freedom is gone and sacrifices are huge. I became a mum at 18 and life just changed…and you forever hold their burdens in your heart.” ~ Nicola

“How much healing you need to do yourself before you have kids, so you don’t hurt your kids and perpetuate the cycle.” ~ Mai

“That I can never be who I was before.” ~ KS


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