Do you ever wish you could go back in time and give yourself advice? If I could go back in time, here is the advice I would give to myself as a first-time mom and 30 things all new moms need to know.
Advice for New Moms
I don’t know what it is, but I have been realizing lately how little time I have with my kids before they will be all grown up and on their own. I’ve been a mom of BOYS for 11 years! That is unbelievable to me and time has flown. I never expected to be a mom of all boys and, to be honest, it hasn’t always been easy to figure things out as I’ve gone along. As I look back at the past 11 years I realize that I have grown as a mother and that there are so many things I wish I could go back in time and tell myself as a first time mom. So, here is my list of advice I wish I could give to myself as a new mom. These things might be slightly different than what you would tell yourself, but I hope new, and not so new, moms can find some inspiration here too and realize that they’re doing a great job!
- It’s okay if motherhood doesn’t come naturally. You have just stepped into a completely new role and it’s okay to be scared and feel inadequate. Don’t worry, you’ll find the mother that is inside of you.
- Read books for ideas but remember that you will know what’s best for your baby and always follow your instincts. There is not a single book written that has all the answers.
- You will be surrounded by ‘experts’ everywhere you go but in reality no one person is an expert on raising YOUR baby. Take all advice with a grain of salt and don’t feel guilty if you turn down advice.
- Don’t take parenting too seriously. Learn to laugh in the beginning because I can promise you that things get more difficult and complex as the kids get older. You will definitely need a sense of humor! (Oh, by the way, did I mention that you might just end up with 4 boys? Yep, you will need that sense of humor!)
- It’s okay to cry. That diaper change that resulted in baby shooting his business across the room and down the wall, yes, that will be funny one day. I get it, today is not that day, but someday soon, that will be funny. Cry it out and then move on.
- Don’t wish away the baby years. Snuggle as much as you can and breathe in that yummy baby smell and kisses while they last. It is gone way too fast!
- Remember that every baby is different. Try not to compare your baby’s progress to anyone other baby and don’t stress out if your baby doesn’t progress exactly by the books.
- And as more babies come into your home, they will be completely different than their older siblings. Embrace their differences!
- Don’t get discouraged by “mommy wars”. There is no perfect mother out there but there sure are a lot who think they are perfect. Don’t let anyone make you feel like less of a mother because you parent differently than they do.
- And, don’t judge other moms who make different parenting decision than you do. All moms are just trying to do the best they can and being a mom is HARD!
- You will lose the baby weight but you won’t lose it tomorrow…or even next week…or even next month. Don’t be hard on yourself! And DON’T compare yourself to other moms who seem to lose it instantly. Everyone is different and that’s okay. You just grew a human being inside of you. That is pretty amazing and pretty hard on a body! Your body may never be the same but the reward you got in exchange is one you will never regret.
- And, don’t judge your worth based on the number you see on the scale. It’s a number, nothing else.
- It’s okay to mess up. In fact, I give you permission to mess up so that you can learn and grow and become the mom that you want to be. Your kids will forgive you. Just do your best!
- Don’t be hard on your husband. He’s new to this parenting thing too so figure things out together with a lot of give and take.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help and don’t feel like you are in this mothering game alone. Have a go-to woman that you can call. Someone who has been in your shoes and who understands that sometimes you just need to cry, but at the same time can give you the gentle nudge that you need to move on and try again. Being a mom is the hardest thing you will ever do!
- You will feel like a failure at times. Remember that because there will be really, really hard days so be prepared for tears. There will be days where you don’t want to leave your room. Days where being a mom is just too hard. You will have days where your patience is thin and you feel like you can’t do it anymore. Don’t give up on yourself or on your kids. They really are pretty amazing but they will have bad days too.
- Cherish everyday. Those awful, frustrating days will be followed by moments in time that will take your breathe away due to the gratitude you feel for the person you have become and the family that you are blessed with. You will look at your life and realize that you wouldn’t trade the chaos, noise and messy house for anything in the world. Cherish those fleeting moments.
- Don’t be too hard on your oldest child. There will come a time when you think you just want him to grow up or act older. Resist that urge to try to turn him into a person that he isn’t ready to become yet. He will get there and he will be wonderful and amazing, but don’t be too hard on him Just because younger siblings come along shouldn’t mean that he doesn’t get to still be little. Give him lots of extra love, especially when he is being difficult, because it is those moments when he needs you the most.
- Take time for yourself! I can’t emphasize this enough. Find something that renews your spirit and make sure to do it on a daily basis.
- Don’t forget that before you became a mom, you were a woman with interests, talents, dreams and aspirations. Yes, some of those things will be put on hold due to being in a different season of your life, but don’t give up on them. There will be a day when you get to pull them back out.
- Make holidays magical for your kids but don’t lose your mind in the process. Your kids will always remember the feelings they have during the holidays so start fun family traditions ….but don’t feel like you have to jump on every holiday craze, fad, or ‘elf’ that comes your way. Make your own traditions with your family.
- You will find that you love your children with a love that you never knew before and that you can’t describe. It’s the type of love that makes you know that you would do anything to protect them.
- Protect your kids at all costs but also know when to step back and let them take on their own battles. This will be really hard for you to do but will help you both to grow.
- Don’t let worrying control your life. Once you bring children into the world, any anxiety that you once had will be multiplied with each child. Make sure that you don’t let that anxiety take over. Stay on top of it and take care of yourself. It’s okay to recognize that you might need help in learning how to deal with it. Never be afraid to ask for help. Your kids deserve a happy, healthy mom.
- Expect the unexpected. I can tell you right now, that life will not go as planned, but, it will be amazing. So be flexible and don’t be surprised when you take sudden unexpected turns.
- Appreciate a clean bathroom now while you still can. You might be raising boys someday. 🙂
- Don’t forget to pray for strength and guidance every single day.
- Try not to stress out over things that don’t matter. Just do your best and things will work out.
- Being a mother is the most rewarding, beautiful job you will ever have. You only have your kids in your home for a short time so make the most of it and don’t take that time for granted. Stop and play games. Get on the floor and do puzzles and play with cars. Be silly and have fun and don’t let outside distractions take you away from the people who matter most in your life. They are looking at you and patterning their life after the things they see you doing so make sure you are living a life that you would want them to exemplify.And last but not least:
- Carry on! I promise you the best is yet to come! You’ll look back at those years of raising little babies and wonder how you made it through. But you will be amazed at the people your children are growing into and the amount of love you have for each of them.
What advice would you give to a new mom?
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