Looking at the challenges of new motherhood in the first 2 years.
Becoming a mom is an exciting time for most and a scary time for all. There are so many questions with little answers. What kind of mom will you be? Will it come naturally? Are you doing what's right? Breast or bottle?
When you talk to friends and family about becoming a mom, they give you a lot of the same answers—whether or not the question was asked. It's hard but rewarding. You will sleep again. Holding your baby too much spoils them (for the record, it doesn't). But the majority of the questions and answers revolve around the first year, maybe even just the first few months, of becoming a first time mom.
Personally, the first few months were the easiest part so far. My son just turned two years old. Motherhood has been wonderful in so many ways. It's allowed me to learn about myself, taught me so many things about society and children. Honestly, all in all I love being a mother. That does not mean that it isn't difficult.
After the first few months you're so distracted and in awe of your new bundle of joy that there are many things that slip your mind. It's not until you've had some time to settle into your new role that some things start to become a little clearer. For starters, you lose yourself a little bit in your role as a mom. I find this to be especially true in younger moms. The younger you are, the less time you had to find yourself without a child, which makes it even harder for you to keep hold of that person once the baby comes.
Your body changes, and for a lot of people it doesn't go back. Not right away, and possibly not ever. Personally, even though I didn't gain a lot of weight while pregnant, I couldn't lose it after, and two years later still have about 15 pounds to go. My cousin, even though after six months she has lost the weight, she had a C-section and her stomach will never be the same. Both of these are truths for many women. Your body is just never the same as it was and it can be hard to see yourself as beautiful.
Your identity also becomes more mom than person. Now people see you as a mom. Meaning you are less of an individual with your own needs, and instead just a pawn for your child. While yes, all of us agree our children come first, you need to take care of yourself as well in order to be a good mom. For myself, I know a lot of people started asking when my piercings are coming out... because now I'm a mom. It's like the moment I gave birth I stopped being me and became someone else. For whatever reason, a lot of people have a hard time seeing through that view of me and seeing that even with a child, I'm still me. I still like the same things I did before, but now I like them and also have a kid.
As time goes on your worries about your baby become less about diapers and bottles and more about development, movement and the dangers they can get themselves into. In case anyone needs to hear it, your child will fall and hit their head. You will bump their head on the car while trying to get them into the car seat. It's all normal. Bumps and bruises become more routine and those first few weeks seem so far, and yet so close. That tiny little potato turns into a crazy, running, jumping creature who tests your every limit. Toddlers. Toddlers are the hard part. Well harder than babies. I can't speak for the older ages yet.
Now your baby is an actual person with feelings more than just hunger, tiredness and the feeling of falling. Now they want their favourite cup, only two different foods, and that toy that... crap, you left that toy at the park.
Your world as a parent changes so much in the first two years. It goes by so fast you barely even notice. Then you're helping blow out those two candles on the cake. Your baby is two. You both made it.
Two. Whole. Years.