If you’re a current mom, then you were definitely at one point a first time “mother to be.” That first time around you get slews of both requested and unsolicited advice, and can quite honestly feel like you are stuck on a roller coaster inching to the top of the highest point before the drop wishing you had never sat on the seat you currently find yourself strapped into. All the
information noise that surrounds you in this crazy season can be downright overwhelming and terrifying. Sound familiar?
Phew. Thank God you only have to be a first time mommy once, am I right? 😉
When friends of mine ask me, or even when some of you DM me asking, first time mommy advice, I have learned what ACTUALLY matters to share. I can suggest brands and must have baby items. Sure. But here are my three pieces of advice I give mommies to-be that actually matter.
- Find good mommy friends! Yep, my #1 thing… find friends who are in it with you. People you can text at 11 PM asking if it’s normal that your baby is *insert crazy thing that happens with newborns that you think means your baby must be messed up.* Community is everything, and it’s truly going to impact the way you parent the most- above all else. Above what brand of bottles you buy, what swing you register for, what crib you get, what fancy stroller you spend oodles of money on… Community. It’s the thing you need most.
- I swear by a schedule. I know, it’s a method. And… it’s one not everybody gets behind. And, not every baby is the same. AND yours might not take to it. I get it, I get it. But try. For your own sleep and sanity, try. You’ll experience hell for about a week of trying to keep baby awake during certain “day hours” to teach them when we sleep and when we are awake… but do it. I am a better human when I am in a routine, and so is my child.
- Breastfeeding just might not be what’s best for you and your baby. GASP. I know, hate on me. But when I see #breastisbest it actually makes me want to vomit (and makes me furious), because it’s belittling an entire force of bad-a, rockstar moms who had to make a decision that was best for her, her baby, and to be an overall better mom. Breastfeeding might not be best for your sanity. It might send you into postpartum depression, making the whole actual MOTHERING thing near impossible. Your milk might, for one reason or another, not be fatty enough to help your kid grow (AYO! That’s what my situation was!). There are so many reasons why choosing solely pumping or full-on formula just might be a better situation for you and your baby. You are a better mother when you make wise choices for BOTH of you. What works for you and allows you to be fully present with your child? If that’s breastfeeding, do it! It’s amazing. But if it’s not, you’re still an AMAZING MOMMY. Thank God for science that allows us to have access to things for our children that work and help them grow- boob or no boob. Motherhood is a whole lot of sacrifice, that’s for sure. Everything you do is going to require a lot of life changes. However, I truly believe the more you keep the mentality “I am adding a baby into my life” rather than “My entire life will never be the same because it revolves around my baby”, the healthier you are mentally and physically. If that means not breastfeeding, then don’t do it.
My last encouragement is to you seasoned moms: ENCOURAGE THE MESS OUT OF EVERY MOMMY TO BE YOU FIND. Encourage and honor! I just wish everybody would stop having opinions about what other moms are doing to parent their own children as best they can. We are all trying our damn best (am I allowed to say that?… I just did). And, we all love our kids more than anything in this world.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”
Can we make a pact to just honor other moms and their decisions? When we honor somebody, speaking life into them and their strengths, it actually pulls out even more of their best self! Speak life, and bite your tongue (because really, hateful words are just pride) if it doesn’t.
I love giving suggestions and encouraging mommies… like, hello, I am a blogger. I love creating a space for people to share and learn from one another, and I love sharing what’s worked for me. But guess what? It’s okay that we all do stuff differently. You live your truth and convictions while someone else will pursue their own. Bottom line, I can’t say enough to follow your gut. You really will figure out what’s best for you and your baby. You are equipped to be that baby’s mom in a way only you can!
I love y’all so much, mama community! So grateful for you and #mommymondays.