Congratulations, you are now a mommy! You are probably wondering what to do, right? You have come to the right spot. Being a parent is a wonderful experience, but can also be scary at time. I am also a first time mom, but I have already learned so many things. I did so much research before I had Madelyn, but I also found myself learning a lot after I had her. I have gotten tips from pretty much everyone, which includes: my parents, my husband’s side of the family, mommy friends, and doctors. I had no clue what to expect when I was pregnant or when I first had my daughter. I want to share with you what I have learned thus far.
Find what works for you. You have probably received a lot of advice and tips already, but you know what is best for you and your child. You may get good and bad advice while you are learning to be a parent. This is totally normal, of course! I got told a lot that I only feed my child when she is hungry, but I am more reassured when I feed her every 3-5 hours. I was also told that I should sleep whenever Madelyn is sleeping, which is hard, because I always have something to do. I never take this advice. Every baby and every mother is different, never forget that. The way you parent your child is NOT the wrong way. You are unique.
2. Do not worry about making things perfect. I, myself, need to learn to take this advice. I always have tried making sure things are perfect. There are times when I cannot clean much for a few days at a time, due to my busy schedule. I beat myself up at times because I feel like I should have everything clean and done before my husband gets home. I try my best, but I am not perfect. It is okay to not get to everything you want to do, all in one day. Do a little bit at a time and you are good to go!
3. Ask for help, if you find yourself needing it. There are plenty of people in your life who would love to help you out when you need it. If you are having a rough day, ask for help. If you need a babysitter for a few days, ask a family member or friend. It is okay to do so. They will not judge you. You are NOT a burden when you do this.
4. Take notes on EVERYTHING. I am a writer and have many different notebooks, for many different reasons. I have a notebook specifically for parenting and pregnancy. I took so many notes during my pregnancy on symptoms to watch out for, the three trimesters, postpartum, and so much more. In my parenting section, I included topics like: milestones, baby led weaning, formula feeding, safe sleep, car seat safety, CPR for child/infant, etc. I write down literally everything I find about parenting. I find this very helpful to look at when I want to learn information about certain things or remember appointments. THIS IS A MUST, in my opinion!
5. Listen to your gut. If you feel like something is wrong with you or your baby, always go get checked out or keep an eye on it. It is better to be safe than sorry.
6. Remember, you are not a bad mother. No parent is perfect. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them. You will have some people who judge you for how you parent, but do not listen to them. You are doing great raising your littles. You know yourself and your baby more than anyone else, so keep that in mind. You will not know everything there is to being a parent, and neither will those who have been parents for years. People will give you tips along the way, but try not to take it personal. They are just trying to help you. There is always something new to learn.
7. Capture those important moments. Some may say “It is ridiculous taking pictures or videos of everything your child does.” Well, I am sorry but I am going to do it anyways. I am a picture taker, which I got this trait from my mother. I want to have memories to show my daughter when she is older and for me to look at when I am having a rough day. I personally would probably regret it if I did not take all the photos I have so far. It is okay to have a lot of photos of your children.
8. Love yourself. You just had a baby! Try not to be hard on yourself. You will have stretch marks, but that is a reminder that you went through an amazing experience. You may not look the way you want, but give yourself some time. You just went through so much in 9 months. And.. just remember: you are beautiful!
9. Try not to stress too much. Things may not go as planned. Just let it go. Stuff gets broken, spills happen. You spend hours looking for one shoe. You’ll forget stuff. You’ll be late, more than once. It will be okay. This happens and it IS normal.
10. Take time for yourself. When you become a mom, you do not get as much time to yourself. Whenever you get the chance to have some alone time, do whatever it may be to relax. It is important.
11. Don’t buy only newborn clothes! If you have a baby shower, ask for 3-6 and 6-9 month clothes as well as stage 1 diapers. My daughter outgrew newborn things and 3 month clothes SOOOOOOO fast!
12. Remember to take care of yourself. Try your best to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks EVERY DAY. Always have at least 8 glasses of water. Get exercise. Get out and get some fresh air. Do things you enjoy. If you do not take care of yourself, it will be hard to take care of your child.