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Real Advice for First Time Moms
There is nothing like the experience of having your first child. Everything is so new and exciting. I remember the thrill of the pregnancy, the fear of the childbirth, and the overwhelming amount of joy I felt when I first held my baby. Being a mother is the most magical experience you will ever have, but it will also be the most trying and difficult one as well.
The first thing a new mother should do is create a lifeline of mothers. Whether they are friends or family members, other mothers will be your saving grace. They have experienced all the joy, exhaustion, and confusion that you have, and they are usually more than willing to help because of their experience.
You are about to embrace on the most amazing journey of your life so here are some tips to help you get through.
What first time moms really need to know-
1. Sleep is never going to be the same. I remember being told this, but I never had a clue it was actually going to be true. Since my first child was born I can probably count on one hand how many nights I have slept the whole night through without waking. Whether your child is sick or wakes up in the middle of the night ready to play, they are going to wake you up. When people tell you to rest up before baby, they really mean it.
2. Value your shower time. Some days your shower is your only solitude, it’s the only time you can take a deep breath and have a moment to reflect. Don’t forget to wash the baby spit up out of your hair while you are reflecting.
3. Remember your marriage. Your husband is probably going to feel a little lost in all the chaos. He won’t know when to help, when not to help, and whether or not he will ever get his wives attention again. It will seem crazy to even consider his feelings when you are up all night changing diapers and rocking a newborn to sleep, but men are much like children; they crave your attention as well and they need to know they are needed and appreciated. So look his way, give him a smile, and let him know you remember and love him.
4. Forgive yourself. Mommy guilt is about to become a big part of your life. Remember that every mother has it, every mother lives with it every day!! You will find yourself making many mistakes, but you have to forgive yourself and move on. Don’t waste precious time dwelling on what you could have done differently. Learn from your mistakes and move on, there will be many more made.
5. Learn to eat while standing, walking, nursing, and singing….Sitting down to eat has just become the last thing on your list of priorities, but don’t forget to nourish yourself with healthy foods. You are going to need the energy.
6. Say goodbye to your wardrobe for now. Even if you are lucky enough to fit into your clothes shortly after baby is born, those clothes will no longer be the ones you want to wear.
7. Invest in sweats and pajamas.These will be a staple in your new wardrobe for a little while, no not forever, but there will be days this is all you want to wear. Get used to it. You won’t look perfect, or feel perfect, but you will be comfortable in those sweats!
8. Stock up on ponytail holders. You will not have time to do your hair, and hopefully you can locate a hairbrush to pull it back if you have to go in public. Remember, easy is better during this time.
9. Remember all this is temporary. Each moment you feel stressed, each day that you don't get enough sleep, it is helpful to remind yourself that this won't last forever.
10. Let other people help you. When a friend or family member offers to help you with cooking, cleaning, or holding baby while you sneak a shower, say Yes!!
11. It’s not going to be how you think. We see beautiful pictures of motherhood and the joy that it brings truly is immeasurable, but it is anything but perfect. Many days will feel like you are stuck and your "pick up and go anywhere life" is gone. You will probably have to give up the mommy pampering time for a while, (forget your hair and your nails, the best you can hope for is a bath!).
12. You will never be the same. You will change, your spouse will change, and your life will change. It doesn’t mean it will change for the worse, but some people don’t like change and are unprepared. Embrace it and accept it.
Will you EVER sleep again?
The National sleep foundation reports that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Even though a newborn sleeps 16 to 20 hours a day, they are sleeping in small 'fits' between feeding. This leaves it very difficult for parents (especially moms) to get more than a few hours at a time. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel...at around three months babies start to sleep through the night. YAY! So hang in there, eventually you will feel 'somewhat' less sleep deprived.