Motherhood, parenthood. What a world to be thrown into the deep end of! I was told and read so many things on what I would become, feel and expect once Zoe was born. It would feel incredible (intense is closer to the truth), it would change me (duh, I get no sleep), it would feel like diving into a heavenly basket of warm, fluffy marshmallows (??). Well, some of the advice and cautionary tales were on point, but honestly, I tried to keep all expectations off the table because I didn’t want to build anything up in my head about what all these new circumstances with an infant would be like, especially as a first time mom. We’ve survived the first (almost) 4 months of little Zoe, so here’s my new mommy skinny on what I didn’t expect at all. Please, leave a comment below if you have any experiences of your own to share! Let’s be open and honest about our feelings – safe space (anything judge-y will be deleted, sorry, no mom-shaming allowed on here)!

I Don’t Feel Like A Mom

There, I said it. But I mean this in the best way possible. I am so proud to be the mother of my daughter and have grown quickly into loving her to pieces. But soon after the birth, people would ask me: What’s it feel like to be a mom?! I’d think.. Me? Wait, what.. me? A mom? I’d just tell them the truth. I don’t know, I feel exactly like myself normally, only with a new little human that I don’t know very well yet to take care of. It’s as though people think there’s a “mom chip” that just gets pumped into your blood through your IV fluids during the birth and the idea that all of a sudden you’re this whole changed person, completely different from the week before, one who has thrown all their identity to the wind, just amuses me to think about. It would be the same as me asking most people how they feel “now that you’re 30”? I mean… the same as 29, probably. Plus, when I think of the word “mother”, I think of a lifetime of wisdom passed to a child, all the times she is there for you when you need her in your darkest or brightest hour, all the fights and make-ups in those teenage years, how she’s always going to be there in any way she can, watch you grow up and help to guide you. As soon as I realized that being a mother is a growth process for all your life, I stopped feeling guilty when people would ask me. I’m sure as time goes by, moments like Zoe reaching out for me, crying when I leave and actually calling me Mommy will cement my role I am blessed to have in her life.

I Discovered Muscles I Didn’t Know I Had

I mean… that little burn next to my left shoulder blade when I breastfeed (by the way there is no comfortable way to breastfeed for me), my “mommy thumb” and the pain in my fingers in the morning from picking up Zoe, moving her, playing with her etc. I didn’t know that motherhood would awaken my most delicate and deep muscles!

Dressing In What I’d Like Is Harder

At the end of my pregnancy I couldn’t wait to get back into my usual attire – I missed my pretty clothes, the dresses and all the gorgeous outfits I had been waiting to snap back into. It would feel so good! Except… no. Because I breastfeed and need access to dem booboos at all times of day. So far, I’ve refused to give into the routine of wearing only comfy sweatpants and ill-fitting nursing tops (I’ll wait till baby number 2 for that lol), so I do my best to work around it by hunting for dresses and tops that have accessible straps or zippers, cute oversized sweaters and cute button down blouses!

How Vulnerable A Love Like This Makes Me

Falling in love with my child both absolutely blew my mind and terrified me. Now I know what it’s like to have my heart living outside of my body. I know there is never going to be a time I won’t want to protect Zoe from everything and anything negative, I knew this was a love of another dimension. On some level I thought I could get away with nurturing her without letting her own my full heart and soul, but of course, that never works. Great loves are few and far between. Better to know them, live and breathe them than to resist and reject them out of fear of loss or pain. I know that if anything bad were to happen to my little girl, I would be shattered. And I must accept that fact in order to love her completely and unconditionally. That pretty much scares the crap out of me.

It Goes By So Fast (But Not Yet)

Omg, it goes by SO FAST (they tell you). Before you know it they’re turning 21 (they tell you)! Well. Apparently it does go by so fast – but only a little later down the line. I don’t know about you, but as a first time mom, these first months have gone by so slowly. Seriously, there were days in the first weeks I literally would look at the clock to see if the hour had advanced to the next, wishing for the next day to come. I think that’s because life is on repeat in those weeks and your routines are the exact same almost every hour and every day. Plus, you’re not rewarded for your efforts. Your newborn is demanding almost all of your time and energy and you get nothing from them in return yet – no smiles or laughs. That was hard for me. It gets so much better when they can interact with you during those daily routines! I started to really enjoy and appreciate my days with Zoe when she turned about 2 and a half or even 3 months old!

And those are some of the things I really didn’t see coming as a first time mom! I find this topic so interesting and fun to open up about and discuss so let me know either over on Instagram or in the comments below what you mamas didn’t expect on your journey in motherhood!

This article was originally published here. Follow Ana on Instagram.