Being a new mom is tough! In part, because it's so new but also because moms tend to put more pressure on themselves with their first child than they do with subsequent kids. As a new mom, many of these things you will learn on your own as you find your way in motherhood. As you have feelings of guilt or uncertainty though, remember these 8 things that seasoned moms wished they knew before having kids.
It’s okay to make mistakes – Before you set out on your motherhood journey, you may have it set in your head that you’re going to be the perfect mom. Perfect, however in it's true sense is unachievable. Being a mom is a daily learning experience and becoming the perfect parent that your child needs is going to involve making some mistakes. It’s not only okay to make them, but its completely normal and healthy for your growth as a new mom.
You don’t have to love every moment of motherhood – If you find yourself giving disclaimers like “don’t get me wrong, I love my kid”, you are not alone. For some reason, moms feel as if they have to love every second of motherhood. If they don’t it somehow calls into question their overall feelings about motherhood. With sleepless nights, teething and crying, there are many parts of motherhood that are downright miserable and it’s okay to admit it. Doing so doesn’t negate all of those great things that you love like the smiles and the cuddles.
Set boundaries – From the start of pregnancy, you’ve already probably started to get loads of unsolicited parenting advice. Unfortunately, it won’t stop after you have your baby. It may even get worse! You’ll probably get the most unsolicited advice from people that are closest to you. This means that it will be less easy to just shrug off and ignore. If you really want to exert your independence as a parent and stop the unsolicited advice from coming at you, you’ll have to set healthy boundaries with the people who are the biggest offenders.
Lower your standards – Especially, in the beginning, most days, you’ll have to choose between doing laundry and sleeping. For your own sanity, you should choose sleep! Sleep is not only vital for your mental health but your physical health as well. There will be things, many things in your house that start to slip through the cracks. Being a supermom is overrated and exhausting. Give yourself a break and lower your standards. You’ll thank yourself later!
Asking for help doesn't make you weak – Feeling as if you have to do everything by yourself is a form of self-torture. Especially when there are people who are actually asking you if you need help and you refuse. Even if you’re not getting offers for help, don’t let your feelings get in the way of asking for it. If someone says no, keep it moving and ask the next person. Lessening your load, especially in the early days of your child’s life will lift such a heavy weight of your shoulders and is worth the hurt feelings you might have from possible rejection.
Mom friends are necessary – Mom friends can completely relate to everything you’re going through as a mom. Rather than jumping in to try and solve your problem, they’ll know that sometimes you just want to vent. You don’t have to stress yourself out about cleaning up when they come over because they’ll be just as busy as you and have just as messy of a house. If you’re lucky enough to score mom friends with kids the same age, you’ll even be building lifelong friendships for your child!
It’s okay to need a break – Being a mom is a 24/7 job and with that being said, sometimes mama needs a break! Needing a break does not mean that you don’t love your child. Needing a break means that you are still human and the person you were before you had your child. That person needs some time to themselves just as much after kids (if not more) as they did before.
There’s no wrong or right way – No matter what you read about breastfed versus bottle-fed, C-section versus natural birth, or co-sleeping versus crib sleeping, there is no one right way to do anything. It’s really all about what works best for you and your individual family. For every person who says that one way is the best way, you can find someone who says the exact opposite. It is literally impossible to please everyone, so stop trying and do what feels natural and best!
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