The world is going gaga over the newest princess on the block: Kate Middleton and Prince William’s baby girl, Charlotte. Already mother to little Prince George, Kate seems more relaxed this time around. However, bringing a baby into the world is a difficult task, and while it can be beautiful, rewarding and fulfilling in itself, it definitely comes with some tough requirements.

We give you the low-down on some basic stuff that all new moms should pay attention to, in order to save themselves heartache (and possibly a few sleepless nights). Keeping these things in mind will help you embrace your new life in a calm, collected manner.

  1. You Are Not An Expert
    This doesn’t apply to new mothers alone. Like Kate, even if you’re not a first-time mom, you’ll find that every experience is unique, and that each child will teach you different things about yourself, about them, and life. You will have your instincts and intuition to guide you, but most of the time, you will have to rely on simply winging it.
  2. You Will Cry (A Lot)
    Tears might follow. From hormonally-caused mood swings to frustrated moments of baby care, you will often shed just as many tears as your child will, if not more. Babies are expected to cry, and often do so with no reason. Don’t be alarmed, as it will pass, eventually. But tears of joy? There’s no way to prepare for those, so embrace them when they come.
  3. You Can Never Be The Same Again
    Some part of you knows that you have entered a phase of your life from which there’s no going back. You will have to pack, seal and put into storage your old life with its spontaneous freedom, random risks and instant gratification. But don’t worry, because the new you will initially be too busy to miss all that. If you’re lucky, by the time you get to missing it, your baby will have grown up enough to let you reclaim that bit, but with more gratitude and appreciation than before.
  4. You Have To Trust Yourself
    Yes, it does help to listen to well-meaning advice from all the people who feel qualified to tell you how to do your job, and there will be many of those. Childcare experts, pediatricians, and even your own mother will try to suggest ways to tackle certain situations. Listen, absorb and then do whatever your gut tells you. You have got to learn to listen to it, because you understand what works for your baby and you.
  5. You Are Going To Be Overwhelmed
    It doesn’t matter how cool you think you are, you are going to become a rollercoaster rider of emotions on a regular basis. You had no idea you were going to feel so vulnerable, invincible, full, then drained, exhilarated then scared, sometimes all in fewer than 30 minutes. Nothing can prepare you for this, so just go with the flow. Blame some of it on your hormones, and the rest on the magical journey of motherhood.
  6. You Shouldn’t Try To Do This Alone
    It doesn’t matter if you’re a couple or a single parent, trying to raise a child is not something that should be attempted alone. Build a network of reliable people who can help you to survive, as well as enjoy this journey. Always make arrangements for emergency situations, keep a list of vetted babysitters, and hook up with other moms so you can take turns getting some occasional time off.

There you have it; all the important stuff you need to keep in mind when you’re a mom. There will be tons more to learn along the way and even after your baby is all grown up, but for now, just cherish every minute of it because it will pass by before you know it.

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Simona is a journalist who has worked with several leading publications in India over the last 17 years, writing on lifestyle topics and the arts, besides interviewing celebrities. She made the switch to public relations and headed the division as PR Manager at ITC Hotels’ flagship property, the ITC Grand Chola, but has since returned to her first love, journalism. Now she writes on food, which she is sincerely passionate about and wellness, which she finds fascinating and full of surprises. When she isn’t writing, she is busy playing the role of co-founder and communications director of The Bicycle Project, a six-year-old charity initiative that empowers tribal children in rural areas, while addressing the issue of urban waste.