For New Moms...
- It's okay to cry. In fact, it's a healthy release of the pent up stress you will surely be feeling as a new parent and it is far better to come out this way then to come out as a raised voice to your child, or worse. Cry with your baby when you need to. It's ok, I promise.
- It's okay to feel frustrated with your baby. Hardly anything is ever perfectly ideal all the time, and parenthood is faaar from it. Feeling frustrated is perfectly normal, acting apon it is not. Like my mother in law says, "It's okay to want to throw your baby out the window, it's not okay to throw the baby out the window." Depend on family, friends, and the child's father if they are available and involved to receive the support you need.
- If you absolutely are at your wits end and cannot calm down put your baby in a safe place, such as their empty crib or a bouncer or a swing, and walk away and count to 10, breathing deeply. I am not advocating the cry-it-out method here, I'm simply advocating taking care of mom in order to take care of baby, and once in awhile you may need to be able to do this without feeling guilty. Mom to mom, don't feel guilty. A few minutes of crying will not hurt your baby, and is not neglecting your baby (unless you do this regularly, keep in mind we're talking dire situations..) and is far better than dealing with the damage and guilt brought on by poor little babies getting shaken out of frustration.
- You will not always be able to calm your baby down, especially if you can't calm down. That doesn't make you a bad mom, that just makes you a mom. Practice trying to stay calm and talk to baby as normal when they are crying. If you panic it will only add to the situations intensity, but often times the baby will pick up on your cool vibes and chill out a little bit.
- You're going to be judged more now than you ever thought possible. Every single move you make (or don't make) will be heavily scrutinized, occasionally ridiculed, and sometimes discussed behind your back once you become a parent. Why? Because we all LOVE and WORRY about our babies(even if their not our babies per say..) or at least, that's how I choose to perceive it, an instinct to care and feel concern for the young. Don't let them bother you, and take the critics with a grain of salt. Is your child healthy? Is your child happy? Then you have done a successful job, mama. Will every day end that way? NO. o_O Just thought I'd warn you now...
- This time is precious. It might seem like it's taking forever for things to "get back to normal" but the truth is, there is no back to normal now. There's only finding a new 'normal' for your family, where it was once more about yourself (or yourself and your partner). Take time to smell the roses, and every time you're exhausted walking that baby around and think you can't take any more, try to remember, you only have a few short years that you get to carry them around and comfort them so closely. (I need to go cry now...excuse me..)
- Everyone gets suckered into trends. Parents are no different. There's lots of crazy parenting trends around, always has been, always will be. Don't fall for them.
- Appreciate yourself. This beautiful bundle was made with your essence and hard work! Appreciate your baby, they are a special and wonderous life. Appreciate your partner, and the wonderful gift they have given you. Parenting can be done alone, but if you are fortunate enough to be a doing it with the other half make sure that you show them appreciation and care whenever possible. Give each other quiet time by taking the baby to play in the nursery for 1 on 1 time with you for a bit while your ot her half relaxes and vice versa. 30 minutes quiet time can do wonders for everyone, especially with a new baby around, and that includes Dad.