The best advice for new moms from one who’s been thru it all. When I felt like a hot mess, had no idea what I was doing & felt I should just “get it”, I wish I knew this.
Oh the journey of motherhood is hard!! There is so much advice I wish I had as a new mom and feel compelled to take the time to sit down with those who are just beginning. Actually, I’d love to shout it from the rooftops with a group of newly pregnant women/girls because let me tell you what….I had NO idea what I was getting into when I had my first daughter! I also didn’t realize each one would be nothing like the others, and I’d have to learn how to mother all over again with each daughter that came along.
Best advice for new moms
Let’s start with the facts shall we……I was / am an only child.
I had never held an infant, changed a diaper, fed a baby a bottle, or put a baby to sleep until I had #1.
I thought “what are they thinking sending her home with me, I have no idea what I’m doing!” when they waved me off and we drove away from the hospital that day. The first few
weeks, ok months, alright let’s go with year was hard!! I had no idea what baby items I need when or how.
I was newly married at the time and we were both kinda’ blindly figuring this whole parenting thing out. We didn’t speak infant and were never sure if she was tired, hungry, or uncomfortable. That led to me becoming a bit depressed because I thought I was just supposed to “get it” once she popped out because I was a woman and that’s what was just supposed to happen.
What is the best advice to give a new mom
- It’s okay to be a Hot Mess – Motherhood does not come with a manual and it won’t just magically click when your child pops out. That is normal and there’s nothing wrong with you. You aren’t less of a women because of it, I was there, thousands of other women have been there, and it WILL get easier!
- It’s okay to cry, a lot – I found myself in the shower many of times sobbing. Sometimes I had a specific reason I could pin point and other times I had no idea why I was crying but man did I feel better when I was done! Let yourself cry because…..it’s hard!
- It’s not like they describe in the books – You know all those books full of advice for when you’re pregnant you should feel this and this time, infant books about what you should do when your child does this….yeah, most of it doesn’t work.
- I’m not saying it doesn’t help give you some idea of what is to come but there isn’t something wrong with your child if they aren’t doing x at y weeks old
- Or they’re an extremely picky eater and will only drink a specific type of formula (that’s normal).
- Every child is NOT the same – Okay so this still makes me laugh…..after daughter #2 who was my easiest child ever and slept 12 hours a night at 12 weeks old I said to my husband “this is a piece of cake, let’s do #3 now, I got this!”
- Boy did someone hear that and give me a doozy to make me eat my words! I did all the same things with #3 as I did with #2 because it worked with one so it had to work with the other….NOPE!
What a new mother needs most
She didn’t sleep through the night until she was about 2 1/2, cried all the time, always wanted to be held, and was the complete opposite of what I had expected and had planned for. With that said of course I love her, but boy were those challenging years.
We can laugh about it now but lesson learned and I tell others…..your children will not be the same and if you have an easy one expect the next to be a bit of a challenge. If they aren’t you’ll be in luck but if not you will be prepared. 😉 (pictured #2 in my arms and #3 in the backpack…about 8 years ago)
Looking back…..oh how I miss these little faces……
- Breast feeding is NOT easy – You may envision this tender bonding moment several times a day with no issues and you will supply plenty of milk for your little one. Not always the case and let me tell you it hurts like all heck for the first few weeks! I was able to nurse all of my girls for a few months but had issues after that and switched to formula.
Advice to a new mom
I had many friends who tried and tried and as much as they wanted to nurse their body just didn’t cooperate. With my first daughter there wasn’t a huge selection of formula to choose from and it was quite expensive, luckily for this generation there are great options like this one that’s affordable.
For me formula gave me a bit more freedom (especially when I had more than 1 child) to get out of the house and not feel housebound because I wasn’t comfortable nursing in public.
- Your body will not snap back into shape – Take care of yourself in a healthy way. I had this idea that after your baby “popped out” your stomach went back to the way it once was….lie!
- I will say after daughters 1 & 2 it did go back to a similar state but not until a year or so later. After #3 I held on to a bit of weight/softness but that’s kinda’ par for the course and motherhood does come with that change as well.
Remember you are amazing!
Words of advice for new parents
- Skip the guilt – If you are planning on nursing but find it difficult (or impossible for some reason) baby formulas are so amazing nowadays that there is no reason to feel guilty supplementing or using it as their main food source.
Like I said, it helped give me a bit of freedom which helped my mood and thus become a better mother to my infant because I was sleep deprived and became depressed because I felt homebound.
- Enjoy every single stage – Some day when you only have one more summer you will regret not being present. I tear up when I look at the top two pictures in this post because here we are now. Oh how I love these faces. Each one so different with unique qualities that I know will make them become strong independent women who put family first.
I struggled a lot with my first just figuring out motherhood as a whole. Was able to enjoy my second since there was such a large age gap between the two? When my “baby” arrived chaos ensued again and I got caught up in it for a while. I loved on each of them as much as I could.
Looking back I wish I had slowed down a bit and not worried about the little things so much. When I turned 40 I reanalyzed everything and put a concerted effort into focusing on what really mattered and let the little things roll off my back a bit more.
- I wish I had done this a bit earlier but there’s no time like the present to ask my older girls open ended questions and get close.
Lastly….you’re doing great!!
We all do our best with the knowledge we have at the time and as long as you keep going, and try not to look back, you’ll be fine and more wisdom will come to you as time goes on. (fist bump my friend)