First of all, I suppose I should define FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. My dream has always been to be a stay at home mom and until I became one, I said that I would never have FOMO. I naively thought that all of my previous life would just melt away and I would be perfectly content just sitting at home all day/every day with my babies. And it did to some extent. But just because I want to be and am a stay at home mom and I enjoy it, doesn't mean that I don't miss being a young married person with less responsibility.
The first month of parenting was a challenge, which I expected, but I had no idea that I would feel so concerned with how my life used to be. It wasn't concern over not being able to go grab a drink with friends or anything like that, it was about the little things that nobody ever realizes will change after a baby. How would I get groceries? How many conversations will I not be a part of because I am in another room breastfeeding? Will I ever leave my house again, and what will others think of me if I bring my baby with me to everything? How could I possibly have time to shower and get ready in the morning? Will I ever be able to have lunch and run errands with my mom and sisters again? These thoughts can quickly become consuming, especially with a baby that struggles to breastfeed or a mom experiencing baby blues and/or Post-Partum Depression/Anxiety. As the weeks flew by, those feelings began to dissipate, and I realized that it is all about becoming acclimated to your "new normal". The best advice I can give a new parent with FOMO is as follows:
First of all, take a deep breath. This season will not last forever, and you had better believe it goes way too quickly! I would relive those newborn days a million times over just to have my daughter, Nora be that little again.... don’t get too caught up in reaching for the next season because this one will be gone before you know it!
Secondly, believe in yourself! You are capable of a lot more than you think you are and just because it seems impossible now, doesn't mean it will forever. It is easier said than done to put faith in yourself while caring for a helpless little human that you don't yet understand, but it will come and the more you trust your instinct, the sooner you will realize that God has gifted mommas with super powers!
Thirdly, trust your spouse/partner/support people. I personally spent (and still do spend) a lot of time struggling to relinquish that control that new moms so desperately try to grasp onto. It seems foreign to hand your baby over to someone who didn't experience the physical act of growing them with their body or the pain of childbirth, but that is what those people are there for. Let others help you and it will open your eyes to the fact that you aren't alone and won’t miss out on too much because they will be there to lend a hand when you finally leave the house or attempt that first grocery trip!
Lastly, take a breather from social media. I often grabbed my phone during my late-night breastfeeding sessions (not during the day when baby was more alert, and that bonding time is so important) and scrolled my feeds on Instagram and Facebook to help myself stay awake. Social media is a wonderful tool to stay in touch with others and keep up on important events and photos from people's lives, but it can quickly become consuming and start to make you feel poorly about yourself and your life. It always shocks me, the power it has over us, but I really notice that I feel better about myself, my family and my life in general if I don't sit and compare it to others all the time. This isn't to say that you have to disappear from it altogether or delete those apps off of your phone - but be conscious of how it is making you feel every time you scroll through and begrudgingly like a photo.
It is okay to miss life before becoming a parent, it doesn't make you a bad mom or dad. Those feelings are completely normal and will subside over time. Be present in the moment you have before you and don't spend too much time looking back. Find ways to incorporate your "old life" into your new one with your baby. And don't get too settled in because before you know it, another baby could be on the way :)