I am not an expert and have never claimed to be, these kids don’t come with manuals and all of us moms learn what works for us and our kids as we go. Hands on learning if you will. So, take this however you want to but I have several friends who are first time moms or who are pregnant who have asked for my opinions.
My absolute number one piece of advice is not only necessary but it may be the only thing that keeps you feeling like a half alive person. Sleep when the baby sleeps. Just do it. The cleaning, laundry and whatever bullshit you feel like you HAVE to do? YOU DON’T! Your job right now is to stay sane enough to make it through ‘zombie mommy’ period which is usually the first three months and you will not make it if you don’t sleep. If someone comes over and wants to know why your floor isn’t swept, hand them a broom. Seriously. No one expects you to be put together, baby perfect, house clean and dinner cooking on the stove.
However, when you do have the odd ‘everything got done’ day? Remember it! It will make you feel like a superhero.
Don’t neglect your parenting partner. Their life has changed too and they would like you to coo at them on occasion.
Realize that you are going to fail. See above, babies don’t come with instructions. Those ladies you see who seem to have it all together? They don’t, I promise they don’t, you don’t have to be perfect! You will have days that you want to run out the door screaming, there will be times where you will wonder why you decided to have a baby and there will be days that you cry right along with your baby. This is all perfectly normal, I promise, your partner might not understand (pretty sure Chris thought I was nuts a few times) but other moms will. Email me, I will definitely be able to relate! I adore my son but there were some bad days those first few months and I beat myself up about it. I shouldn’t have.
Remember, it isn’t easy. This motherhood stuff is HARD but it is so worth it. Once you see a smile or hear a coo your brain completely forgets that minutes earlier you were ready to scream.
Put the baby down and walk away if you need to. I did. Many times. It doesn’t mean you love your child any less or that you are a bad momma. It just means that your baby is crying and you’ve tried everything you can and you need to take a few breaths to get yourself calmed down.
It’s okay to wear yoga pants in public or have your dirty hair in a bun. You just had a baby!! Cut yourself some slack. But also, take time for you. Take a long shower, paint your toes or go buy something pretty.
And lastly, you know all of those things that ‘other peoples kids’ do? Yours is very likely to do the same so start working on those apologies to parent friends or siblings whose parenting you have judged or thought ‘my kid sooo won’t do that’, you don’t know what it’s like until you are in it!