May 29, 2012

My Top 10 Life Lessons for New Moms


Motherhood has taught me a lot.  Some of it is serious and profound, a lot of it goofy and related to bodily functions.  Here are ten things I wish somebody had told me when I was waddling around like a giant bloated sea cow pregnant with my first child.

1) Everyone will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps...but don't feel like you have to. If you need rest, take it.  But don't feel guilty if you'd prefer a bubble bath, or to catch up on laundry, or to watch a Battlestar Galactica marathon with your hubby.

2) Pee before you breastfeed. In those early days, nursing will bring on uterine contractions and they are way more uncomfortable with a full bladder.  It's okay to leave the screaming hungry baby with somebody for the thirty seconds it takes to empty your bladder.

3)Sometimes breastfeeding is really really hard.  Even if you're doing everything right, it can hurt while your breasts get used to the process.  And sometimes none of it happens the way you thought it would. Seek help, read books about it, ask friends for advice.  Don't feel ashamed or guilty if you don't love every second of it.  We can all relate, but for some reason we forget to share that part with expectant moms.

4) Strangers will say stupid things. Often.  Like, "How old is the lil' fella?" about the girl with the pink bow.   Or "Wow, she's tiny.  Are you sure you're feeding her?"  Or "No socks!?  He'll catch a cold!" in the middle of a summertime heat wave.  Just smile and nod.

5) When it's up to you, don't buy button up sleepers.  The zip-up ones are way way WAY more practical for the 300 diaper changes you'll do every day. (okay, so maybe it only feels like 300...)

6) Nobody expects your house to be clean all of the time.  Or if they do, they are being ridiculous and forget what it was like to have little ones around. You don't have to live in filth, but you also don't need to put unreasonable expectations on yourself or your family on account of other people.  Mess is a part of living life, clean it up when you can and allow yourself some grace when you can't.

7) When you lose a sippy cup full of milk somewhere in the van, just buy a new one.  When you find that old one, you're gonna want to throw it away.  And for the love of all that is good, please do not open it.

8)When you think to yourself  "Hmm, it's going to be time soon to lower that crib mattress" it means it's time RIGHT NOW to lower the crib mattress!

9)If something smells a little bit like pee or puke and you can't figure out for the life of you what it is, it's you!

10) It gets easier. I promise.  And then it gets harder for a while. And then you find your groove again and it gets easier for a bit.  The point is that today won't last forever and you will make it through.  Don't forget to find the gift in the mundane.

Becoming a mom is exciting, and terrifying, and worth every single pain and discomfort and difficulty it brings.  If you are expecting your first, congratulations.  Your life is about to change in all the best ways I can imagine.  God Bless you and your new little life!

Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking. I would be honoured if you would take a moment to "like" me on facebook or follow me on Twitter!

49 comments:

  1. Great post! Although I'm way past this stage, I wish someone had shared these words of wisdom with me! Good job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. me too!! it would have helped!

      Delete
  2. LOL great post. I don't have small ones anymore but I had to really smile at #2, 3 and 7.

    Even with having a special needs child though, I still experience some of this so I guess it's still relevant.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Made me laugh at the truth about #2. I had a few times when I was bouncing my legs up and down because I had to go SO badly, but couldn't!! Terrible!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wish you could have shared this with me seventeen years ago!! Love 7&9!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a 2 month old now (and a 4 and 2 yr old) and agree heartily with 7 and 9. But, I never buy the zipper sleepers when my kids are littlest. I think button down are better for diaper changes cause you only have to undo the bottom (really important when the temps are cold and they are wearing a sleep sack)and don't have to worry about pinching when half asleep. Also, it seems like the zipper ones are more slender cut rendering them uncomfy on my chubby baby.

    ReplyDelete
  6. As we are having our 3rd girl in five short weeks... I'm trying to remember all of theses things.... Also that some days are gonna be doozies, but we will get through them and before we know it they will be taking care of themselves... they are each only 20 mos. apart, but the long nights and bad days are so easily forgotten!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Oh my goodness this takes me back. My oldest is 16 and the baby of my crew is now 9. I wish I'd had these words years ago, especially #7 and #9. I can't tell you the number of times I would be somewhere and think wow something smell alot like spit up or urine only to get home and realize it was me. My "favorite" sippy cup moments were the ones where by the time you found the cup with milk the milk had become a solid substance. EEWWWW!

