May 7, 2024

#32: 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming A Mom

When you listen to mom stories online or in talking to your family, it seems like they’re always doom and gloom. They talk about the sleepless nights, the sore nipples, all the postpartum-body discomforts, toddler tantrums, and sibling rivalries. But what about all the beautiful parts of being a mom? That’s what I want to talk about today. I want to share some things with you that I only wish someone had told me before having kids - in the best way possible. Tune in to hear my words of positivity and encouragement, as well as some tips to help you navigate the difficult.

About this episode

What you'll learn

  • My sisterly advice about postpartum body images, motherhood expectations. and self care tips
  • Some of my favorite products to make motherhood easier


Join the waitlist for my new postpartum recovery cookbook HERE

Get 20% off your first month of Needed HERE using the code “mama20”

Listen to episode 31 about marriage advice HERE

Listen to episode 5 about postpartum energy HERE

Shop Wildbird items HERE using the code “thewellnourishedmama10” for 10% off

Shop Redmond Relyte HERE using the code “mama15” for 15% off

Shop Just Ingredients HERE using the code “thewellnourishedmama” for 10% off

Click HERE to shop my carseat/stroller combo and HERE to shop my double stroller

Shop my favorite sound machine HERE

Read “70+ Gift Ideas For New Moms” HERE


I’m really excited for today’s episode because we’re gonna have a little heart-to-heart. I don’t have any biological sisters and I’m the oldest child in my family, so I’ve always been the one figuring things out on my own. Instead of resenting it I’ve decided to lean into it and adopt myself as your big sister.

Whether or not you’ve had kids yet, I wanna open up today and share some things I wish I knew before having kids. Not in an attempt to scare you or warn you, but in an attempt to ease your mind and give you some encouragement.

As always, if you love this episode, please share it with another mama who might need to listen! The more mamas in our community, the more support we have for each other and the more opportunities I have to serve you in the future.

Blindsided by motherhood

I knew going into motherhood that I was going to be tired and my schedule was going to be different and there were a lot of things I was going to have to learn like breastfeeding, bedtime routines, and starting solids.

But what no one took the time to tell me was all the other things that come with motherhood. Things that honestly would’ve taken so much stress off my plate going into this new phase of life if only I knew.

So today’s episode is my effort to be your big sister and tell you all the things I wish someone had told me before having kids. And let me tell you, you’re going to be surprised by most of them.

I put a lot of thought and effort into this list so I hope it resonates with you. I also tried to focus on mostly positive things because I feel like everyone is always warning you about the hard, you know?

I don’t know if you’ve seen these posts on Instagram or Tiktok, but it’s like those posts that say “just wait until” but it’s things like “just wait until they smile for the first time,” “just wait until they say mama for the first time,” or “just wait until they win their first soccer game.” That’s basically what I’m getting at here but more along the advice side-of-things if that makes sense. 

So let’s jump right in!

Ten Things I Wish I Knew

1 You can’t know everything the first time. A lot of women think they can’t have kids until they’re ready or they know “x” amount of information, or they spend their entire pregnancy stressing about all the things they haven’t learned or experienced yet and it takes away from the magic and excitement of bringing a sweet baby into the world.

While I am 100% on board with learning and educating yourself, especially with parenting, it’s the attitude of trying to learn everything that I think creates the problem. Just accept that you will not know everything no matter how much you read, study, or ask questions, or heck even practice on other babies, so there’s no point in trying to learn everything.

Focus on learning what’s important in that phase of motherhood and surround yourself with positive influences that encourage you where you’re at. For example, learn about the newborn stage first and the little intricacies that come with it and don’t bother learning about how to feed your baby solids yet. Baby steps mama, literally!

I’ll give you a little analogy in case this still doesn’t make a ton of sense. I remember my first semester of high school I decided I was going to shoot for a 4.0 GPA. Well, I worked and studied as hard as I could and I ended up getting one A- in one of my classes. At first I was so frustrated and upset, but then I realized that because I “ruined” my chances after the first semester, I could now take a breath and not stress as much the rest of high school. I still did my best and got the best grades I could, but I wasn’t focused on being perfect.

I think this same thing applies here. Don’t strive to learn everything, be perfect, or not start until you’re 100% ready, because YOU NEVER WILL BE. Just jump in ready to learn and give yourself grace.

