Parenting Advice for First-Time Moms
Our blogger, Morgan, is expecting her first baby this summer. As a mom of two myself, I’ve learned a lot as I’ve navigated this crazy, fun, and incredibly rewarding journey called parenthood. Here are my best pieces of advice for first-time moms:
6 Pieces of Advice for First-Time Moms
There’s no such thing as Super Mom. There will be times when you try really hard to be one. Don’t beat yourself up too much when you make mistakes. Because you will make mistakes. There no science to being a mom – it’s a lot of trial and error and a ton of patience and love.
Fair warning: you’ll get A LOT of unsolicited advice – Do what you feel is right. Right now, I’m on the receiving end of a lot of opinions around what my daughter eats and what I should be feeding her. And while I take the feedback like a champ, I often want to tell people not to judge or share their opinion when they have no idea what I feed my child. This is one of the many challenges of parenthood. Some advice is exactly what you need at just the right time, other times you wish you could shut it all out. Don’t worry, those feelings are normal.
Your motherhood instinct WILL kick in. Before you become a parent, it’s natural to be nervous and wonder if you’ll know how to take care of your baby. I’m here to tell you you will; in those moments when your baby is really screaming, you will feel it all the way up your spine. So much so that you will do the motherly thing and pick your baby up and rock her after you’ve read somewhere that you should let her cry it out. Your body will tell you differently. That’s okay, that’s the mother’s instinct.
You will sleep again. Those first few months are the hardest and honestly, I found them to be the hardest because of the lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation from new parenthood is like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. In the moment I didn’t think it was all that bad but looking back I was a bit of a crazy person during the first year of my child’s life. Not the first couple months. No, your adrenaline will carry you through those first few months. But when the adrenaline fades and you’re still not getting a full 6-7 hours of uninterrupted sleep, you’ll start to feel like you are losing your mind. You will wonder if you ever will again sleep uninterrupted through the night. You will.
The moments that drive you crazy won’t last forever. Your child will eventually sleep through the night, he will stop throwing food on the floor (by the way, if you are smart, you’d get a dog that likes to eat said food off the floor), she will actually go a full day without crying – really I promise, because you will question this at times. And when it’s time, your child will be potty trained (how many college kids do you know who still wear diapers?). Everything that drives you crazy will come to an end, but there will be something new that drives you crazy too. But your beautiful little baby will only take his first steps once and he will only fit perfectly in your lap for a short amount of time. Cherish it.
You’ll have a whole new perspective: When your child is first born, you will constantly be amazed that she used to be in your belly just a few short months ago. As she grows up though you’ll start to wonder how it is even humanly possible that this independent person was once in your body. You’ll start to see yourself in her – and your spouse too. When she is first born, it might be her beautiful blue eyes. You’ll notice your son has your husband’s sense of humor or he has your own sly grin. You’ll realize they really do listen when they start using slang phrases like you do. And every day, while you’re trying to be Super Mom, trying to survive, your child will do something or say something that just lights up your day. And in those moments you’ll silently think to yourself “Gosh, I love her SO much” or “Wow, he is just the most amazing thing in my life.” And he is. She is. Your baby will be.
Parenthood is the hardest, most rewarding experience you will have every single day. Being nervous is natural but totally unnecessary. Just enjoy it. Motherhood is the best gift you will ever receive.