As a first-time mom, I was 100% clueless.
I’d never held a baby, let alone changed a diaper. When random strangers would offer me mom advice, I desperately listened. Because any kind advice was good advice since I knew zero about babies. Sadly, I was hit with a lot of useless advice. I can’t tell you how many times I heard, “sleep when the baby sleeps,” which is cute, but doesn’t work for everyone. Especially, if you’re a type-A person like myself and need to get things checked off the to-do list when the baby’s sleeping.
After having three children, and experiencing a lot of highs and a lot of lows, I wish people would have been more selective with their advice.
Maybe if I’d heard more sound advice during my first pregnancy, I wouldn’t have been such a crazy, over the top, by the book lunatic. Too bad we’ll never know. But here are some things I’ve learned along the way that hopefully help you maintain some kind of sanity. Operative word being some because raising babies is hard work.
Better Advice for New Moms
- Be confident in your decision and stop doubting yourself. Mother’s intuition is a real thing. Nobody knows your baby like you do and I mean no one. Do what feels right.
- Don’t sweat the small things. As a parent of one, two, three, four or however many kids you have, it’s essential to let the little things go. Whether it’s a pack ‘n’ play in the middle of your living room disrupting the feng shui or a kitchen sink filled with bottles and breast pump parts, be like Elsa and “let it go.”
- Don’t go overboard with baby gear. It’s unnecessary. The older your child gets, the more expensive they become so don’t buy every little gidget and gadget. Sorry to say it, but no baby comes out requesting a bottle warmer or a baby food maker. It’s called warm water and a blender.
- Pick your battles. And that applies to your partner. Don’t turn everything into a fight because you’re stressed and beyond tired. You’re both learning together so ease up. I say this because I turned everything into a fight with my husband. Silly things, small things, I shouldn’t have given a second thought, I blew out of proportion.
- Find “me time.” It’s ok to want alone time and remember, you deserve it. Especially, if you plan on maintaining some kind of sanity. Even if it’s a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood just so you can listen to your favorite podcast, do it. Whatever it is, a little alone time is good for you and the baby.
- Venture out. Don’t be afraid to get out of the house. This isn’t the 1300s and there’s no Black Plague. With my first child, I literally stayed indoors until she was around six-weeks-old because I wanted her immune system develop. Cray cray. With my third child, the day after she was born, my mom hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner at her house with our family and yes, my one-day old newborn baby was there.
- Life will get easier. Most importantly, the newborn phase will pass. Give it some time and give yourself a break. The first three months are exhausting, but before you know it, it’s over and you’ll be done with the around the clock feedings, blowouts, and the whole no-sleeping thing.