Achievement unlocked: Motherhood!
Congratulations! You’ve officially received a life upgrade. With this upgrade you will earn the responsibility of taking care of other humans; your life is no longer about just taking care of yourself. You have the ability to overwhelmingly love something else. Though you may now find your armor a little lacking in style, your strength and will have been increased 100%.
You are now a mom. Being a mom is one of the most exciting and challenging things I’ve ever done but I’d be a liar if I told you I knew everything. Especially when I first became a mother. Now, I started out with a bit of an upper hand because I did know a little bit about childcare. My mother owned and operated an in-home daycare and I did a lot of babysitting as a kid and teen. So I did at least know how to change diapers, CPR, and how to comfort a baby. That being said, taking care of my own child felt completely different than taking care of someone else’s child. I still had that feeling of being overwhelmed and needing all the advice I could take.
So I want to share with you some of the things I’ve learned over the years.
It’s okay to feel and act overly protective
You’ve just given birth to a human. A tiny, defenseless, adorable little piece of you. It’s perfectly normal to want to protect him. Don’t let other people make you feel neurotic or overbearing. If you want to ask people to please wash their hands before holding your new baby, then do it. If you don’t want to take the baby certain places, then don’t. If you don’t want people touching or holding your baby right away, that’s up to you. You’re the mom, not anyone else. You can set the rules.
You don’t have to have visitors right away
If you’re feeling tired or you just want to use this time for bonding, don’t feel pressured to have people over immediately. It’s perfectly okay to set boundaries with family and friends and let them know when the right time to come over is.
Take time for yourself
I know I seem to preach this one all of the time, but take time for yourself. It’s not selfish and it doesn’t make you a bad mom. In fact it can actually make you a better mom! Take an actual shower, go see friends, take a nap, get dressed and put on makeup. Do something for yourself. You’re a mom but you’re also still human, you need to take care of yourself so you can take care of that baby.
It’s okay to cry
You’ve just had a baby, your hormones are everywhere. You’re most likely exhausted, too. You’ve got a ton of feelings just being thrown around every other second. If you find yourself crying while you’re looking at your baby because you’re so in love… that’s okay. If you find yourself crying at commercials or Disney movies or at some sappy card your husband brings you… that’s okay. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed and find yourself sitting on your sofa crying… that’s okay too. Crying can be part of motherhood. I’m not a very emotional person but I find myself kind of weepy the first few months after having a baby too. It’ll eventually die down some but you may still find yourself crying at sweet mothers day commercials even when you’re 50. If you find yourself always feeling like you’re going to cry, or overwhelmed, that’s when it may be time to seek some help though. Check out my article about postpartum depression and anxiety here for more information about when to seek out help.
Take a Child and Infant CPR Class
This may seem silly to some but honestly I highly recommend that all new parents take a child and infant CPR class before the baby gets here. Accidents happen, you can think that you are fully prepared and have all the necessary child safety in place but then something happens. There are a whole host of things that can happen to a baby or a little kid, knowing how to properly administer CPR can mean the difference between life and death. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use it but being armed with the knowledge can give you the upper hand in the event of an emergency. It can also bring peace of mind knowing that you know what to do so you won’t stress as much.
Take the Pictures
I was one of those people who hated having my picture taken when I had my oldest child. Now, looking back on things, I hate the fact that I don’t have any pictures of me with my baby. Take pictures with your kids. Take pictures of your kids. Just take all of the pictures! Yes, you’ll have memories but pictures can help to spark those memories and it’s honestly just fun to look back on all of the changes in your kids throughout the year(s). And with having such advance technology and amazing picture quality in our phones, there’s no reason not to take a billion pictures of your baby playing with her foot.
Talk advice with a grain of salt
Everyone is going to have their right way of raising a baby or what to do. Take all of this information and pick and choose what you want to use. If you don’t want people to give you unsolicited advice, tell them so. You are allowed to say that you’ve got things handled and know what you’re doing. You are the parent, you will eventually form your own way of parenting. You don’t have to do what other people do or follow certain parenting trends or styles or lump yourself into a category. Do what feels right to you and what works for your family.
I hope that these little bits of advice can help you when navigate those first few months of motherhood. I know it’s challenging but you’ve got this. You’re a mom now.
Let me know what the best parenting advice you’ve received is, in the comment section below.