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Having a new baby will rattle even the most confident of women. You will get so much (unsolicited) advice throughout your pregnancy – take what you want and just push what you don’t out of your mind. These are 13 pieces of advice for new moms I tell any pregnant woman or new momma who will listen. Take what you want, leave the rest!
1. Shed Some Tears.
It’s ok to cry (a lot). Becoming a mom changes every fiber of your being. The act of bringing life into the world will leave you so profoundly touched and ready to cry at the drop of a hat. I remember crying in the hospital just looking at my brand new baby because she was so beautiful. Just typing this brings back the same feeling and brings the tears all over again. Becoming a mom turns you into a crybaby – and it’s ok. NOTE: If you feel like you’re crying too much, talk to your doctor. Ain’t no shame in needing a little extra help!
2. EVERYTHING is Temporary.
Your baby has colic? You can’t get off the couch because you’re nursing all day? Your toddler won’t go the eff to sleep? It really will pass. Becoming a mom for the 2nd time made me feel much more confident because I knew that every stage – good and bad – are just fleeting moments.
3. Technology is your friend.
Feeling like you’re the only person in the world taking care of a tiny alien whose life is solely in your hands while your husband is at work, talking to real people? It can be a little isolating. Don’t feel bad about connecting with other moms on social media, mom message boards, or even texting your girlfriends in the middle of the day. Download an app to keep track of all baby’s “stuff” (feeding, diapers, vaccines, weight & height). Watch or read something from your phone or iPad.
4. Never Quit on a Bad Day.
This is really a life mantra that I’ve found myself repeating more and more lately, but in the early days of nursing, this was one thing that kept me going. Nowadays I use it to try to convince myself not to run away to Mexico when my kids are acting like lunatics. Which is all. the. time. 😉
5. You Will be Busy.
Somehow, your day will be full. Before maternity leave, I was a little terrified of what I would do all day at home with a newborn who slept about 20 hours a day. Then I had a baby and suddenly, it was clear: feed baby, feed self, nap, maybe make dinner and/or do a load of laundry. And those last two things happened about four times. The time really does fly by.
6. Get Out of the House.
Make it a goal to get out of the house at least once a day. Whether it’s a trip to Target to eat a bag of popcorn while you roam the aisles, taking a walk around the block, grabbing lunch with a friend, or even just putting in face time at the grocery store, getting out and soaking up a little Vitamin D and hearing another live adult’s voice will make a world of difference.
7. You Will Feel Normal Again.
You’re still you, just a little different. YOU WILL FEEL NORMAL AGAIN. I repeat: you will feel normal again. Give yourself some time and take it easy! You (most likely) aren’t going to be back in your skinny jeans 3 weeks after baby but that’s ok. Show yourself some grace and take some time adjusting to your new life. Your whole identity has just been shaken to the core and suddenly you have this new *job* – it takes some getting used to just like any other new job.
8. 90% of Motherhood is Logistics.
Finally going out on a date night? You will pack the car perfectly, schedule your feeding and pumping schedule to the minute (or ounce), move carseats, and then just constantly check in. And arrange pickups. This logistical nightmare only increases as baby gets older and you add more kids to the mix.
9. Think Globally.
There are thousands of mothers up in the middle of the night doing exactly what you’re doing. We’re all just as clueless as the others, some just hide it better than others. Take comfort in the fact that somewhere, halfway around the city or the country or the world, there’s a mom feeling the same way you do.
10. Ditch the Guilt.
Mom guilt can chew you up and swallow you whole. Forgive yourself. It’s ok to not love every moment (or any moment sometimes!), to feel like you go through a whole day without doing anything right, to feed your kid the non-organic Goldfish or go to work or stay at home or whatever. Is everyone safe? Alive? Then you’re doing just fine, mom. Be easy on yourself.
11. Take a F%cking Nap.
Most important for first timers: fortheloveofGod *enjoy* the time you have only taking care of one child at a time. If you have a next baby, you will have more than one to take care of and it’s just not the same. Just take a nap when the baby naps. Even if you don’t sleep, sit in silence and stare at your gorgeous babe. You won’t get to do it with a toddler running around. 😉
12. Build Yo’ Village.
Even just 100 years ago, new moms had a community of women around them to help them raise their children. Nursing? Learned that from seeing your 4 older sisters doing it. Sitting at home alone all. day. long. with a newborn? Didn’t happen. The community aspect – it takes a village – was so much stronger then. Try to make a real effort to build whatever “village” you need.
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Have you gotten any great mom advice? Or terrible mom advice? Tell me in the comments: