This may be one of the most common articles you will find about being a new mother. However, after reading a few you will see that each article is different, because we are all different! While I was pregnant, and even now, I continue to receive tons of advice. Most importantly I choose to take in the positive and not focus on the negative. Looking back on my own experience here are 10 things I wish someone told me about being a new mom:
- Enjoy It: This is a beautiful moment for everyone involved, treat it as such. Remember that these moments do not last forever (not even close). To help me remember the little moments, I invested in a 5 year journal.. In 50 years I hope when I open up that journal it brings me right back in time to those very moments I may have forgotten over the years.
- Advice: Don’t be resistant. Sometimes your mother-in-law might really have some good advice 😉
- Breastfeeding: I don’t know about anyone else but for me breastfeeding was like trying to lasso a bull. However with commitment, support from my husband, patience, a little bit of formula and weekly support group visits I was able to breastfeed. I’ve heard that you should give breastfeeding 4 weeks before it becomes “easier” or “natural”, in my case I feel that was an accurate time frame. If
breastfeeding does not work out for you that is ok! Do not feel discouraged, your baby will not love you any less because they weren’t breastfed. Your ability or choice to breastfeed does not define you as a mother.
- Filter the Negative: Be smart about the advice that you do take in. You don’t have to believe that it will be “so difficult and exhausting once the baby is here”. It is what you make it. I saw night wakings as more time with my baby, who would soon be a toddler…in those tiring moments remember #1.
- Walk: I didn’t have enough energy, nor was I cleared until 6 weeks post-partum, to resume normal activities. However, I did want to get the show on the road and start getting back to my regular self. Walking seemed easy enough but it was working wonders. My body, mind and energy was improving by putting in such little effort as walking! Not to mention the little guy loved the fresh air.
- Be your best self: It’s important to ourselves, to our spouse, our families and our children that we as parents are the best that we can be. And by that I mean emotionally, mentally and physically. I think the well being of the parents is often overlooked. It shouldn’t be especially considering Mothers and Fathers are the foundation of a child. We need to take care of ourselves and lead by example. This is a good time to self reflect and be mindful of our words and actions as well as our lifestyle.
- Mom Competition: If you are a new mom, you will soon find yourself alongside other moms discussing the exciting moments, the challenging times, and the new emotions that come hand in hand with being a parent. What is wonderful about each and every one of us is that we are different. The mom sitting across from you may have loved breastfeeding whereas you, not so much. It’s important to accept that we all have our own feelings and emotions towards things and leave it at that. It makes a much happier environment for everyone.
- Do something for you: After you have a baby time seems to fly by. Next thing you know your baby is 6 months old and you’ve only left the house a handful of times. If you find yourself in this position look up your local library and check for story times, many times they are free. When my son was about 3 months old a friend from high school invited us to her local storytime. I thought 3 months was too young but once you see how fast they grow you’ll believe as well that no time is too early! Since then I’ve seen several newborns in our class. Even if the baby sleeps the whole class at least Mommy gets outs! Be open and talk with other mom, Im sure some would love to grab a coffee or smoothie afterwards! Don’t forget; Your vibe attracts your tribe! Find yours! It will help you keep your sanity (haha).
- Routine: SCHEDULE SCHEDULE SCHEDULE! I was told by many about this thing called a “schedule” and let me tell you, it is AMAZING. My son was not on a schedule until he was about 6 months old. From experience I am confident now that the next go around I could have a baby on a schedule by 3 or 4 months. However, #10 also plays a role in this so don’t get too hung up on having a schedule if its not happening just yet. Between you and your baby you will always know what is best. Books can help and I did not read just one. I gathered knowledge from about 3 or 4 different books and made a strategy based on my findings and my child. As you find what works for you and your child, you may have to make adjustments, and surely as your child grows there will be more adjustments.
- Everyone is different: This really should be at the top of my list for emphasis. Whether the topic of conversation is you or your child, we all progress differently and at different paces. Embrace the difficulties and put in the effort for progress, it is all we are in control of.
I hope this article helps make the good times great and the hard times better! Share your advice and what you have learned that you think would help first time Moms in the comments section below!