Archive for April 2017

Three Important Lessons From A First Time Mom

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A girl and her cat

They're still working on their relationship.

My daughter turned one last month.  

There’s so much conventional wisdom floating around about parenting. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel qualified enough to dole out advice (unlike a shocking number of people, whether they have children or not), but that’s just my personality, I suppose. I’m never going to tell you how you should be feeding your kid, how much time they need in the sun or whether or not you should be using cloth diapers. I don’t know your life situation. 

I don’t know how long it took you to recover from childbirth, I don’t know how long it took for those hormones to leave your body. I don’t know if you’ve suffered from postpartum depression or anxiety. I don’t know about your financial situation or how you felt leaving your kid that first time at daycare, or with the nanny. I don’t know if you struggled with clogged ducts or ER trips for mastitis as you did your best to feed your baby. I don’t know about how you felt every time you handed your baby a bottle in public, because people would be judging you for using formula. 

Here's what I am comfortable telling you:

  1. Your baby, while needing similar things that other babies need (food/hydration, sleep, love), will probably not be like your sister/neighbor/friend’s baby. The comparison game is
    an exercise in confusion and failed expectations. Just don’t do it.
  2. As a new mom, everyone will tell you that the worst thing will be the isolation. I was confused when that did not apply to me, until I realized that as an introvert, the worst thing turned out to be the opposite. All I wanted was to shut the world out and live a little inside my cozy brain for a bit. If that meant an hour of dishes or putzing around the internet, I did it and was happier mom for it. You know yourself best and no one else can tell you how to live your life. (Still reminding myself of this daily.)   
  3. If someone makes a comment about your postpartum body, they probably haven’t had a human erupt from them in the last five years. Snuggle your warm, squishy baby and kiss those milky cheeks. Your body made that wonderful child. Try to forgive it for not being perfect and love it for being what it needed to be for those nine months.

    Also: if you are the primary caregiver, your pillowy soft body will turn to muscle over the course of the next year and you will be stronger than you’ve ever been in your life. 

What’s your favorite piece of new mom advice?