Did you give birth recently? Mazal Tov!
Your life has changed from end to end, not only in the energy and dedication you invest in the new baby, but also in your new habits and behaviors which come as you adjust to a new life as a parent.
So what are the signs that you're a new mom, which anyone who has been (or still is) in your situation can identify with?
Here are ten of the most common changes that mark the first weeks and months of parenthood which you'll find familiar. Let's start.
1. Hot coffee - remember?
No. Because every time you make yourself coffee, the baby miraculously demands your attention. Your coffee gets cold morning after morning; after a few weeks you drink it lukewarm or cold, and you've even gotten used to it and now like the taste.
2. You jiggle the stroller without a baby in it
Did you take the baby out of the carrier, yet your hand continues to shake the empty stroller? Or did you rock the shopping cart at the supermarket back and forth?
This is called "Welcome to Motherhood". There isn't a single mom this hasn't happened to, so you're definitely in good company.
3. You no longer set an alarm clock
The function of your phone's alarm clock is a bit redundant when you have a cute human alarm clock that makes sure you're always awake, especially too early.
4. The TV works with almost no sound and your phone only vibrates
Their sleep is sacred, so any noise that might wake up a baby is definitely forbidden. You keep the volume of the TV low and thankfully there are subtitles for almost every program. Your phone is now on vibration mode, yet if the baby is sleeping lightly you'll be upset if a text or call wakes them up.
5. Suddenly, you're always late
You used to be really punctual, and now you're always late. That's because you need so much time to get organized.
You change the baby and turn to grab the bag, but then both the diaper and the clothes need to be changed, again. Also, you need to pack a huge bag to even go outside for two hours, or the baby suddenly falls asleep and you decide to wait until he wakes up.
6. You look at pictures when the little one's asleep
It's not only you. Many moms scroll through pictures on their phones when babies are sleeping, taking a few more minutes to be with them until their baby gets up again.
7. You forgo flushing the toilet at night
When you pee in the middle of the night, going to the bathroom is like a stealth operation: In the dark, tiptoeing, etc. Many people don't flush because the noise will wake up the baby.
8. You leave the bathroom door open
You probably don't remember what it's like to close the door when you use the bathroom. You need to be attentive all the time and also stay within the baby's sight range. Forget about your privacy.
9. You hold in pee when the baby falls asleep on you
One last thing about toilets. You definitely hold in pee, even for hours, when the baby falls asleep on you and you don't want to risk waking them up as you transfer the baby to the crib. Yet, this can cause an infection, so put the baby down and go pee.
10. Suddenly you'll have new mom friends, both virtual and in reality
An appointment at the child development clinic can yield you a new friendship with a mom who's also waiting for an appointment, as well as an activity for moms and little ones like a music hour.
Or, you'll meet a mom at a store that sells baby products. Moms on maternity leave connect very quickly with moms like them in the same situation, and you can find many new friends.
This article was written in partnership with the JAMA parenting app.