2 Kids are WAY more capable than you think! Instead of assuming they can’t do something because they’re too little or saying no when they ask to help you with something, assume that they are way smarter than you think and go for it. 

Really good example: a little bit before my son’s 2nd birthday, we were coming home from the park and I had to run inside and take care of a few things so I didn’t immediately take his shoes off for him like I normally did. 

Well, the routine was that his shoes came off as soon as he got in the house, so he kind of stopped for a second and waited for me to come over. When I didn’t, he said “mom get my shoes!” and I responded “I’m doing something else right now. How about you try taking your shoes off?”

He fought me for a second, but then he tried and actually managed to pull a shoe off! Did he undo the latch? No. Was it the “right way” to take his shoes off? No. But he did it! Then he got really excited and got the other shoe off. He ran over and showed me that he took his shoes off all by himself and was so proud!

Now, at almost 3 years old, he can put on and take off many different kinds of shoes all on his own, and he can also take his own socks off, too (still working on putting socks on). He’s one of the only kids his age in our friend group that can do that!

Another example: Hyrum loves being in the kitchen with me and is always asking to help. Instead of saying “sorry buddy you’re too little” I just hand him the measuring cups or the whisk and tell him what to do. Obviously I supervise but I just let him help! And 8 times out of 10 I’m genuinely surprised at how good of a job he does. The other 2 times I’m like “oh yeah he’s a toddler” and just laugh.

Last quick example: I stopped using a baby voice when my son turned 1. Once he got a few words down, I just spoke to him with a regular tone of voice and speed. I remember when he was 15 months old, he was looking for his ball that he threw and I said something like, “Hyrum, it’s in the hallway behind the door under the shoe.” No hesitation, no baby voice, no slow speech. Just a full sentence with multiple directions and no pauses. Guess what? He found the ball!

Now, at almost 3 years old, he speaks in paragraphs and can understand multiple-tier instructions. He actually gets offended when people try and talk to him like a baby or toddler because he’s so used to being treated like an adult haha.

Basically, the bottom line is assume your kid is way more capable than you think and treat them accordingly. You’d be shocked at how much they can actually do.

3 Your body is forever changed in the best way. Now I know this is 100% easier said than believed because I have to remind myself of this truth regularly but it really is true. The changes you go through make your body even better. 

I honestly don’t want my pre-baby body back. You know why? Because I take better care of my body now then I did before kids. I actually listen to my body and pay attention to what it’s trying to tell me instead of suppressing its messages. The way that I strength train is so much more intentional and functional rather than for aesthetics. And most importantly, the way I speak about my body is so much more loving and kind than it used to be.

I talked about this in a recent reel I made but I had the realization that it would be so sad to go through all that we go through as moms and NOT have any evidence to show for it. Like if we went through all of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and had no physical evidence of those transformations, I think that would be so sad. 

So when I see my stretch marks and my scars and my loose skin and everything else that’s changed about me I think to myself, “this is the evidence of my sacrifice for my family and the evidence that two beautiful souls exist because of me.” And that really changes my perspective.

Another thing is that Tyler has reiterated to me multiple times that he loves my body so much more now than he did when I had a six pack (partially because he was jealous haha). He has always loved me and thought I was the most beautiful and sexy woman on the planet, but he reminds me daily that this version of me - the one with all the stretch marks and loose skin - is the most beautiful I’ve ever been. You know why? “It is a physical reminder to me of everything you’ve given me.”

Now I will say that there’s a difference between celebrating your body and wanting to change your body. You can 100% love yourself and still want to loose weight. You can 100% feel beautiful with your new body and still mourn your old body. There is room for the ‘and’ in this scenario. I celebrate my loose skin AND I am trying to lose the rest of the baby weight. But I’m not trying to get in shape because I resent my body. Does that make sense?

4 Your mom friends haven’t forgotten you. In fact, they think about you often; they’re just too tired or wrapped up in motherhood to catch up or see you regularly. I’ve been on both ends of this reality and I have so much more empathy for my mom friends now. The cool thing I’ve learned is that the women that truly are your friends will just pick up where you left off as if no time has passed when you do get to catch up and there aren’t any hard feelings.

