First and foremost, congratulations on your little bundle of joy. Secondly welcome to the most wonderful, most rewarding, most beautiful part of life. It’s one that will change the way you look at things, the way you react to things and definitely one you’ll always hold dear.
If you’re happy, scared, nervous it’s very normal! I remember sitting with my newborn daughter and having a gazillion emotions going through me. My biggest fear was not knowing if I was going to be a good mother. There are no classes that teach you how to be a mother. Some people may tell you not to worry because it all comes naturally. I have to agree some motherly instincts come naturally but other’s not so much. It’s a learning process for you mama, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Here are 6 things I wish I knew back then, that I know now:
Trust your heart and trust your gut!
This is your child, one that you carried for months in your womb. This baby knows the beat of your heart and knows you are there for him or her. So, when it comes to feedings, nap times, times to console, you do what you think is best. It’s amazing how many times I felt something was not right and no one else would agree with me, and then I would find out I was right. For the most part I would say, 99% of the time even, “mommy knows best!” You will have hits and misses, and that’s OKAY! There is no such thing as a perfect mommy. So NEVER put yourself down for a mistake, you learn from them and move on.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It takes two to make a baby, and a village to raise one. So let dad, grandma, grandpa and or a friend help you out. The first couple of months are hard with so much sleep deprivation, you’ll be happy not to turn down any extra help. I remember feeling bad having my mom and mother in law take my daughter so I could rest. Now though, I am so appreciative for all their help, thanks to them I was able to recover faster after my c-sections. It’s important that you watch out for your health, just like you do your newborns. Hey mama, if anyone volunteers to help you take it! Which leads me to the next point.
Do ask each person who wants to carry your bundle of joy to PLEASE wash their hands.
This precious gift from up above is very fragile, so your mission as a new mommy should be to make sure you keep them out of harm’s way. Of course, some people might get offended but who cares, heaven forbid any adult passes on his or her nasty germs to your poor defenseless child! You will not regret it, mama I know what I’m telling you. You want a peace of mind; ask them kindly and if they can’t oblige then they shouldn’t get to hold your little one. We know of parents who would tell us they regret not asking people to wash their hands before picking up their babies, and the mess that could have been prevented had they’d been a bit stricter on this.
Pediatricians- there are many, pick one that you and your child feel comfortable with.
I went through three pediatricians before going back to the first. He was one that I felt well with and my children did too. They may know a lot, but they aren’t with your baby 24/7 so it’s important that you take your observations into the equation as well. There are some things our pediatrician didn’t even recognize in a medical sense, but my mom, aunts and cousins would swear by it. So, it’s important to look into all aspects surrounding your little one’s symptoms and environment.
Make a schedule that works for you!
If you want to nap when the baby naps, do it. If you can’t because you have other things to do, then do half of that and then rest. The joys of motherhood will give you plenty of piles of dirty dishes, laundry etc. so don’t burn yourself out the first couple of months. Planning is key to having a bit of a normal life after baby. If I could go back, I would try planning out my meals better and cleaning schedules to not feel so overwhelmed.
Give yourself some TLC.
You just brought a miracle into this world, that’s huge! That is no small feat! Yes, this beautiful soul needs you, but you also need to place yourself first at times to pull through. As I mentioned before this has to be the most rewarding job we will ever have, but it’s also the most selfless. And sometimes we may forget ourselves in the mix of all things. I by no means am trying to say that you should continue like you have no child. What I mean is don’t forget in order to pass on happiness, joy and love you must have all these things yourself first. So, love yourself A LOT, don’t allow yourself to put yourself last all the time.
Overall there should be a lot more “happy times” than not. However, it can get overwhelming, mama, so don’t be afraid. Also, if you feel something is not right or you’re afraid to be alone with your little one, talk to someone. It is very important that you are outspoken about how you are feeling as well. If you feel you need to talk to someone, reach out to your doctor or a close family or friend. Many blessings and well wishes on your new journey through motherhood.
~Viridiana Nevarez Mellado