20 Things Women Wish They Could Tell Their Pre-Mom Selves

Maressa Brown | Nov 8, 2018 Being a Mom
20 Things Women Wish They Could Tell Their Pre-Mom Selves
Image: damircudic/iStock

woman working while pregnant

No matter how much a person practices mindfulness and gratitude in the moment, life has a way of flying by. From college to meeting someone special to walking down the aisle to trying to conceive, getting pregnant, and starting a family, milestones happen, and it's easy to look back and wonder where time went -- and wish there had been something like Cliff Notes along the way. Perhaps that one particular situation -- like a run-in with an in-law or a stressful labor and delivery -- wouldn't have turned out the way it did. Or perhaps it would have, but having a heads-up would have been valuable. 

As the expression goes, hindsight is 20/20, and knowing what to expect in every moment of life -- especially the biggies, like working on expanding a family, seeing that positive result on a pregnancy test, carrying a baby for nine months, and giving birth -- is impossible. Still, plenty of women can't help but wish they had been more prepared for certain twists and turns in their path. And there is plenty they wish they could give themselves a heads up on.

Some women would encourage their former, pre-mom selves to travel more. Others would give themselves a bit of a pep talk about the best attitude to have as a mom and doing their best to shelve any underlying control freakiness once they welcome their LO. There are those who would tell themselves to be more mindful and embrace simple pleasures, like a cocktail and a good book. 

Here are 20 things moms wish they could go back in time to tell themselves before having kids.  

  • 'Take a vacation.'

    woman on tropical vacation

    "I wish I would have taken more vacations before having littles. I would have told myself that work is just that, and it will be there when I get back, take the vacation, and enjoy the time alone with my husband." -- Jenni Q. 

  • 'Take breastfeeding classes.'


    "I wish I had known how hard breastfeeding was going to be! I would’ve/should’ve taken a class!" -- Leigh M. 

  • 'The first year of parenthood will be tough on the marriage.'

    stressed couple

    "I wish I had known how much of a strain a child can put on your marriage in the first year." -- Cecily N. 

  • 'Start a workout routine before trying to conceive.'

    woman on spin bike

    "Start a workout routine prior to TTC. Makes it easier to continue while pregnant. Mental/physical well-being is everything." -- Margie K. 

  • 'Understand the reality of pregnancy.'

    woman pregnant headache

    "[I'd tell myself about] the reality of pregnancy and after. The potential risk of hyperemesis gravidarum and what that meant. I would have waited another year or two, as after having my first, it felt like I completely lost myself, and I have no time to myself. Especially now that I have two." -- Kirsty L. 

  • 'Know about pregnancy complications.'

    woman pregnant stressed

    "I wish I knew complications like I have -- hyperemesis gravidarium and a two-vessel cord -- were a possibility. No one in my family or his has ever had issues like this, and I’m scared beyond reason because of it. My doctor is worried about my son's growth. If he doesn’t start to grow soon, he may wind up in NICU even if I make it to full-term. If I knew then what I know now ... I honestly don’t know if I’d be able to make the decision to not go through this, but I may have handled it differently." -- Heather M. 

  • 'Just make it through pregnancy with everyone generally healthy.' 

    woman pregnant at doctor's office

    "[I'd tell myself that] women, myself included, all too often enter pregnancy thinking they need to make it 'perfect,' and really they should be more concerned about just making it to the end with everyone generally healthy. Ignoring symptoms because they were from supposedly 'rare' complications nearly killed two of my friends and fear of taking medication in pregnancy has left so many moms with things like hypermesis gravidarium and gestational diabetes waiting until they are almost dead before they get help." -- Lisa B. 

  • 'Love your OB/GYN!' 

    pregnant woman with notebook

    "No matter what. No. Matter. What. When you get to decision time, you have to LOVE your practice. Don’t be 'OK' with them. Love them. I did with my second and didn’t with my first. Huge huge huge difference!" -- Meg J.

  • 'Cultivate friendships.'

    women drinking
    "I'd tell myself how consuming parenting can be and to cultivate my friendships more." -- Elena M.
  • 'Call the babysitter.' 

    babysitter with child

    "My husband and I really had no social life when my son was a baby -- we both worked and felt we should spend all our free time with the baby. I wish I'd called a babysitter and gone out more often! I really think we would have felt more like ourselves. Being a happy, less stressed parent makes you a better parent." -- Elena M. 

  • 'Try not to lose yourself.' 

    woman painting

    "Try your hardest to not lose your own identity. It's easy to become strictly a mommy and wife." -- Brittany D. 

  • 'Sleep more.'

    woman sleeping

    "I wish I had slept more and been warned of the extreme prolonged sleep deprivation that comes with kids." -- Becky N. 

  • 'Work hard and play hard.'

    woman working on iPad

    "I'd tell myself work hard, play hard. I would have worked two jobs to bank as much as possible, and while I am glad I traveled a lot, it would be nice to have a little more financial freedom." -- Maura B. 

  • 'Learn about maternity leave.'

    pregnant woman working

    "Get all the details on work's maternity leave policy! Talk to your husband about how your daily routine might change -- aka what can your husband add to his list to help you out." -- Sarah P. 

  • 'Own your weekends!'

    woman reading outside

    "I'd tell myself to enjoy my weekends more! And sleep in!" -- Susan P. 

  • 'Go with the flow.'

    woman in labor
    "Go with the flow on all of it, and get rid of any pre-conceived -- pun intended -- ideas/plans on what you think you want to happen. Moms need to accept that they are no longer in charge, at least for the moment. The baby is in charge, and moms need to surrender to that, at least in labor and delivery. When you're a type A control freak, surrendering is hard. It sucks." -- Alyssa W.
  • 'Ask for help.' 

    two women talking on the couch

    "When someone offers help, take it. It does take a village!" -- Brittany D. 

  • 'Stand up for yourself.'

    two women arguing in the street

    "Do NOT listen to unsolicited advice in public, and stand up for yourself! When I was a first-time mom, every woman came out of the woodwork [with] positive and negative [thoughts], and I felt cowed, especially by the negative. I needed to not be so insecure, stand firm in my decisions and be confident that I was doing just fine!" -- Melissa L. 

  • 'Get ready to be your own best advocate.' 

    woman in labor

    "Be prepared to advocate for yourself during labor and delivery! Having never given birth before, I thought I needed to listen to everything the RNs, docs, and midwives told me, but I clearly was seeing my body’s patterns better than they were and should have spoken up for myself/been more confident in making decisions for myself sooner." -- Taylor M.

  • 'Enjoy your solo time. And books!'

    woman reading book and drinking
    "Enjoy the time alone. I love, love, love my kids, but I miss being able to sit down with an old fashioned and read a book. The last book I got to read was about Elmo going to the doctor." -- Lauren H.

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