I wanted to share some of the most important things I’ve learned and feel all new moms should know. When you’re pregnant you get a lot of advice, even if unsolicited, and some of it is true, some of it's helpful, some of it's annoying.  Despite the information overload from friends and family, there's a handful of things I wish someone clued me in on Looking back on the past year I've spent being a "first time mom" there is 

1. Prioritize Self-care. It's important:

if you take away only one thing from this please let it be that you need to carve out the time to care for yourself.  Self care is the biggest way you can care for your baby. Taking time out to care for yourself doesn't make you a bad mom.  In the long run it'll leave you happier, more content.

2. Being a mom can be very isolating at times

3. It's important to nurture your relationship/marriage with your partner daily

4. Your body may not bounce back or look the way you expected.

5.  Motherhood In Real Life isn't anything like Motherhood On Social Media

6. Making mom friends isn't always easy: Whether you have a lot of friends all having babies at the same time as you or if you find a group of women through your birth classes, post-birth classes/groups, online, or any other way once you find your tribe show them some love.  

7. Take all your preconceived parenting notions and throw it out the door: Being a mom has a major learning curve and just because something worked for someone else, does NOT mean it will work for you and/or your baby. This may be harder for some but you just have to go with the flowwww. In the first 6 months I've already done these 10 things I said I would never do.

8. Lower Your Expectations: the reality is that the only thing you can truly prepare for when it comes to being a mom is to expect the unexpected.

9. Don't Put So Much Pressure on Yourself.  There's no official right or wrong rule book for being a mom.  You probably will make a mistake or two throughout the day but you are doing a great job.

10.  Don't Worry when your baby doesn't meet every milestone:  After being born 2 months premature, my daughter's missed a milestone or two along the way. I remember being in the NICU, watching smaller babies come in after her and leave before her after hitting milestones for discharge.  It was frusturating but eventually she got there and it sorted itself out.

11. Breastfeeding isn’t easy or guaranteed: not producing enough can be stressful, but overproducing has its own set of problems too. Hello engorgement! So if you can’t, for one reason or another, don’t beat yourself up!

12. Comparison is the thief of Joy:  Refrain from comparing the mom you imagine yourself to be to the moms you see around you. 

13. You can't really plan your birth experience. I was not a woman who wanted to have a c-section and I certainly didn't plan on going into labor two months early but it happened and it was

14. You will NOT sleep when your baby sleeps (even though you should): You'll hear…”sleep when your baby is sleeping.” but the reality is you wont because it will be the only time to care for yourself, pick up the house, or tackle your to-do list. 

15. It’s OK for your baby to cry: Crying is how your baby communicates (especially in the early months).

16. It’s OK to ask for help: They don’t say, “It takes a village…” for nothing! 

17. The struggle is real: And I mean this in every sense. The struggle to figure out motherhood, is real. If there was ever a "learn on the job" kind of job.  Parenthood would be it.

18. Being the Perfect Mom is a Myth: There is no one way to be the perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.  Do What Works For You!

19. The Laundry Piles Never End

20.  Be Present & Enjoy it because it will be fast.