Daniella Monet isn’t shying away from addressing the realities of new motherhood.
Since the Victorious alum welcomed son Gio James, her first child with fiancé Andrew Gardner, in September, she has embraced all the ups and downs of being a new mom.
“The very beginning weeks were a little rough — we went through a lot of change,” Monet, 30, tells PEOPLE. “We thought we knew what we were in for and realized very quickly that there’s just a lot to it.”
“You’re sleep-deprived and [experiencing] so many new learning curves, especially as a female,” she adds. “I was breastfeeding and still am and I thought for sure it was just like, you put the baby up to the boob and you’re good.”
On top of the sleep deprivation, Monet went to the hospital twice within two weeks for two different breast infections. She has shared her parenting challenges on Instagram, from Gio peeing on her when she was changing his diaper to visiting the ER when he was diagnosed with a fever.
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Inside Pregnant Daniella Monet’s Nursery for Her Son on the Way — and Why His Name Will Be Gio
Being a new mother has led the Nickelodeon alum to want to shed light on “real” topics in her upcoming podcast with Gardner, Adulting Like a Mother, Father, where the couple will discuss “trials and tribulations as grownups” as well as life as new parents learning on the way.
“A lot of things about parenting and also just being a mom in postpartum blindsided me,” Monet said. “I was not someone who wasn’t around kids and I was someone who looked forward to this stage in my life, so to feel like it blindsided me — there’s definitely a caveat that isn’t being spoken about, and I want to do just that.”
The podcast will also mark Gardner’s first venture into the entertainment realm. Previously, he was a certified public accountant and worked in sales, the latter of which he thought was “better, but still wasn’t [his] calling.” With this podcast being his first project with his wife, it’s safe to say he’s “really excited to dive into this thing.”
Adulting Like a Mother, Father, which debuts Tuesday, will feature guests whom Monet and Gardner are excited to learn from: “Everything from a sleep trainer to a lactation consultant or fitness experts or people in the food space.”
The first episode will even delve into the details of Monet’s labor experience, which she has yet to reveal. She and Gardner were initially very “dead set” on following a “natural birth plan,” but it didn’t quite pan out the way they had originally envisioned.
“We hired a midwife to go through a water birth, essentially, in a natural-birth facility,” Monet tells PEOPLE. “But one thing led to another and I ended up having to go through extreme measures, essentially, to get Gio safely.”
She adds, “As a mom who wanted to do it one way — and I think a lot of people can relate to this — I just want to stress that there’s really no such thing as a plan, and the real plan should be to just get through it safely and have a healthy, happy baby and healthy, happy mom, and that will be accomplished.”
Daniella Monet and Fiance Andrew Gardner Welcome Son Gio James: “You Are Our Everything”
Gio turned 1 month old on Oct. 28, and his parents are truly soaking up every little moment with their little one.
“It’s kind of cliché, but just little moments where everybody’s chill, you’re holding him and he looks in your eyes and you just kind of get stuck,” Gardner shares with PEOPLE of his favorite times with his son. “It’s the most magical thing in the world.”
“I feel like time stands still when he is looking at you,” Monet agrees. “I could waste an hour just spending time with him playing and nothing else really matters.”
Adulting Like a Mother, Father debuts Tuesday and is available on Podcast One and Apple Podcasts.
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