5 Things I’ve Learned In the First Few Days of Motherhood

Photo taken by my mom shortly after baby Brian arrived!
Photo taken by my mom shortly after baby Brian arrived on February 12, 2014!

I have been a mother for exactly 11 days, which by no means makes me an expert on parenthood. But I’ve learned a lot in these last few days, and while I know I still have a lot more to learn, here are some of my reflections on new motherhood about a week and a half into this wild journey:

1) The cliches are true. When I look at baby Brian, all I can think is that he is such a miracle. My husband (Brian Sr.) and I look at each other incredulously and say, “Can you believe we created him!?” Sometimes I just stare at him and start to tear up because I love him so much. Parenthood is a beautiful thing.

2) Parenthood is also difficult. Until 11 days ago, I never truly understood when people would say that it’s the hardest job in the world. I guess it’s different for every parent, but for me, I find the hardest part is worrying about making the right decisions for the baby and our family as a whole.

3) It actually does take a village. I don’t know how we would have gotten through these first few days without my parents and other family members. Between my mom bringing me coffee and a bagel every morning, holding the baby while I showered, helping with baby Brian’s first bath, listening to me when I just need to cry – my dad running around getting last-minute items that Brian Sr. and I needed – and both my parents and my in-laws helping with our dogs – the people around us have been the glue that held us together during these first few days of parenthood.

4) A little encouragement goes a long way. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing everything wrong, and most of the time I feel like a hot mess, so whether it’s someone telling me, “You’re doing a great job,” or my husband randomly telling me, “You look so beautiful right now” (especially when I’m not feeling so beautiful), reassurance and praise really get you through some of those I-have-no-idea-what-I’m-doing and wait-when-is-the-last-time-I-showered moments.

5) I really should never say “never.” Because I once said I’d never use a photo of just my child as my Facebook profile picture… and yet this is the photo currently holds that spot:

Baby Brian

But let’s be honest – he is too adorable not to share with the world, right?

What types of things did you learn as a new parent?


About Audrey

Audrey McClelland has been a digital influencer since 2005. She’s a mom of 5 and shares tips on her three favorite things: parenting, fashion and beauty. She’s also a Contemporary Romance Author.

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  1. 2.23.14
    Laura Amaral said:

    So happy for you Jane!! The joy you will find in baby Brian is just the beginning. To think this little guy grew below your heart is amazing. Enjoy every moment, even the tough ones. They will pass, I promise! It’s awesome that you have a great support system. I would be lost without my family! Lots of love to you.

  2. 2.23.14

    Baby Brian is definitely too adorable to not share with the rest of us!! The thing that surprised me most all those years ago when I was having my girls was how little sleep I could get by on and how wonderful a well deserved shower could feel. Give yourself some time to let it all fall into place. It will, I promise. I know you are doing a great job at motherhood. Look at the amazing example you have in your own mother. xoxo

  3. 2.23.14
    Dawn said:

    You are blessed to have the village. I knew you would have help, and I’m really glad that you do. The first two months are the hardest, in my opinion. Once you find your confidence, you’ll feel better knowing that you’re doing your very best, and that truly is all we can do. I am so glad that you’re doing well – even if you’re tired, you’re experiencing something – the Very First One – that will be with you forever. Love you guys!

  4. 2.23.14

    Janie… you may not feel it right now, but you are a natural nurturer, a natural Mommy. You always have been. You love from your heart, and your mind is right up there with your heart. You are so intuitive and so smart and you know when to ask for help. THAT is so important… the help thing. I know I keep telling you this, but it DOES take a village, and in our society we let our new mothers go home to do the motherhood mystery and magic all by themselves. We don’t help our new Moms gather the villagers, the wise ones, the seasoned ones, the loving ones. Our mothers labor, give birth, have a visit or two from medical professionals and then “see ya.” Come back in 6 weeks. If you’re not incredibly wealthy or have relatives close by, it is so difficult to come home alone with a new life to care for around the clock. You are doing a masterful job of loving our little guy… and I know your sister and sisters-in-law and friends are checking in to help… so keep asking, keep loving, keep doing such a wonderful, wonderful, joyful, joyful job of what you’re doing with our beautiful guy ~ resting, recovering and LOVING! I love you, Honey and I will ALWAYS be here/near! xoxox!

  5. 2.24.14
    donna said:

    Jane, he is so beautiful!! I totally understand how you feel about not being able to believe you created him. It truly is a miracle!! You did create him and he would not be “him” if you and Brian were not the parents. The love in your heart will grow and grow. I am so happy for you. Love you all so much!!

  6. 2.24.14
    Elaine said:

    Congratulations on baby Brian, Jane. He is beautiful!

  7. 2.24.14
    Lizette said:

    It’s the weirdest thing… We’ve been FB friends for a long time and I’ve watched your belly grow and could not help smiling when you posted your first photo of Baby Brian. (That sounds creepy, but please bear with me). I felt just like you when my twins were born, 12 years ago, and I still get that “are-they-really-all-mine?” feeling whenever I look at them. I wish that, instead of all the advice I got when they were babies, people rather told me to relax and trust my instincts and they would be the awesome kids they are today. Yesterday again, I realized that picking your battles, especially as they grow up, is one of the best things you can do for you. Congratulations, and enjoy your beautiful baby.

  8. 2.24.14

    Beautiful baby! Congratulations.

  9. 2.24.14
    Calypso said:

    Jane, Congrats on becoming a new mommy. It’s a wild and wonderful ride.
    Those first couple months were CRAZY. EXHILARATING. TRAGIC. MESSY.

    When I went back to work, there were days when I’d wonder where that awful smell was coming from.. then I realized it was me. Baby spit up on my shoulder. White blouse. It happens.

    This is when you know who you REAL friends are.

    Cherish them forever.

  10. 2.24.14

    I teared up reading this because I remember feeling this way and still do sometimes. Being a patent is the hardest thing I’ve ever done and by far the best! You are a natural I’m sure, as you’ve been raising some pretty wonderful doggies like they’re your children. You’re right about needing help, a little goes a long way. What a blessing your beautiful boy is!

  11. 2.24.14
    Marcella said:

    So happy for you, he is adorable.

  12. 2.26.14

    We all earn the true feeling of ‘exhaustion’

  13. 2.26.14
    Rhonda said:

    It’s great that you have such a wonderful support group in your family. You are so blessed. I have no doubt that you are a great mommy to little Brian and everything will fall into place in time as you get use to this new adventure. He is just so handsome.

  14. 2.27.14

    Beautiful, Jane and spot on!! Having that support is so necessary, and I know you are doing a fantastic job as a mom!! If you ever need anything, I’m not far away! Benjamin was shown pictures of Baby Brian and he has already asked if they can play. 😉

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