You've read all the books, sought advice from the other moms in your circle, and purchased (or listed in the registry) all the baby supplies you think you'll need.
Kudos to you, you’re on your way to being a great mom!
But as it usually is with preparation, despite conducting all the research in the world, you will probably realise you need something else when the baby actually arrives.
The baby shopping list
Three years ago as I waddled around town with my husband, buying items we believed would complete my never-ending list of things needed to be ready for our ‘Peanut’, I thought I had it all figured out.
I was ready.
But then came the postnatal period, maternity leave and the ultimate job - being a whole mom - and I progressively realised the other items I needed for the job.
Here are five unexpected things that I have found most valuable since becoming a first-time mom.
- A solid support system: Life will be upended once you become a mom and having someone to lean on during the transition will go a long way in helping you to maintain your sanity. Sometimes you’ll need a break and you will need to have a trusted system of support that will allow you to leave the baby and just go be the woman you were before you were mommy.
- At-home entertainment: For the first two or three months after birth, the entirety of your day will see you interacting with an infant who, although you will find them criminally adorable, will not be very entertaining. There is only so much peek-a-boo, tummy time, doctor’s visits and nursery rhymes one mom can take before her brain needs more stimulation. Find something that tickles your fancy and can revivify your mind as you adjust to motherhood.
- Wireless earbuds: You may think this is strange but hear me out. This could be useful during your late night/early morning feeds or milk pumping sessions. It can get lonely or boring in these moments, but with wireless earbuds, you can listen to music/podcasts without the hassle of dealing with pesky cords or the fear of waking a sleeping baby. These become more useful as your child gets older, and you lose all rights to the family TV, which will mostly be tuned to your munchkin’s favourite cartoon.
- A reassuring/understanding pediatrician: Becoming a mom will be a scary and overwhelming experience. So, having a medical professional who is in your corner will help to allay your fears and concerns about your child’s development. You will need someone who understands what you are going through, is accessible, open to answering your queries, and is not condescending when you ask ‘stupid’ questions.
- Your Mom Gut: As you become accustomed to motherhood and bond with your child, your mom intuition (mom gut) intensifies. You can sense when something is off just by how your child breathes, cries or even poops. And though there may be no science behind it, your mom gut can be your most valuable asset as you properly advocate for your child.
The mommy journey
Motherhood will be one of the most rewarding and frustrating jobs you will ever have.
But having items to help you along the journey will certainly make things a little easier. You can do this, mama!