Being a first-time mom is hard -- you're clueless about what to do and at the same time, you're fed up with unsolicited advice that’s coming in and out without warning. I remembered how stressful it was when my little one's barely a month old. Don't feed your child when you're tired. Clean his mouth with a white cloth. He's already 4 months, give water. Don't do this, Don't do that. And unnecessary tips go on and on.
Dealing with different beliefs, especially when you have your own, is hard but did you know that you can make your life a little less complicated?
Yes, momma, YOU CAN! Every pregnancy is different (and that's one thing that you should remember) so what worked for you may not work for her, and vice versa. So before you lose your sanity, here are some helpful tips that you may consider as you start your journey as a mom.
I apologize if this sounds unsolicited but, well, I hope this helps!
1. Keep your cool.
I know it's easier said than done (trust me, I've rolled my eyes a thousand times for every undesirable advice) but with a little practice, comes a better result. And remember, a wise woman once said: “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
2. Google is not your BFF.
The search engine may come handy in times of need but the more you know, the more you get confused. Empty your mind sometimes and listen to the so-called "mother's instinct".
3. Join a group/community and get yourself educated.
The Internet is a place for different communities and it won't be hard for you to find a group that will educate and listen to you. Feel free to join them and read inspirational stories. It's relieving to hear that you're not the only one experiencing changes, difficulties, etc.
4. Your kid, your rule.
Whether you wanted to breastfeed your child or buy a formula, go on with your decision. Your child's milk won't validate you as a mom. You are a good mom or even the best in your child's eyes. That won't change.
5. Purchase parenting books and other reading materials.
While the Internet is a place for different articles, documentaries, and essays, having a book by your side makes a significant difference. Learn and decide which among those principles is best for you and your family.
Here are some books for first-time moms and dads that you can consider:
- The Sh!T No One Tells You: A Guide To Surviving Your Baby's First Year
- We're Pregnant! The First Time Dad's Pregnancy Handbook
- The Pregnancy Guide: Straight Talk For Expectant Parents From Pregnancy Test To Birth
6. Accept changes.
As you grow a child inside you, changes take place. It might not be the best (in your eyes) but do not get frustrated. Yes, your stretch marks might terrify you but these are your battle scars. You’ve given birth and that’s one of the most wonderful blessings you can ever have.
7. Seek help.
Do not feel guilty if you want to ask for assistance. You are a mom but still, you are a human being who gets hungry and exhausted. There's nothing wrong with asking someone to carry your child for a little while so you can have a good 30-minute sleep. After all, your child needs you more than anything and the last thing you want is to get sick.
Speaking of help, if you feel like you're suffering from PostPartum Depression (PPD), do not hesitate to visit a medical professional immediately.
8. Don't be afraid to spoil your child.
Your child will only be a child for how many years? Three? Four? Five? It won't be long until you realize that your little one is a grown-up and holding them in your arms is nearly impossible. So, cherish the years; hug them tighter, kiss them a gazillion times, and make them feel loved in your own ways.
9. It's okay to feel down and worthless.
It happened to me, it happened to many moms, and it might happen to you. Go call your BFF momma and cry. Let go of all the negative emotions but at the end of the day, cheer up!
No matter how bad you feel about yourself, remember that you are not a bad mom. You've carried a child for nine long months; dealt with life-threatening diapers; have been puked on; had sleepless nights (and days), and the list goes on. You are doing well and you are doing your best.
10. Treat yourself.
Go out and meet some old friends (or go out with yourself), and again, don't feel guilty about it. Leaving your comfort zone and experiencing a new environment is one of the simplest ways to refresh your mind and body. Just be sure to count the number of margaritas you’re having!
Being a mom is not easy. Apart from dealing with your kid, you are probably managing yourself and your reactions to different advice. If there's anyone that you need to listen to, that'd be no one else but yourself. Of course, your husband and your pedia will help a lot too!
What's the worse unsolicited advice you've heard of? Any other tips you'd like to share with first-time moms? Let us know in the comment box below!