Ask nearly any mother and they will tell you how they remember the fear, when they were huge and round with their first child, not knowing what they were going to do or what kind of mother they would be. But as time moved forward, most would confide, all of their fears and insecurities were silly, their worries futile.
But when you don’t have kids, it’s difficult to imagine not being scared. You don’t know what the days will be like and you can’t really imagine how much one little, screaming eight pound bundle of joy can change your life.
First time mom’s are scared. And they should be. Life’s about to change in a way they can’t imagine. But with a few helpful tips maybe the fear doesn’t have to be quite so overwhelming.
No one is perfect. Not even the mom who dropped all her baby weight before she left the hospital and always shows up with her baby quietly sleeping, her make-up all in place, and never has spit up on her sleeve. Quit trying to be perfect and work on just being you.
Really, it is. Babies cry. It’s sort of their thing. And when you can’t handle listening to it any longer, put her/him down in the crib, shut the door, and walk outside for five minutes where you can’t hear her/him anymore. Don’t worry. They will still be there when you come back. And sometimes five minutes is all you (and baby) need.
And that’s okay, because you know what? Having a new baby at home is overwhelming. But take it day by day, don’t worry about every little detail and you’ll be just fine.
Having a baby in the 21st century can be hard. We’ve got bottle sanitizers and wipe warmers. There’s contrary information on binkies and what bottle nipples to use. But here’s a nifty secret: babies have been around a lot longer than all of those contraptions and they’ve been doing just fine without them. Don’t think you need to have the biggest and best of everything. All you really need is a lot of love.
If you’ve never swaddled a baby before, it can be difficult and confusing. Many don’t understand how you can get a little squirming person wrapped into a blanket with no buttons or zippers, but you need to figure it out. If you struggle, ask the hospital nurse, watch a YouTube video, or seek out a trusted friend who is an experienced mother. It doesn’t matter how you learn, just do it.
Your baby is only a baby for a little bit. And those first few weeks at home are so important to you both. So don’t worry about keeping up with the laundry and the dishes. Let someone else do them when they come to visit. Just spend time with baby and get to know one another.
While your days may seem really long once baby’s here, don’t worry about holding her/him too long or loving her/him too much. It’s true, babies can’t be spoiled. And, before you realize it, you’re going to have a sassy 10-year-old on your hands, and you’ll wish so bad you could go back to the little bundle of joy they once were.
Chances are you know someone who has had a baby. Ask them for help when you need it. It doesn’t matter if it’s your mother, your best friend, sister, or co-worker, when you need help, ask for it. All of us mothers have been there a time or two, ready to pull our hair out, wanting nothing more than to take a five minute shower by ourselves. Ask for help when you need it. You’ll be amazed at what a new set of arms (and nerves) can do.
It seems mothers need to grow a second set of arms once baby’s born, because that’s what you’ll need. One way to achieve it (sort of) is by wearing baby. Not only does it free up your hands, but it’s great for the little one too. She/he gets to be close to you and you still get to do something other than sit in the rocking chair.
Yes, your mother’s reared babies and you made it into adulthood. And yes, your pediatrician went to med school. But sometimes, you just need to trust your gut. If you feel like something just isn’t right, but other people tell you it is, get a second (or third) opinion. We know our babies better than anyone else, and you need to trust the bond you’ve built.
But don’t worry about them. It doesn’t matter if you’re mother of the year, someone, somewhere will still find fault with how you’re bringing up your child. Screw them. It’s your baby, do it your way.
Really, you are. So try and enjoy it while you can, because they’ll be grown before you know it.