5 Things I Learned as a First Time Mom

Author: Weiting Bollu | August 2022

Today marks 70 days since I became a new mom. It's been a very rewarding experience watching a live human being grow. It still feels so surreal and I thank him for showing me a different side to life - the #momlife!

Reminder: I am an Exclusive Pumping mother. This means I pump breast milk to feed baby Kian in a bottle.

#1: Patience

Baby Kian is generally very calm, that is until he gets hungry. Babies at 1-2 months feed roughly every 2-3 hours, and occasionally lasting 4 hours. This means that we jot down every single feed to the minute in a notebook to remind us of his feeding times.

What I learned is that when babies need to feed, THEY NEED TO FEED! They come with baby-grunts, baby-cries, and their whole body stretches in ways that surprise me every single time. It only takes ~5 minutes to heat up the milk but sometimes, I am late to the game. When I'm late, it almost feels like the end of the world. Wow, they are very impatient!

On the rare times, I can time it down to +/- 10 minutes before Baby Kian wakes up. Some of these moments are pure wins because the milk is already heated and I catch him just before he gets antsy. It's absolutely perfect and I feel so good!

Because of baby Kian's impatience to feed on-demand, it has taught me patience. It has allowed me to take in what true impatience feels and looks like. I've taken deep breaths and I've just watched him in awe (or with raised eyebrows 🤨). I cannot believe such a small body can make such drastic movements and noises.

#2: Delegation

There are times when I'd be pumping breast milk and arranging bottles for washing. Or, feeding baby Kian and trying to start the nursery rhyme music. I've spilt milk and I've fumbled with my phone. I've learned that I'm still just as terrible at multitasking as I've been before. I've started to do less multitasking and instead, delegating it out to whoever wants to take part in assisting me.

Once I started doing that, I felt a huge relief to be able to share duties such as feeding baby Kian, mowing the lawn, washing bottles, cleaning dirty dishes, making meals, and doing the laundry. To be able to share is something I feel I got even better at - especially if someone else is better or faster than I am.

Of course, I'm very fortunate to have a mother who is a Doula, as well as a spouse who shares an equal mental and work load. I recognize that not everyone has the same circumstance.

#3: Fun

Vishal and I have been trying to find ways that entertain our family of three. That means finding activities to do and/or ways we can laugh together. Putting a smile on each others' face is such a delight. Even though Kian only smiles by muscle twitch right now, it makes me smile every time he smiles. He doesn't even know he's smiling! Soon, we will get purposeful smiles and it'll be an even more delightful experience.

We do this because I know that time is too short. More than a decade ago, Vishal and I went to see our first movie together as awkward teenagers. Now, we now have baby Kian.

Some things we've done over the last 2 months are:

  • Movies for Mommies where we get to watch a movie at the theatre with other caregivers of babies

  • An afternoon at Woodbine Beach

  • Downtown Toronto Waterfront stroll

  • Restaurants of all kinds (buffets to sit-downs to fast food)

  • Swimming for babies

  • Friends' housewarming or dinner gatherings

  • A stroll at a nearby mall

  • Walks around the neighbourhood - every other day

  • Exercising with Kian watching us

I'm selling Kiwis of different sizes today.
Making a personalized book for Vishal's first Fathers' Day Celebration.
Vishal is taking a stroll at a park.

#4: Empathy

When Kian is uncomfortable, he lets us know in facial expressions. It's very interesting that a little human being can emit so much emotion on their face. There are times when the little squeals come out, or the times when the face pout begins and the tears start filling the eyes. When these things take place, we are sprinting to diagnose what is happening. I hear it, and I feel it too. New mamas want to know what's bothering their little one and soothe them ASAP.

Over time, I seeing life through the lens of a 2-month old and I believe it has helped me improve my empathy skills. I continuously come across the thought that someone in Kian's shoes won't know XYZ or can only do ABC so he needs a little extra care. It keeps me grounded.

#5: Unconditional Love

To think that all of the women out there who delivered a human being out of a minuscule cell, is absolutely unfathomable. I still cannot believe it.

These days, Kian has begun to smile when we talk to him or when we attempt to entertain him. The smiles make me smile every single time. It's hard to explain the feeling a mother has towards their baby.

Now, I understand how my parents feel when they look at me!