First Timers.

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First Timers.

March 3, 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about first time moms. I was recently at a baby shower for my lovely cousin, who is having her first baby this April.

When asked to write down some advice for the new parents, my card was handed in last. I probably over thought it, but I had so many things to say and only one little card to write on. But I also didn’t want to give “unsolicited advice” because no one likes that. So I wrote something from the heart instead.

But it got me thinking about what I could share with new parents that I wish someone had shared with me when I became a mom for the first time.

Speaking of my first time as a mom, I was so scared of giving birth that I didn’t give much thought to what would happen after. My son Nathaniel, was the first baby I ever held. The first baby I ever changed or fed or cared for. I was learning as I went and asking a lot of questions along the way. Here are a few things I wish someone had told me before I had him.

Allow yourself to heal. First and foremost, allow yourself some at home healing time. Hibernate, stay in bed, rest, eat, and sleep when you can. Not only do you have a little tiny baby to care for, you have just been through a huge life event and a trauma to your body and the only thing that can heal your body is time and rest. Expect some tears. I was super teary for the first two weeks postpartum after all of my children. It’s totally normal and can be blamed on hormones and sleep deprivation.

Visitors. It’s ok to say no to visitors if you need to. Put yourself and your families needs first. Your friends and family will understand. There will be lots of time for visiting when your up to it. And if anyone asks what they can do for you, ask for freezer meals. They are a life saver. My mother in law made a batch of stew and chill and put them in ziplocs for our freezer and we lived on them for weeks. The best.

Trust your instincts. This sounds really easy and straight forward until you are totally sleep deprived and trying to make decisions. Maybe it’s because I’m a Libra but I always question and second guess everything. But in the end, my first thoughts and instincts are usually right. You will get to know your baby like nobody else does. You will know what each different cry means, what they can and cannot eat, how to make them laugh and how to comfort them. So it’s true that you will know what’s best for them.

Parenting is a learned experience. Parenting, like everything else in life is learned. Sure we have instincts to guide us. But changing diapers and choosing which solids are best to feed our babies are things we learn. We read and watch and ask questions. So if you don’t know something, ask. Don’t feel that you are expected to know everything. We tend to have such high expectations of ourselves when we become parents and it’s hard to keep up with it all. When in doubt, ask another mom or dad.

It’s a phase. I so wish someone would have said this to me all of those times when I was freaking out about a new bad habit that my child had picked up. Now, I just let these things roll off my back. “Oh my daughter learned the word stupid and is saying it every 5 seconds.” Don’t freak out.  Because tomorrow she will probably have forgotten all about it. This also applies to babies. Teething for example, comes and goes. Sleep regression, it will pass. The witching hour…. well that one might take a while.

Everyday is a new day. Some days the schedule is bang on. Other days, it’s a little off. Which can be frustrating to us parents who love schedules. But the good news is – you can start fresh tomorrow! It’s a powerful thought. Some days are hard and you start to think; this is the new “norm” they will be doing this everyday now. But it’s not true, just remember that you can always start fresh the next day.

I hope all these tips were helpful!

Good luck to all the new mama’s out there – your doing a great job!

Heather

One response to “First Timers.”

  1. Sandra says:

    Great article. I remember being that new mom. So important to set aside time for yourself and NOT feel guilty about it! xo

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