So if you’re a first time mom and you’re worried about your friendships, just know that things will be different. That doesn’t mean you won’t be friends anymore or that your life is over. It just means you’ll have to set different expectations around your friendships and offer both yourself and your friends some grace when it comes to maintaining those friendships.

5 Self care is more than getting your nails done or just being alone. Honestly maybe this is just me so I could totally be wrong but I’ve learned that self care as a mom is anything that fills your cup. And you shouldn’t feel pressured that those ‘cup-fillers’ have to be certain things or check certain boxes.

Some days for me this looks like an extra long hot shower. Other days it’s actually doing my full nighttime routine and not skipping any steps. Other days it looks like getting to work for a full two hours uninterrupted. And other days, it looks like getting to clean or organize without interruption.

I remember a time that my dad was visiting when Hannah, my 6 month old baby, was still a new newborn and Tyler was deployed. Both kids happened to be napping at the same time and I’d had a long day and my dad was so excited to give me some much needed ‘me time.’ He handed me some cash and said, “the kids are napping! Go on a drive, get yourself a snack, and just be by yourself.” And honestly, on paper, that sounded like the right answer for what self-care looked like. But in that moment, that was the complete opposite of what was going to fill my cup. 

So I said, “you know, I don’t really need to go anywhere. I think I’ll just do something here.” My dad replied, “oh my gosh you’re totally right, you probably want to take a nap. How about you go take a nap and I’ll come get you when Hannah needs you.”

But that’s not what I needed either. What I truly needed in that moment was uninterrupted time to check things off my to-do list and get some things done for work. I’d had some ideas mulling around in my head and my creative energy was flowing but I hadn’t had a second to harness that energy and get things on paper. All I wanted to do was go to my office and work.

And you know what? To everyone else on the planet that probably sounds like the dumbest, most lame, workaholic thing ever. But you know what? That was how I needed to fill my cup that day. It’s not like that every day. Some days it really is just alone time or dipping fries in my Frosty or taking a nap. But I shouldn’t feel pressured to do ‘xyz’ things for self care just because that’s how other people do it and neither should you. 

So what I want you to ask yourself is, “what will fill my cup right now?” and then give yourself permission to have that. Do something that will truly make you feel like a person again, no matter how silly it might seem to other people.

The beauty is that if you have people in your circle that love and support you no matter what, they will help make that thing happen, no matter what that thing is.

6 Your life doesn’t end when you have kids. It improves. Sure there’s a whole bunch of logistic things that are different and your priorities are totally different, but the real honest truth is that life gets better with kids. They make everything so much better.

If anything, they’ve taught me to slow down, be present, and appreciate the little things. And then when the big things come along, they’re absolutely magical because you get to experience them through your kids’ eyes.

Going off of that, 7 your marriage can actually get better after having kids. This takes lots of work, honesty, communication, and effort, but the burning flame of marriage is not doomed to fizzle out just because you had kids.

I fell in love with Tyler all over again [and then some] when Hyrum, our oldest, was born. Seeing him as a dad brings a whole other dimension of love and appreciation for Tyler that I otherwise would not have had and there’s something so special about raising little humans together.

Now if this whole “your relationship doesn’t have to suck after kids” thing is news to you and you’re in disbelief, go back and listen to last week’s episode. Tyler and I talked about all the things we’ve learned in our 5 years of marriage and a lot of those things will help you navigate relationships after kids.

8 Every phase is hard for different reasons so stop saying “just wait until.” Cuz you’ll always be waiting. And it will always feel like a cloud of doom. Instead, just embrace the stage of motherhood you’re in and focus on the current needs of your kids. I’m not saying you have to say a prayer of gratitude for every meltdown or sleepless night, but just know that there are different hards with each age, so there’s no point in dreading the next or hoping to leave the now.

For example, I have an almost 3 year old boy and a 6 month old girl. My baby smiles non stop and is so easy going, but she also wakes up every 90 minutes during the night, so I’m not sleeping a ton. 

On the other hand, my toddler is sleeping through the night but he also wants my attention 24/7 so I can’t just do what I want and he’s very opinionated so there’s lots of tantrums. 