    ReplyDelete
  8. From experience ..... #8 .... YES!! mothers do it the day you think of it or delegate someone to do it .... #8

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'd add to #8. The best advice anyone ever gave me was my mother telling me... if you see something that is dangerous, or could be, don't ever think I'll do that in a minute... do it NOW. I can't tell you how often those words echoed in my head over the past 22 years, but I am perfectly sure that I would have put off fixing things that needed to be fixed, if it hadn't been for that bit of advice.

    I also think that every parent of a baby should crawl through their home way before the baby is mobile, to find all the things which are going to be dangerous once they are.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great advice! I love what you said about doing other things besides sleeping with the baby does. I have a 5 year old and now a 2 month old and everyone is always saying sleep sleep sleep, but I need to DO something besides just holding her 24/7 when she lets me or else I'll go crazy. And I love your comment about watching a Battlestar Galactica marathon. People dont realize what an awesome show that is!:)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Excellent advice! #5 makes me smile...I've never seen the value of button-up sleepers. When you're sleep deprived and changing a squirmy baby's diaper, how can you be expected to correctly fasten 10 or more snaps? Yes, yes, yes...buy the ZIPPERED ones! :)

    Oh, and #2 - I've been there more times than I can count. I really should follow that advice more often ;)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very cute - going to send this to my sister in law who just had her 1st. :) I only recently came across your blog, but have loved every post, feel like I'm reading advice from a friend who knows me and thinks the same as I do and makes me smile with her humor - todays post reminded me of this essay I read today, great stuff, Motherhood is full of joy! http://powerofmoms.com/2012/05/joy-or-just-wait/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh man! Great post! Posted to my FB. Especially loved #8 & #9. The baby puke one happened to my hubby this weekend. He could not. find. the. smell! Something finally clicked and he jumped in the shower.

    ReplyDelete
  14. #7....glad i am not the only one who has done this....

    ReplyDelete
  15. just got married last August, not pregnant yet, but glad and blessed that I can read these tips (and seek advice from others) before I am a new mom!!! My husband and I were blessed to receive truthful council many years before we were married and even met - it has made our first year much easier!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Great post! Thanks for sharing these things that so often go unmentioned!

    ReplyDelete
  17. "5) When it's up to you, don't buy button up sleepers."

    Why buy a zipper one, which you have to take almost all the way off; when you could put on the button ones and only have to undo the bottom buttons and pull it up. The zipper ones are completely enclosing the one leg, so you have to unzip all the way and in the end only the arms are still dressed. The button ones you can just undo the bottom buttons and pull it up, that way the arms and torso are still covered which keeps them warmer. Also, you have to be careful with the zippers so that you dont snag your little ones skin.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Loved these! Wish that I would have read them before I had my first. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ok, #7 and #9 cracked me up. LOL. So true....

    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh these are awesome, I wish I had these tips at hand when DD was a baby, but yeah I had to laugh at the Stranger say stupid things, I live in a tropical country, my daughter was born in July it was 85 degrees, but yeah people still freaked out to see me take her out in a onesie and a cotton blanket...apaprently I should have put a woolen sweater on, socks, a thick quilt, a thick cap, and scratch mits to make sure she would not freeze! And I found out arguing never works...nod and smile, definitely the way to go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hehe Cyn. My husband once took one of the kids out in a onesie on a scorching hot day. Somebody commented rudely that the baby wasn't wearing pants and my husband responded "Hey, if I had the option I wouldn't be wearing pants either!" LOL.

      Delete
  21. Sitting here nursing my 2.5 day old son, #3 is very comforting to read. In less than 3 days I've already almost given up on breast feeding twice, the first time just hours after my son was born. I had a nurse that expected me to already know everything about breast feeding, she instantly got frustrated with me, yelled at me, saying I was going to suffocate my baby (because my very large breasts kept blocking his nose) and that if I didn't start feeding him right I was going to starve him to death. She suggested that I just get a bottle of formula and give up breast feeding, and this was before my son was even 3 hours old. Then during our first night home I was so tired and my son was having difficultly latching, so after several failed attempts at feeding I got a bottle of formula, only to find out that he wouldn't eat the formula. Since then things have gotten better, he's still not latching very well but were working on it and he is eating pretty well (based on all the diapers we've already gone thru, oh yeah he is eating well) and I'm going to see a lactation consultant on Friday. So even though I spent the first two days hating nursing, I'm confident that it will be better and that my lack of breast feeding knowledge isn't going to hurt my son.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Congrats Bree!!!!! I'm sorry that nurse was so nasty to you.

