So much advice will come your way during pregnancy and after birth. Read one new mom’s favorite lessons.
After first announcing my pregnancy and then becoming a new mom, I received a lot of parenting and new-mom advice from family, friends and strangers. Of the hundreds (if not thousands) of tidbits of wisdom I received, here are my three favorite unexpected tips for new moms.
1. Don’t feel like you have to savor every single moment.
When people see a parent with a newborn, they often say something like, “Savor every single moment; they’re only babies for a short time!” While that’s true, some moments you don’t want to savor: middle-of-the-night-wakeups, fussy babies that can’t seem to be calmed and appalling diaper explosions, to name a few. Instead of thinking that you’re not being a perfect mom for appreciating every moment, take just a little time each day to savor one thing. Maybe it’s a soft, happy sigh from a full, sleepy baby. Maybe it’s a teeny hand wrapped around your pinkie finger. Or maybe it’s that darn good meal that you got on the table during a perfectly timed newborn nap. Don’t stress about savoring every moment. Instead, spend a little time each day appreciating and savoring one thing.
2. Give your body ample time get back to the way it was.
I devoted a ton of energy when I was pregnant to staying healthy and fit. I ate well, drank lots of water, and spent a lot of time walking and doing prenatal yoga. For that reason, I thought I could pop right back into shape after baby arrived, and I set a goal to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by six weeks postpartum. What I didn’t realize was that, with a newborn, I wouldn’t initially have the time or energy to exercise, nor would I be spending much time making fresh, veggie-filled meals. When six weeks postpartum arrived and I hadn’t reached my goal, I felt defeated. I wished I had listened to the women who told me, “nine months to put the weight on, nine months to take it off.” That’s a realistic, healthy, and attainable goal that I later adopted. And guess what? Because it’s realistic, I got closer to achieving it every day. That made me feel accomplished and happy, and I think a happy mom is one of the most important things for baby to have.
3. Trust that you’re doing it right.
If you Google anything baby-related, you’ll find far more opinions and debates on any given topic than you realized. It’s easy to get sucked in, second-guessing and doubting the decisions you make about your new little one. While the Internet is a great source of information, it’s important to remember that a parent’s intuition is an amazingly powerful tool. Use the Internet (or parenting books) as needed, but when in doubt, trust your intuition and knowledge of your little one. I’m willing to bet that you’re doing an amazing job, making the absolute right decisions for you, your baby and your family.
Parents, what advice have you been given that was particularly helpful? I’d love to hear in the comments below!
This post was written by Amy Donovan, a food blogger, wife to a clever architect, a new mother to a wonderful little girl, a yoga lover and a social media junkie. You can learn more about Amy on her blog, Fearless Homemaker.