So happy and so scared—at the same time? That’s motherhood for you

As Ricki Lake has perfectly said, “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”

So happy and so scared—at the same time? That’s motherhood for you

When I think of words to describe motherhood, 'joy' and 'complicated' come to mind.

I can't think of anything more joyful in my personal life experience than feeling my baby kick inside me, or pulling my baby onto my chest for the first time, or watching my baby grow into a toddler. It is joy in its purest, sweetest form.

And I can't think of anything more complicated than going from feeling anxious while watching my toddler paint all over themselves instead of the paper, to feeling angry when I asked (for the fifth time) for them not to paint their hair, to feeling wildly proud and excited when I realized they painted the best interpretation of a tree I've ever seen in my life—all in amatter of 30 seconds.

It's one extreme to the other and back again, then back around and around in this cycle forever and ever.

In welcoming my third daughter into our lives just four weeks ago, I've been reminded again of how big and powerful these feelings are. I've been reflecting lately on how wild it is that I can feel so happy one moment yet so scared the next—it happens so quickly and feels so extreme.

Motherhood isn't for the faint of heart, that's for sure.

In this newborn stage, I feel like I'm the happiest person in the world when my baby is laying on my chest. Yet the second I lay her down in her crib I worry about her breathing. I count her breaths and watch her chest go up and down a few times before I can go to sleep myself.

Nothing makes me happier than watching my new baby latch on and nurse with me successfully. But the second someone asks me how much she weighs I wonder if she's getting enough milk and if her percentiles are "good enough" and stress about weight checks.


When my kiddos started solid foods, I remember how exciting it was. They loved it and let's be honest—it's so cute! But then I worried about choking or allergies or how the heck much solid foods do I need to give them per day and do I need to make my own?

Watching my oldest daughter take her first steps was exhilarating! She was so proud of herself and my husband and I acted like she had just won a gold medal at the olympics. Then about four days later, she fell and broke her tibia and we were scarred for a little while.

Seeing your baby in any kind of pain or discomfort or having to crawl around dragging her leg in a cast not only breaks your heart but preps you for the rest of the inevitable bumps and bruises that'll come along the way.

Hearing my kiddo’s first words and listening to them string sentences together little by little makes me feel like the best mother in the whole world. Then hearing about what someone else's child is doing or saying and comparing my child to theirs makes me wonder if I'm doing all I can to help them succeed. If I'm a good enough teacher, model, parent.

Letting my children have their freedom and space to explore and take risks and experience adventure is fulfilling. Until they scare the heck out of me by going out of my sight just long enough for me to have a heart attack, or they fall off the monkey bars and knock the wind out of themselves and send me into a panic. But watching them take a risk on their own, and then either succeed or fail gracefully, is pretty amazing.

Seeing my kiddos play nice with one another and protect each other makes my heart just about burst with pride. But then hearing them argue two seconds later or watching one of them take out their frustration by hitting the other scares me, like they're not going to be friends when they grow up or they're going to actually hurt each other or they're not kind to kids at school or I'm doing something wrong as a parent.

As Ricki Lake has perfectly said, “Motherhood is the greatest thing and the hardest thing.”

It's the happiest thing and the scariest thing.

I worry, I doubt, I compare, I stress.

We're never going to be able to skip over that scary first ER visit with our children. It's nerve wracking to give our kiddos the space and independence they crave. And it's natural to doubt our parenting abilities now and then.

But I've found the joys of motherhood outweigh any of my worries.

And when I take a second to remind myself that I'm a good mother who knows what she's doing (at least some of the time ?)—and that everything I do is done with all the love in my heart—I'm confident that I'll be strong enough to withstand the scary parts of motherhood.

And I'm confident that—luckily—there's more joy than fear.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.


Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!


Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.


Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌


Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.


Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.


Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.


Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.


Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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