Motherhood is hard. It is even harder for first time moms. It is just down right overwhelming. It is your responsibility to not only keep this little human alive, but raise them to be a kind, hardworking and successful self sufficient adult.
Unfortunately, when your child is born, they don’t come with a handy manual! You just have to wing it. So here are my tips to all the first time moms out there, because I was once a first timer too!
I mean it. I know it sounds silly but you can handle this motherhood thing. God gave you this beautiful little human for a reason; don’t ever forget that!
2. Feed your baby.
Yes, we all know to feed your baby but don’t get caught up in whether you breastfeed or use formula or both! Fed is best. Plain and simple. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad if you decide to use formula or if you have to breastfeed your child in public.
3. Eat. Eat all the food!
After delivering a baby, you will be starving. Your stomach is finally free from the 7 pound human that has been using it as a pillow for 9 months and you will be hungry. If you are breast feeding, you will need to keep your calorie intake up for milk production. Don’t feel guilty over any food endulgence you have. You just created life, so eat the last slice of pizza.
4. Trust your gut.
Everyone will be giving you lots of advice. You will hear, “if I was you” or “if that was my baby” quite a bit. Those people mean well. Remember that but also remember this is your child. You know what is best for them and you have the say when it comes to their needs and well being.
Don’t worry about what other people think or say because whatever choice you make, you are making it with the best interest of your child in mind. That is never a bad choice.
5. Sleep. A lot.
With a newborn, sleep is difficult to get. Even when my babies would sleep, I would find myself watching them sleep just to make sure they were breathing. Do yourself a tremendous favor and invest in a sleep monitor. They will help you not only get sleep but get a restful sleep. And don’t feel bad if you napped while the baby did. The housework isn’t going anywhere and it will go away faster when you are rested. Oh, and invest in a coffee pot. You will need it.
6. Take the help.
If family and friends offer help, take it. Whether they want to bring you a meal, help around the house or even just snuggle the baby for a bit. Let them. It truly takes a village to raise a child and it starts the minute they are born.
7. Don’t Neglect Self-Care.
This might be the most important tip you will ever receive. You are now a mom, but you are first and foremost a woman. Take time to have a long shower or paint your nails. Go to the salon and have your hair done. Taking time to remind yourself that you are not just a baby feeding, diaper changing, ball of hormones is crucial to your mental health.
8. Go out!
Motherhood is lonely at times. You can’t just get up and go to whatever you want, whenever you want. That is why finding a sitter or family member you trust to watch your little one from time to time is crucial. And don’t feel guilty about it. Have a girls night or a date night. Your friends need it, your partner needs it and you need it. You will find that afterwards, your mood will be better. Everyone needs to blowoff steam from time to time; especially moms.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Whether it is to family members, friends or your child’s pediatrician; no question is “dumb” when it comes to parenting or your child’s well-being.
10. Enjoy every single second.
Yep, you have definitely heard this one but it is so true. It seems like yesterday I was rocking my first baby to sleep and now he is going into the second grade. One day there will be no more newborn cries, diapers to change or babies to burp. Savor every second of this stage because you won’t know when it will be the last of these moments and you will miss this. During this chapter, the days are long but the years are short. Soak up all of the beautiful chaos that is your life.
Photos by Crooked Creek Candids