Dear new mom,
This motherhood thing is hard. I remember I just kept saying to myself after I had my daughter “I just want to do right by her”. As much as we wish there was a well laid road map, the truth is that we’re all just guessing. We don’t know if what we’re doing is right or not, it’s just trial and error.
I’m still new at this myself, but six months in here is my advice to you.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. I remember when the pediatrician told me this I said to him “sure that’s fine when there are a team of super nurses around, but us mere mortals may not have the super sonic hearing they do”. Babies make weird noises. They’re fine. Rest.
- Listen to advice from moms you admire, but trust your gut. There is an opposing opinion for everything. You’re the mom. You’re doing good by them. Trust your intuition.
- It’s ok if the bond doesn’t come instantly. I loved my daughter from the start, but it took awhile to feel connected to this tiny new human. Maybe for some people it is like a movie, but for me it took a little bit and that’s ok.
- Hold them often. This may seem obvious, but I had it in my mind that I didn’t want her to get so dependent on being held all the time. I would try to lay her down in her crib for most of her naps so she would get use to it. I wish I would have just held her a little while longer.
- Don’t make your husband feel like he can’t do something. A friend told me this once and I’m reminded of it often. It may seem easier to swoop in and handle the situation, but dads need to learn how to be dads too. Let them ask for help rather than taking over.
- You don’t have to get it all done today. Whether you’re a stay at home mom or on your maternity leave you may feel like since you are home, you need to have everything done by the time your husband gets back form work. Don’t put more pressure on yourself. It’s ok if the laundry doesn’t get done today (or tomorrow).
- Accept help from family and friends. I thought going into this that my husband and I were going to do it on our own and not need help. That didn’t last one day. Our moms were a major blessing. I’m so thankful for their help especially through that first month. Becoming a mom is hard. Give yourself some grace.
- Remember that what you are doing is important. When my daughter was a newborn I felt like I wasn’t really a mom yet because I didn’t have to deal with discipline or “real motherhood problems”, but that’s so not true. You are a mom doing incredible work taking care of this baby. It’s important.
My hope for you is that in this exciting and potentially stressful season with your new baby you can put the worry aside and know you aren’t alone. If you have family close, let them help. If you have mom friends, talk to them. And if you don’t, talk to me! Seriously.
Carry on momma. You’re doing great!