      Delete
    2. Congrats on your baby and fighting for breastfeeding. It can be tough tough tough when you start. It took me 6 weeks to get rid cracked nipples and stop crying at most feeds. And the time seemed to really stretch out. It feels like pain will never stop, baby is nursing ALL the time and it is just never ending... But it really is just early days. Get help. get PROPER help.

      I have just nursed my little 2 year old man to sleep. He's snoozing on my lap soft, warm and happy. It is a great feeling. I nursed him through many bugs and sicknesses and various upsets..After daycare..It's special. It gets special. Even though at the start you think baby really won't care what way you feed them.

      Give it time and be kind to yourself :)

      Delete
  22. Why do we always glorify parenting instead of giving new parents the honest truth? It's hard sometimes. Sometimes you think you made the wrong decision even having kids. Sometimes you love your kids, but don't like them very much. Sometimes, you love them so much it hurts. And somedays you just want to cry and climb back in bed. All of that is normal. Parenting is not for sissies and it doesn't look like a Norman Rockwell painting. What is it they say about the Army? It's the toughest job you'll ever love!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Thanks for the post - I love following your blog. You have so much wisdom to share and I really appreciate the way you write. My husband and I are expecting our first this coming August, so it's good to see some more tips ahead of time. ANYthing to help make this easier is good - I feel sometimes like we have no idea what we're doing and as excited as we are to meet our little one, I'm also a bit terrified.....

    ReplyDelete
  24. People say stupid things no matter how old your baby is. I'd say, learn from it and remind yourself not to say stupid things, because we're prone to do it too.

    Also, I know its 'YOUR' top 10 Kel, but its funny, I preferred the button sleepers. Yes they take a little more time to put on, but when its chilly I hated to unzip and expose ALL of Ransom when I was just changing his bum. I like to just pop off the bum buttons and keep his top self warm in his pj's.

    Lastly, yes Breastfeeding is both physically and psychologically exhausting. Preparation is never entirely enough. After facing TONS and TONS of problems, some more serious than others, I would highly recommend that mamas and papas consider their options should bfd'ing not go as well as hoped - what lac consults. would they go to? what meds are they willing/unwilling to take. what are the other options out there other than formula? (ie: borrowing breastmilk, like I did from a trusted healthy friend). Bottom line, get educated because its hard when its at its best.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Amen!
    I read this the other night while up feeding my 6 week old....love it!
    Fun reminders for me (I also have a 3 year old)!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Such a great post!
    I suppose I am living one of those "harder" moments now withj my 15 months old boy...he's getting very very capricious when I am around (i work out of home 5 days a week).
    I repeat, great post.
    I was so lucky to have been told all of that before he was born, my ostetrician is a wonderful and precious woman!
    Francesca

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for #3, I wish I would have had a friend to tell me these when I had my little man. I was so hard on myself because breast feeding didn't come easily to me. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  28. #8 makes me laugh. I told my husband that we needed to lower the crib soon and he said, "that means we need to do it TODAY." So we did. And the very next morning, who was standing up to greet us when we walked in? :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. hahahaha these are great. I love 7. I find nasty sippy cups all the time (thanks to dad) I toss them I also don't put milk in there because they EXPLODE after a few days *gag*

    ReplyDelete
  30. So sweet! I'd add that it isn't only Strangers who say stupid things, but I love your smile and nod response. Thx for the positive words!

    ReplyDelete
  31. So sweet! I'd add that it isn't only Strangers who say stupid things, but I love your smile and nod response. Thx for the positive words!

