For new moms, those first minutes, days, and weeks are a whirlwind. Your body and mental state fluctuate so much within those first moments of motherhood and at times it seems like you won’t ever be back to normal. Being a mom is a blessing and also one of the hardest things a woman can go through. Because of that, we wanted to share these 10 things all new moms should know, from one mama to another.
New moms are going through a lot. They are trying to navigate being a parent to a newborn, dealing with a whirlwind of emotions, trying to heal from whatever kind of labor and delivery they had, and trying to get back to their other “life duties” on top of all.
Take a breath, mama. You’ve got this!
9 Things All New Moms Should Know
- You are enough. You are all that little one needs in their life. At times it might seem like you can do it all or like you aren’t giving your little one(s) everything thing that they need. It may even seem like you don’t bond with them right away, which can make you feel even worse. Trust me when I say, you are more than enough for that sweet baby. That bond will grow and all they need to grow it, is you.
- You don’t have to be perfect. Forgive yourself. Anyone that puts on that front where motherhood is all rainbows and smiles and happy times, is lying to you. Motherhood isn’t easy! It will be full of ups and downs, and there will be moments where you make mistakes a mom. The good part is, your little one will not know if you are perfect or not. They won’t be able to tell if you put their diaper on the wrong way once. Forgive yourself if you make a mistake or if you take a short cut somewhere. Don’t stress about being the perfect parent, because no one is.
- You don’t have to take all of the advice. For some reason, when people are pregnant, especially new moms, everyone in the world feels the need to give their unsolicited advice. You don’t have to take it all! You will find your own rhythm and parent that little one in a way that works for your family. You might find some advice to be a lifesaver, which is great. But, there are some little advice gems that are completely irrelevant to you or to your little one. Take those with a grain of salt and find the things that work for you. Trust your instincts.
- Take all the pictures. You will be happy that you have all of those precious moments on film with your little one. On the same note, take pictures WITH your little one as well. You may not feel up to par in terms of your looks after having a baby, but don’t let that stop you from cherishing those moments with them and getting as many photos together as possible.
- You are beautiful. Speaking of not feeling up to par… In those moments after giving birth, nothing else matters except for that baby. But, when we look back on the photos from that day or see ourselves in the mirror in the days and weeks that follow, it’s hard not to think about the body that we once had. Our perky smiles (and perky boobs) have been replaced with their tired and saggy counterparts. Is it worth it? Of course, and even through all of those body changes, you are beautiful. You can worry about all of that unimportant stuff later.
- Leave the house. If you’re a brand new mom, you might laugh at this and think that you will never leave the house again. You’re going to have to sooner or later! Even if it is just to the store for one or two things, getting out of the house with that baby is good for them, and it is good for you to feel like you are somewhat normal again. The best thing I ever did with my second daughter was leaving the house to go to the store with my mom when she was four days old. The walking was good for me, the change of scenery was a blessing, and it made me feel like a human being again.
- Ask for help. Seriously, do it. As a mom of four, I thought that I could do it all on my own and I never wanted to ask anyone for help. Something I quickly realized after having my twins was that I NEEDED that extra help. Even if it was just a little bit here and there, a house cleaning, a meal or two, that extra help was a breath of air and a moment of peace for a tired mama. Postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety are so real, and can be devastating. Asking for help will aid you in getting through those rough patches.
- Take care of yourself too. Yes, that baby needs a lot of attention. You will be lacking in all areas: sleep, eating, maybe even showering, but is important that you are looking our for your needs as well as the needs of that baby. Stay hydrated, stay on top of your meals (super important for regaining strength and for breastfeeding mamas), and don’t kill yourself trying to clean the house before people come over to see the baby. If you need to, bring the bouncer into the bathroom while you shower for 2 minutes. No one is going to judge you around here:)
- Rest. Sleep deprivation is no joke. If someone offers to watch that baby for a little while (in the same house, of course) take the chance to close your eyes for a few minutes. You will need all of the chances for rest you can get in the next 18 years, because sleep will never be the same.
***BONUS TIP*** If you are just way too overwhelmed by all the baby gear out there, check out the New Mom Survival Guide to must have baby gear that you’ll actually use on our sister blog, Blooming in Bedlam. Cajun has some great tips on nursing, bottles, schedules AND the one product that had her baby sleeping seven hours straight by FIVE weeks old!
What are some other things all new moms should know? Anything that you wish you would have heard when you were a new mom?