12 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Mom: Advice for Single Mothers


Young mother soothing baby



At 21 years old, not only was I new mom but I was a single mother. Throughout my pregnancy, I wanted to plan everything from preparing my daughter’s room to the delivery experience.

Unfortunately, I was overwhelmed with trying to be a perfectionist and figuring out how to raise my baby alone. As a result, I missed out on truly enjoying my pregnancy. Thinking back, I would have found an article similar to this one to guide me.

Instead, my experience has motivated me to help other mothers who could be going through the same thing or seeking advice to help prepare them for motherhood.

1. Living in the moment is important

Time is precious. Absorbing your pregnancy journey is essential. Your baby will grow fast, and time will move even quicker.

Start when you find out you’re having a baby, to your baby’s first milestone. These are moments you will never forget.

2. Trying to figure everything out is stressful

Goodness. I was a full-time student during my pregnancy, so I was always in my head about every little detail. I would think I had it all figured out, and then BOOM…I didn’t.

Sierra, let’s try it again. The joy is in the journey, and you will learn as you go. Your plans will change, so don’t stress about knowing every detail.


3. Breastfeeding is hard

Maybe it’s just me, but breastfeeding was a challenging task. I could not keep up with the times I was supposed to pump.

Because of this, my breast became engorged, so they were hard as rocks. I’m not trying to scare anyone, but this was more painful than labor.

I was confident I could breastfeed easily, but it didn’t turn out that way.


4. Feeling pretty again is a struggle 

I call it “Looking like somebody’s mother” because I always looked and felt tired after having my daughter.

I thought my face and body would return to normal after giving birth, but it was a journey within itself.

You must provide your body time to adjust. Focus on staying positive and understand that you have just birthed life.


5. Your definition of love will evolve

I had no idea that love felt like this. You may have a perception of what love is, but you will only understand once your baby is in your arms.

Then, there’s this overwhelming feeling of happiness, joy, and peace. Everyone says your baby will get big fast, but their milestones and phases will make you realize their growth.

Every stage my daughter has gone through, it’s like peeling an onion. She’s becoming a person with a big imagination and a beautiful personality.

She is five years old now, and our bond continues to evolve, and I love her more – if that’s even possible.


6. You cannot plan your birth experience

I had it all planned out. I played it out in my head several times. When my water breaks, I will call my parents and have them get me to the hospital. That didn’t happen.

At 38 weeks, I went to my weekly doctor’s appointment, and he decided that I needed to give birth sooner because my amniotic fluid was low.

I could still have a natural birth, but when the time came for me to push, my daughter decided to play peek-a-boo.

Instead of me being able to push her out with my efforts, my doctor had to attach a suction cup to her head and assist me. Of course, it was harmless, she came out beautiful and healthy, but it wasn’t what I had planned.

If your birthing plans do not turn out the way you envisioned, do not panic. Trust me; it is okay. Stay calm, breathe, and focus on what’s important: having a healthy baby.

An unspoken rule says that depending on how you give birth determines if you’re qualified to be a mother.

This misguided perception is an absolute lie. Your birthing experience will not make you any more or any less of a mother.

You became a mother the day you found out you were pregnant. Trust that and believe everything will happen the way it’s supposed to.


Glimpse of life being a mother



7. You will never sleep the same

To all new mothers, you will never sleep as you did before having a baby.

This feeling will not change as your baby becomes a toddler. Of course, you will receive more sleep, but it will not feel the same.

My daughter is five years old, and I still don’t sleep as I used to. I get up in the middle of the night to ensure she’s resting peacefully.

When she was an infant, I would jump up in a panic sometimes because I’d feel like I was asleep too long.

Surely enough, she would be sound asleep. Sometimes, you will wake up randomly to check on the baby.

It will also take some time to form a sleeping pattern because the baby controls your schedule.

Try to get some rest when the baby is sleeping.

You might feel like this is the time to get things done around the house, but wait, don’t do this. Squeezing in a 45-minute nap will make a difference, so take advantage of it.


8. You do not need to have a crib

I was under the impression that I needed a crib before my baby arrived. Nope.

My daughter started sleeping in her crib when she was eight months old. However, in the months prior, she would never sleep long enough in the crib, not even for a nap.

Plus, I felt more comfortable with her next to me at night.

Thankfully, I was gifted a travel bassinet to place inside the bed with me. It had a night light and sang lullabies, which helped her stay asleep.

I recommend buying a bedside bassinet first because you’ll save money if your baby doesn’t enjoy the crib. Also, having the baby within arm’s reach will give you peace of mind.


9. You will not know everything

You can read all the books and take all the classes in the world, and you still will need more preparation.

Every baby is different, so don’t get in the mindset of thinking you will have your baby figured out before they arrive.

For instance, I had a feeding plan to breastfeed and give my baby formula.

Unfortunately, I had to change my baby’s formula three times because she had acid reflux.

I had never read or heard anything about that, so I was unprepared. Long story short, as a mother, you will go through trial and error, and that’s okay.


showing mothers how to relax and self-care

10. You cannot pour from an empty cup

As mothers, we tend to neglect ourselves without realizing it.

Work on setting aside at least one day out of the week to self-care. Read a book, go for a walk, watch a new series, or get your nails done.

Do not go day by day taking care of everyone else except yourself. Over time you will become overwhelmed, stressed, and frustrated because you cannot do anything for yourself.

You must pour into your cup so that you are giving your best self to your baby.


11. The bathroom is no longer time to yourself

I’m smiling while writing about this because it never fails.

Every time I get ready to shower or use the bathroom, my daughter strolls in to ask me something.

Mommy, can I have a fruit snack? Are you busy? What are we doing today? You will constantly ask, “Can’t I use the bathroom alone?” the answer will always be “No.”

It gets better as your child gets older and becomes more independent but get ready to have a little person next to you when nature calls.


12. Social media hiatus is beneficial

I wish someone had described the benefits of a “social media hiatus” before I became a new mom. For those who don’t know, social media hiatus is when someone stops using social media.

I’m four months into social media hiatus, and it is one of the best decisions I’ve made.

The disconnection from social media will help you to focus, spend quality time with your baby, and gain a new perspective on reality. I’m not saying you need to disconnect for months but pick a timeframe (a week or one month) to embrace the present and live in the moment.


Every mother’s journey is different, but motherhood will always be a rewarding experience. I hope this article will give you some clarity. Enjoy every moment being pregnant, giving birth, and watching your little one grow.


Back to blog

1 comment

This is so beautiful and a wonderful thing that you are doing. I must say I can tell this was a well thought out thing to put in words from your appearance. I must say again your mother my (sister) birth a wonderful smart intelligent daughter. Love you niece. Keep doing what you doing I’m proud of you.

Mary Heard

Leave a comment