    ReplyDelete
  32. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post. Thanks for #3, I have 4 kids and it hurt with every single one of them ;(. I wish someone would have just said to me, yes sometimes it hurts even if you do it right. As for #7 I had to laugh... I'm still looking for that cup of milk I displaced the other day... It'll be nasty when I find it ;)

    ReplyDelete
  33. This is great! #3: Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I've EVER done. Every week I'd be saying I'd quit but went to a moms group for breastfeeding and eventually (after 12 weeks!) got used to it and nursed both kiddos until around 1 yr. Definitely worth the struggle! And #9 literally made me laugh out loud~ never heard that before, but it's so true!!

    ReplyDelete
  34. Amen, sister! I adore my 7-month-old Talia, but boy, oh, boy has breastfeeding this one given me some serious pain. I finally made it through the pain and thought I was off scott-free but it came back more than once. SO worth it, though. Your comment to "please do not open it" made me laugh out loud at my desk and "it means it's time RIGHT NOW to lower the crib mattress!" did so also. SO true. Thank you for the wonderful post, and for reminding us that it gets easier (and then harder again!). ~Carrie R

    ReplyDelete
  35. I didn't like either the buttons or zippers. I always opted for the nightgowns that are all extra long and have the elastic at the bottom so they mostly close under the feet. Those were awesome for groggy night changes. We took our son to India when he was six months old. It was December and their 'winter' and the weather there was as hot as our summers at home. The whole time I had to rescue him from the well meaning old ladies that had wrapped him all up in their scarves. It really is amazing. I saw children running around in down parkas with fur hoods in 80-85 degree temps.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Depending on how many good hiding places your toddler knows, number 7 applies to the house as well. I once found a sippy cup with what appeared to be a mushroom growing inside in a dark corner of her closet.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I love your post! My first daughter turned one on Sunday and it has been a beautiful, exhausting, difficult and amazing adventure. It is hard to breastfeed in the beginning, but oh so worth it. In reference to #5, I also found that nightgowns are wonderful for newborns! I found some at Target.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Thank you for #3!! My little guy is 4 months old and I thought going into it that I had a pretty good idea what to expect, but breastfeeding was so hard and so painful. Everything I had read said, "if you are doing it right, it shouldn't hurt!" But my lactation consultants said we were doing it right and I felt like no one had been honest about how hard it can be. We managed to push through and by 12 weeks everything was so much better. It would have helped me so much if I had read beforehand that it can be very hard and painful and still be normal (at first) ;)

    ReplyDelete
  39. Je suis une maman française et je n'écris pas très bien en anglais, mais je tiens à vous remercier! Mes enfants sont grands maintenant mais j'aurai aimé que quelqu'un me donne vos dix trucs quand j'étais jeune, débordée, inquiète et désemparée.
    Please forgive my english writing. I'm a french mom and I don't write english easily but i want to thank you! My sons are old now but I would have liked (??) that some people gave me such tips when I was young, over busy, worried and confused.
    I read lot of your blog and I enjoy it! Thanks! God bless you.

    ReplyDelete
  40. LOL I love this post :) expecially 7&8 . Also of add When someone offers you help take it! It doesn't matter if its just changing a diaper or watching the baby so you can sleep for an hour.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Love your honesty about breastfeeding. I had a mother-in-law who in response to any comments about it being less than easy said 'you just put the baby on and there's nothing to it' and my own mother had only bottle fed. With my 1st I was just sure I was going to do it but I had a newly qualified midwife just after he was born and she made me try to feed him under high amounts of pressure every 2 hours in the hospital but he was sleepy from the during birth painkillers. I got the baby blues after 24 hours, she brought a matron like member of staff in who was really rough and I cried lots then switched to bottle feeding. Second time I really coidln't decide but during the birth I decided to try again. I told the midwives to leave me alone and decided if it didn't work I wasn't going to stress or put pressure on myself as my bottle fed 2 year old was fine. I managed with hubby giving baby a bottle during the night, through 2 bouts of nipple thrush until he was 9 weeks old then the thrush was too much of an issue. Both my kids are healthy and I've learnt feeding is not just a case of 'put the baby on' and away you go.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I love this post. I love number 9. That is so true and I would also add that breastfeeding doesn't all ways suppress ovulation. You can get pregnant fully breastfeeding. I have gotten pregnant each time we fully breast fed.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Great words of advice. My first born is to be 9years old, and we are having another little one in 3 months...so yeah :) this really helped!

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...