It’s not that my toddler is better than my baby, or that the baby phase is easier than the “terrible twos” (I don’t even call it that). They’re just different phases and they’re each hard in their own way.

I remember crying so hard the other morning because I was so exhausted from getting no sleep days and days in a row and I was just really frustrated with my baby. I dragged my feet over to my toddler’s door to wake him up and I had the thought, “Brooke, notice how your toddler slept through the night? It won’t always be this way. Hannah will sleep one day. You’ll get through this.” And after crying some more, I realized that that was so true. 

Whatever you’re struggling with now, you will get through it.

9 There is no such thing as multitasking. As women we often joke that we can multitask, but really all we’re doing is two tasks poorly at the same time. I promise I’ve tried and tried to disprove this but sadly it’s true. If you try and do more than one thing at a time, whether it’s answer emails and play with toys or cook dinner and help the kids with homework, you really are only doing one thing at a time, and if for some reason you are doing two things at once, both are going to have subpar results and it will take you twice as long. So you might as well just do one thing at a time.

The one exception would be baby wearing. I don’t think that counts as multitasking, but if it does, then you can totally hold your baby and get stuff done at the same time.

10 There is so much you can do to feel energized and present even when you’re sleep deprived and stressed. This one is more from a health standpoint, but it’s so true. All those women that have brainwashed you into thinking that postpartum is full of brain fog, tears, chronic fatigue, rage, and anxiety are wrong. That doesn’t have to be your reality. There are things you can do to actually feel like a functioning human being and enjoy postpartum.

I’ll give you an example. I’m EXHAUSTED from all the sleepless nights these last few months, but [for the most part] I have energy to play with my toddler, cook, clean, work, and do all the things. I’m not living in a dark cloud of confusion and forgetfulness and I’m not an anxious wreck all the time. 

Basically I’m tired because I’m not sleeping well, not because my body is not functioning properly. If that still doesn’t make sense, go listen to episode 5. 

But I ramble. I digress. Just know that postpartum doesn’t have to suck like everyone says it will. If you don’t believe me, listen to my story and apply the things you learn from this podcast and my social media and then come back to me in a year and see how you feel.

Resources I love

Before we close, I thought I could share a few resources that have helped me over the last 3 years of motherhood. These will range from supplements to products to people on Instagram and everything in between.

  1. Taking Cara Babies: if you don’t already know about her, she is the heaven-sent woman that teaches you how to get your baby to sleep. I learned about sleep training, wake windows, and appropriate schedules from her and she changed my life. She has so many free resources on her Instagram and blog, but she also has courses that are well worth the money.
  2. @solidstarts and @feedinglittles : these are the two baby-led weaning accounts I’ve followed and they helped take the stress out of starting solids with my kids. I learned so much from them about safety in the kitchen and how to introduce food to my babies and whenever I had pushback from extended family, I just quoted them and the problem was resolved.
  3. Baby wearing: I’ve used a solly baby wrap with both my babies and I also have a baby carrier too. Both are going to make all the difference for you and I recommend having one of each. My favorite baby carrier is the Wildbird Aerial, and you can use my code “thewellnourishedmama10” for 10% off your order at the link in the shownotes.
  4. Electrolytes: seriously can’t live without them. My energy levels and my milk supply depend on them! I use Redmond Relyte and Just Ingredients religiously. Both are linked in the shownotes with my discount codes.
  5. Strollers: for my baby I have a carseat that converts into a stroller and I LOVE it. It’s so convenient to keep the stroller attachment in the car and it makes traveling at airports a million times easier. I also got a double stroller after Hannah was born and we LOVE the one we got. It’s a jogging stroller so it’s a really smooth ride and it has a convertible shade for the kids and tons of storage. I’ll link both of those in the shownotes if you want to check them out!
  6. Sound machine: I love my sound machine because we can set routines for each baby, meaning it will automatically turn on at set times with the right sound/light/brightness and turn off on its own, too. I have used one daily for the last 3 years and it’s a must for my kids. I linked the one I have in the shownotes.
  7. Self care: I know I talked a bit about self care, and since that looks different for everyone, I thought I’d share a blog post with you that has over 70 gift ideas for new moms. This is a great resource for self-care inspiration for yourself or gift shopping for a friend/family member. That blog post is linked in the shownotes!