First name: Jacqueline
Number of kids and ages: 2 kids, ages 3 and 8 months
The most surprising thing about being a first-time mom is realizing how selfish you were with your time before you had kids. Ha! Also, not realizing how hard postpartum is (not enough people talk about this part).
My expectation vs. experience breastfeeding was with my first it was really, really difficult. He had trouble gaining weight and I placed a lot of the blame on myself. I felt an intense amount of pressure. It was very emotional and stressful at the beginning. Fifteen months later I weaned him and it was so hard to give up that special bonding time. With my second it came so much easier - I think because she was a much better eater from the start. I never had to worry about the weight issue with her so that was a huge burden lifted off my shoulders.
The best piece of advice about motherhood is do your best. No one is a better mama for your kids than you are. They need you, not the version of yourself you think you're supposed to be. Show up for them everyday and love them unconditionally, but also realize there are going to be days when you mess up and that's ok too!