Monday, April 8, 2013

Dear My First Time Mommy Self...

I am not a parenting expert (and really, what does that mean anyway!?). I don't claim to be the best mommy in the world- I count days where my kids are clean, fed, and not in PJs a success. And Lord knows I have more questions than answers about being a mom. But there are some things that I wish I could go back and tell myself before having Ava. So I wanted to share them- for myself, and for my first time mom friends. I hope this offers some encouragement to your new life!

*It doesn't matter if you have a sitter, you will never leave your child (mentally, at least). But don't dwell on that too much- it will only add to the exhaustion.

*Getting frustrated is normal and expected. And it is okay. Put the baby down in a safe place (screaming and all) and walk outside. Take a little break. IT IS OKAY.

*Take the Newborn Care Class lecture about not shaking the baby seriously. Because, no matter how "educated" or "above that" you think you are, you will be tempted. It will be 3 am after 5 hours of screaming and no sleep. But you will be tempted.

*There are a lot of trappings that go into having a baby these days. But you really NEED very little.

*Don't spend your time comparing your child to your friends' kids. Spend your time enjoying your own!

*Put your phone down and talk to your baby.

*Don't worry too much about having 20 of everything in every size. You won't need half.

*Breastfeeding doesn't make you a great parent. Formula feeding doesn't make you a bad parent. Those who will tell you otherwise...don't listen to them. Do what is best for you and your baby.

*Just because dad/grandma/aunt does something differently than you do doesn't mean that they are doing it wrong. Most of the time, anyway.

*Don't worry about what people think about you when it comes to the well being of your child. They will get over it- baby comes first.

*Your living room will have toys. Your car will have crumbs. Your clothes will get poop and puke on them. And it will all be okay.

*Your pediatrician went to medical school, but you carried that little person inside you for 9+ months, and your instincts deserve some credence, too.

*It is okay to ask for help and take a break. Really. No one will think less of you.