Journey To Motherhood, My first year being a mama... July 20 2012
Last week we started our Journey To Motherhood Series, as mentioned it seems only fit to start with ourselves.
We’d love to hear your story, please leave us a comment or contact us through our Twitter or Facebook page and we’ll get in touch!
Name: Donna Ladd
Hometown: Greenpoint, Brooklyn
How long have you’ve been living in Wiliamsburg/Brooklyn: 15 years
Occupation: Mom blogger @Motherburg & Co-owner MotherburgNYC
When did you first become a mother?
Almost 3 years ago.
Before becoming a mother, what did you know about motherhood? What was your idea of what you felt your life would be like?
I felt that I knew a lot since I had my son in my late 30’s , most of my friends had their kids in their early 30’s. I was an active ‘aunt’ to my friends kids. With this said I didn’t realize until after my son was born that I totally romanticized the idea of motherhood, I really didn’t realize what a change it would be bring to my life.
How would you describe the first year?
Tough. Some of my friends didn’t have it so tough but I did. My son had a hard time nursing then when he got the hang of it he was a non stop eater, he hated sleeping in his bassinet and I was not into crying it out although I was envious of my friends who did, I didn’t have the backbone for it. I was just exhausted. I remember I called my best friend crying after month 2 screaming” why didn’t you tell me it was so hard!” Her reply was that she wanted me to have kid(s) and didn’t want to scare me off.
How did you get through it?
It was a slow process, sounds a bit cliche but you get use to being sleep deprived. I went back to work when my son was 5 1/2 months, this was another adjustment but in a weird way work felt easier. I could eat, surf the web, go to the bathroom at my leisure. In all honesty I started to feel better when my son stopped teething, the teething for him was painful and painful on my husband and I, no sleep. After teething we we’re much happier.
Did it help having a family member close by?
I have both my sister in law and brother in law near by and yes, it was very helpful. They would come by in the early days so I could shower, do errands. When he entered nursery school they would help with emergency pick ups.
You’ve been a mother for 3 years now, what lessons have you learn?
To try and relax. Look for support such as local mom groups. Realize that you may not gel with all the mom groups out there. It may be just one particular person you connect with or the group may be the best thing that ever happens to you. I realize that I wasn’t a super mom group person, my personality is not super social for when I am working I am very out there and busy socializing, as a mom I wanted it to be a bit quite, if that makes any sense. However, ironically I met Jessica through the mom group she started Brooklyn Bambinos, I sort of clicked with a few moms and these are the moms I still click with. So being open and getting out of my shell helped tremendously.
Tips for new moms?
- I really like Babycenter during the first year especially, I liked the weekly update and tips on how to deal with that certain age.
- If you were Martha Stewart in the home yet keeping this up is stressing you out, try to let some of it go. I stopped making a meal from scratch everyday . I order out at least twice a week and now use shortcuts in cooking to make the evening less chaotic. I also order diapers and incidentals every two weeks. I use Diapers.com and Amazon Mom. I would become a spokesperson for these sites if they let me, that is how much I appreciate the time I saved.
- Communicate with your partner. Let them know you need help or work out a system you can agree on that helps especially in the mornings and evenings. I can’t tell you how many fellow moms wanted to straggle their husbands, this is normal, don’t hurt the spouse just talk to him/her!