Monday, October 24, 2011

Ten Tips for a New Mom

Congratulations!! You have just experienced the most soul-changing, heart-expanding experience any human can live through. Motherhood is an amazing journey with many beautiful surprises. I'm no expert, just a mom who's been where you are. Here are a few bits of advice I wish I had listened to when I was in your shoes.

1. Accept Help: Seriously. This is not the time to be heroic. People want to help you. Let them! If they're doing all that stuff you don't normally want to do anyway then you get to hang out getting to know that amazing little newborn you now refer to as "my son" or "my daughter".

2. Don't worry: Really, just stop. The only thing you should be worried about right now is letting this most delicate precious time zip by without you taking the opportunity to breathe in every single detail. When you find yourself starting to obsess about something just tell her you love her 10 times. Repeat as necessary. I promise it will all be OK.

3. Get newborn portraits done professionally: I didn't do this and I will regret it until the day I die. The perfection of Ada as a newborn is something that only exists in my mind. I want to look at (really good) pictures of her. I want her to be able to look at pictures of herself so that she will know what a miracle she was.

4. Keep a journal of some sort: the human memory is so faulty. Write it down. Write what happened. Write how you felt about it. Write his birth story. when he's a little older, or even a lot older, he will never tire of hearing how that moment changed everything for the better.

5. Trust yourself: You will never get more advice in your life about anything as you will get right now. Take what's useful and discard the rest. Nobody knows this little soul better than you do.

6. Let your husband help you from the very beginning: Do it now, while he's excited about it! Give him positive feedback and be ready for him to do it differently. The baby will survive it. Let him participate. If you squash it now, well, good luck to you a couple of years from now when you are desperate for him to help and he feels inept.

7. Don't let "Perfect" be the enemy of "Good": There is no such thing as perfect parenting - this will drive you insane if you don't kick perfectionism to the curb. Do you best, love your child, protect your marriage and protect yourself.

8. Get Out: You have to preserve your sanity. If you lose yourself, none of this will be any good. Don't let yourself go - go get your hair cut, get a massage, go see your waxist, run!. The baby will be OK with out you for 90 minutes. Keep in touch with your friends. Even though you're on planet baby right now, you will need them later.

9. Prioritize your marriage: That guy? Yeah, him. You married him not too long ago. Actively love him. Connect with him. Go for walks around the neighborhood with your husband  (this saved us during the "witching hour"). You're on the same team, even if you're both on team TIRED.

10. Remind  yourself that YOU ARE A GREAT MOTHER.
So long as the baby isn't going clubbing with you, you aren't putting Budweiser in her bottle and you aren't hitting or shaking her then you probably are a great mom. You are trying your hardest. You are loving that child with all your might.You are making the most responsible choices you can. Nobody can ask more of you than that, including yourself.

8 Lovies:

Greta said...

I saw that little lamb in Stasha's list and I had to click! *Swoon*

Anyway...I love this list, especially number 7. And number 6. And the rest of them. :)

Jackie said...

#7- Don't let "Perfect" be the enemy of "Good" - rings so true! How often we become obssessed with doing it perfectly when that little one has no clue.

Bestfoodies said...

I completely agree with trusting yourself, really moms have an instinct and we do know whats best for our babies and kids! The don't worry...if only I could do that...probably not going to happen!

Hopes@Staying Afloat! said...

What a great list! I love the one about letting your husband help out when you have the brand new baby. It gets both him and the baby used to eachother. PERFECT!

Stasha said...

Oh my, don't let perfect be the enemy of good! Now that is perfect in itself. What a lovely list and I am so glad you added a few on a count of relationship.

Dominique@Dominique's Desk said...

I really agree to the point that to get hubby to help out as early as possible. I did that with my #1 and now with my #3 he automatically helps out as he is an experienced father. It really helps me tremendously to see him so hands on.

Cookie's Mom said...

Very good advice here. I especially like that you spoke about that other guy, hubby, the other half of the parenting equation - letting him be daddy in his way and continuing to re-connect with him. So important.

Judy said...

I love the list - every new parent needs a copy!