Every mom is an expert after her baby reaches a certain age. Just ask her! But for some reason I seem overwhelming under qualified to share any advice on being a new mom.
So here are five things I've learned in my first 16 months (today) that might help you.
1. Things might not go the way you envision them. And that's okay.
You might have this lovely idea that bringing home a new baby will be like your first few days of wedded bliss when you and dead husband still saw nothing but bright rays of a blissful future in each others eye.
Chances are... it won't be like that. Yes, your new baby is beautiful, perfect, stunning and everything you thought he would be. But, you will be pooped on in the first 48 hours. If you're nursing it might be hard the first few days or weeks (it took me six full weeks to get the hang of it) and you might be struggling with a lot of hormones and emotions.
Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2. This is life, not a beauty pageant.
I have a friend from college who had triplets just a few weeks after I had my little boy. Yep, you read that correctly. Triplets. She said the first few weeks she walked around in her pajamas without brushing her teeth. (You can read her adventures here.)
If you have a new baby in the house your focus is the new baby. So if you get the chance to take a shower and you don't style your hair of put on something other than really stretchy pants. Who cares?
In fact here is a bonus tip. Invest in cropped yoga pants with pockets. You will love them!
3. Newborns sleep... a lot... but not when you want them to. So sleep when you can.
You know that annoying thing people say: sleep when the baby sleeps? Well, there is some validity to that. I had a friend once say that was ridiculous advice because she would never do laundry or eat or go to the bathroom again.
Okay, the eating and going to the bathroom I will give you, but the laundry will be there later. If the baby is having a snooze, lay down for a minute and g some sleep time also. And if you have to stick her in the bed with you, go for it. She will be fine!
(We hair, after a shower, week three.)
4. Take care of yourself.
I know this contradicts what I said about life not being a beauty pageant, but take 10 minutes a day to take care of yourself. Get a shower and put on some chapstick. Even if you have to put the baby in his bouncy chair in the bathroom with you just try to take a few minutes to remember you are still a person.
5. Don't listen to others.
You will get a lot of advice. Most of it's trash. Just don't listen. Smile politely and walk away. If it doesn't feel right for your baby, don't do it. If it does feel right for your family, then do!
And do not, under any circumstance let another misguided mother make you feel guilty! You are doing great.