Those little ones somehow manage to test our wits the most. With dirty diapers piling up, so are the sleepless nights; you feel like you are losing your independence, your looks, and confidence.
According to a study from several years ago, it takes a whole year for a mother to recover from childbirth. It’s only natural that this a bit sudden change of priorities throws you out of balance, but with every passing day, self-assurance somehow starts rebuilding on its own; and the less stressed you feel, the calmer your child gets. Patience is the key, but it doesn’t mean you should be hopelessly roaming around your home waiting for a postpartum depression to pass. Don’t let it get the best of you, but take matters into your own hands.
Watch out for bad advice
Sooner than you get home from the hospital, friends, parents, and in-laws will be suffocating you with unsolicited advice on the best possible baby care. Everyone will always comment on the way you should be raising your kid; they want to believe they raised their children the right way and wish to pass along this newly-acquired wisdom to you.
If you listen carefully, you’ll notice they all have different input on the best way to hold the baby, or the best way to stop the baby from crying, and at first, it will just feel annoying; in time, you will suffer from a complete loss of confidence. Sadly, nothing will stop this torrent of advice, so you’ll have to create a filter. Dr. Susan Newman recommends picking one or two people whose input you’ll take into account – whether it’s your physician, your own mother, or your best friend who’s a mother of 3. The rest you’ll have to learn how to tune out.
Get out of that dirty tracksuit
We know… There are days when eating, sleeping and showering are considered luxuries you simply cannot afford, but letting yourself go completely doesn’t only cause crippling coffee addiction – it overwhelms you with feelings of self-doubt, which eventually lead to a ton of piled up frustration.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for help, whether it’s your husband who you want to take everything over for a couple of hours, or hiring a babysitter from time to time. Light up some scented candles and take a bubble bath; book an appointment at a hairstylist to get your hair done; go for a jog; or hit a few of your favorite boutiques to trade the smelly T-shirt and yoga pants for a new, trendy outfit. We understand you probably have no idea what’s IN these days, so you’ll have to follow up on the latest fashion news and hit the streets wearing something edgy and modern.
Remember – it’s not a competition
In some cases, fellow moms can be a source of support, but at times, their stories can be somewhat intimidating. Let’s put it this way – there’s a mother of a one-year-old in your group whose child already said its first words, while yours is still trying to comprehend ma-ma. Nothing can make you doubt yourself more than a friend whose perfect little baby girl does everything first. These mothers will always have a word of advice on how to help your baby catch up. How to deal with her? Repeat after us: we’re happy with our baby’s development.
Celebrate each milestone like you made it yourself
Because they are, partly, your own. Opt either for the old-fashioned, album-like baby book format or take advantage of one of the multitudes of apps. Remind yourself that with every single entry you make, you two did it – you are the mother, you are the one nursing the baby day in and out, you were the one who put a pillow behind their back the first time they sat, and the one holding their hand when they made their first steps. These milestones were a joint effort, and there are many more to come.
The bottom line
There’s no one-size-fits-all parenting method. Everyone’s constantly hovering over you, drowning you in advice, while not one person telling you it’s OK to feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. You’ll experience a number of changes; some will be great, wonderful, even magical, while others will make you questioning your existence – at 3 am.
robin Rue says
There is a lot of unsolicited advice out there and everyone seems to have their own opinion about how YOU should be raising YOUR baby. I just ignored it.
I had severe postpartum depression and anxiety after my son was born and nothing was worse than a mom giving me unsolicited advice or flat out telling me what I needed to do about this and that. The worst. I think as moms we need to support more rather than impose our opinions and what we feel another mom should be doing. It’s no one’s business but theirs. I don’t offer any advice unless someone says “Hey, what did you do for this?” Motherhood is hard yo.
Everyone parents different. Don’t judge others or let them judge you.
Katie Kinsley says
The world is full of bad advice! I would have no idea what is good versus bad besides the obvious about being a parent.
Shirley Wood says
My pediatrician told me many years ago, “Mommy knows best”. Just smile and let it go out the other ear.
Oh, did I get a lot of unsolicited advice once I had my kids! I gently had to remind these people that I go things covered. I know that they are giving this advice because they care, but what worked for them may not work for me and my family.
This article is so spot on. Mommy truly does know best and you should feel confident doing things your way. And it always helps to get out of your comfy clothes every once in a while!
There is a lot of advice given to new moms that really isn’t helpful. I’ve always said do what is best for you and your family. 🙂
I agree there is not just one size fit all parenting! What works for one family does not work for another one. And you need to find your own groove to get through parenting. I love being a parent I would never trade it for the world.
There will always be unsolicited advice. But it is your family and you do what works best for you. Everyone is different.
Great advice! I had a tough time as a new mother because I didn’t have much help and it was a huge adjustment. So important to do what is right for you.
Dawn McAlexander says
I remember when I brought my daughter home I got all kinds of advice. I made up my mind early on that I would raise her my way. I think she turned out okay.
I love this post. Such great advice. Best tip I can share with a new mom is it to totally not a competition. So true.
Claudia Krusch says
I always feel better if I get dressed for the day. I used to live in yoga pants and sweatshirts. Now I try to put together an outfit and I find I get a little spring in my step.
Annemarie LeBlanc says
I can relate to everything you’ve written in this post. I have three grown up children now and you can’t believe how my parents, grandparents and the whole hoard of in-laws hovering over me telling me to do this, don’t do that. Eventually, they gave me the space I needed and let me be the parent I am supposed to be. When my daughter got married and started her own family, I just gave her three pieces of advice – Trust your doctor, Trust in your maternal instincts and Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
Rebecca Swenor says
This a great post for new moms. I believe parenting comes as we go and the good things we remember when we were kids. Thanks for sharing a great post.
Bonnie @wemake7 says
These are great things to remember after having kiddos. I always had people telling me a whole bunch of advice.
Mimi Green says
I agree with all of this. People think because you are a first time Mom you have no idea what you are doing. People also feel like their way is the right way. I made sure to shelter myself from the world for the first couple of weeks. I needed time to learn my baby and for my baby to learn me. That was the best thing I could have done for the both of us.