I Wasn’t Prepared to be a Mom

I had my first baby in 2010 and to be honest, I didn’t know much about being a mother at all…much less about things like car seat safety.  I’m not sure how the universe allowed me to have a child when I was so clueless about everything.  Parenthood has been the biggest roller coaster ride of my life, and I’m nowhere near close to the end of the ride!  Everything I thought I knew about life sort of got thrown out the window.  I quickly learned the importance of being humble and open to receiving advice and help…even though it can be annoying at times to receive unsolicited advice.  But many seasoned parents do have a lot of valuable knowledge to impart.  So, we should try to listen (and if they’re crazy, just smile and nod, and then throw their “advice” out the window).

I’ve dealt with post-partum depression and anxiety throughout the years.  Nothing has brought me more to my knees than these struggles in mental health.  I formerly had a “pull yourself up from your bootstraps and get over it” type of mentality.  I painfully learned that with many mental health challenges, you are unable to come through it without receiving help.  It is hard to ask for help.  Many times we think “well I’m glad that person got some medication…but I’ll never need to,” or “Good for her for getting into counseling…but that’s not for me.”  Who are we to think we are too good for help?  Where did that train of thought come from?  Being self-reliant is good, but having the clarity and sense to know that you can’t do everything by yourself is better.

There’s no doubt I’ve made mistakes.  Every parent does.  That’s why I’m here writing this blog.  I’m not here to tell people that they are doing it wrong because I’m so amazingly perfect and I know everything.  Quite the contrary.  I’ve learned from trial and error how to find your way through the tough times, and to recognize the joy during the good times.

My life with three boys. So much has changed!

My perspective on matters of safety has also been formed through a similar process.  I’m quite sure that for the first two years of my son’s life, his car seat(s) were installed incorrectly.  I had no idea.  There was no “class” to tell me how to do this.  I trusted my husband to do the hard work of installing the car seat, but I’m pretty sure neither of us read the manuals.  I slowly began learning through friends and in online forums that there were a lot more “rules” to car seats than I realized.  I figured it was all just common sense and self-explanatory.  NOPE.  No one told me this stuff!  It wasn’t in the baby books.  Now I had a full awareness that making mistakes in this area is dangerous.  We need help to make sure we get things right.  I was blown away at how much I didn’t know, and for how long I didn’t know it.

I became certified as a Child Passenger Safety Technician in 2015 so I could help other parents like me.  Parents who loved their children and wanted to do their best at raising them, but for one reason or another, simply lacked the knowledge that was needed to keep their kids safe while doing one of the most dangerous activities we ever do–driving.  Let’s help each other, parents…and do so with a spirit of compassion and empathy.  No one wants to be talked down to.  We all want to have respect…so let’s give it out as well.

My car seat game improved as time went on!

31 Comments

  1. I don’t think any of us are prepared to be mommies! It’s amazing how those first borns survive 😂 Love that your a car seat safety tech. I’m a little bit obsessed with car seat safety too!

  2. I remember having a slight case of PPD after my son was born but I don’t at all remember my OB/GYN or anyone else asking how I was feeling mentally/emotionally. I thought I was completely crazy since I’d been sooooo ecstatic about having him.

    • Thank you for sharing. It’s so important to talk about things like this.

  3. Honest with practical advice! I appreciate that you named the anxiety and give us your action plan to overcome the same anxiety.

  4. I don’t have kids but plan to adopt one day. I always think how unprepared I am even though I am learning with my nieces, but I think we all just learn as we go. It’s funny how my sister in law was with the first baby vs. the second. I mean we had to wash our hands to touch the first baby and the second one was eating food off the floor, lol!

  5. Honestly, I don’t think anyone is prepared or “ready” to be a mother. Even though I am not a mother I know it takes a lot of dedication and love to be a mother. It’s something that doesn’t come naturally. 🙂

  6. We were prepared for a lot, and I was naive about many things. I can totally relate!

  7. Some practical advice. All the books in the world can’t prepare you for the real thing. Lack of sleep may have contributed.

  8. You can try and learn all you can, but I don’t think anyone is ever ready to be a mom! I know I wasn’t!

  9. I was also unprepared to have my first. I had never been around babies in my life. I doubt if I had ever even held a baby before him.

    • I hadn’t been around babies very much either. I think it makes a difference!

  10. Love your honesty! Is anyone ever TRULY prepared to become a parent?? LOL

  11. As a fellow sufferer of PPD as well as being self-reliant to the core, I could totally relate to this. Thing is, motherhood is a, sometimes uncomfortable, growing and stretching. But aren’t we the better for it in the end?

  12. Just follow your heart and love your children. Everything else will fall into place.

  13. Car seats and the way to connect them in cars is so much better than when my kids were small 18 years ago.

    • Isn’t that the truth! But just think of how there weren’t even any car seats (or seat belts!) when we were little! Thank goodness for safety improvements. *Love* the images of how Kristen’s car seat game has improved!

  14. I didn’t suffer PPD with my first, but transitioning from no kids to one kid was the hardest for me. It is one of the most selfless and difficult tasks, becoming a mother.

  15. You know the joke about the third baby being the baby you worry the least about? I’m glad that you learned as you went and that your third baby gets the benefit of your experience and knowledge in this area!

  16. The new rules regarding car seats are so confusing, I’m glad you are helping others keep their babies safe!

  17. Thanks for sharing! I was not prepared to become a mom either and depression snuck in!

  18. As parents we can only do the best we can. Depression and anxiety suck. Soon there are more good days than bad and it gets a little easier. just a little lol

  19. Good for you for helping others! I was totally prepared for my first. And totally and completely unprepared for what having two would be like.

  20. I completely agree…we are far undereducated when it comes to car seat safety. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with us!

Leave a Comment