Becoming a new mother can be equal parts exciting and terrifying! You want the absolute best for your little one, but as a first-timer, you're learning everything on the job! There are lots of books you can read and there are many parenting gurus you can follow, but when it’s your turn to become a mom, nothing in the world can truly prepare you. Before you load your little one in their car seat and secure the infant car seat cover over them to take them out of the hospital, you might panic thinking, “I have to do this perfectly.” We have created a couple of tips to help new parents make parenting just a little bit easier:
1. Trust your gut - The best advice overall is going to be to always trust your mom gut because it's usually right! Sure, you can get others to weigh in, but at the end of the day, you know your child best. You will be able to advocate for them in a way no one else can.
2. Give yourself grace to learn - It's okay if you aren't doing everything everyone else is doing--it doesn't mean you are a bad mom! Some things others swear by won’t work for you in your situation. You’re learning and growing. You will adapt things to accommodate your child’s needs and you don’t need anyone else’s stamp of approval.
3. Ask for help - Everyone needs help, especially first-time mamas! Don't feel bad about asking for help to take a mental health break for yourself! If you don't take care of yourself, who will? There are some people who won’t know how to support you until you tell them that you need help. Be specific if you can. Do you need someone to deliver a meal? Drive your kids to soccer? Watch the baby so you can take a shower? Tell them.
4. Allow others to help you - Piggybacking off #3, it is always helpful to take those mental breaks so you can feel refreshed and up to your full 100% self, your baby will notice this, too! You are NOT a burden! When our support systems come together, it strengthens bonds. I guarantee that it will make others feel important and valued to get a chance to love you in these moments.
5. Don't rush your recovery - It's okay to not go back to work right away or "bounce back". There are always going to be celebrities that show a fake perception of what things should look like (especially as a mom). You are doing AMAZINGLY! Don't rush it--you just gave life to a miracle! Your body is amazing! Be gentle with yourself and do what you need to do to appreciate the body that carried and sustained your baby for nine months before they arrived. You might need to remove your scale or keep your maternity clothes longer than you anticipated, but your recovery is unique to you.
Being a mom is the hardest job in the world, but also the most amazing blessing! Some days will be harder and some days will be a bit easier but always remember that you are doing the best that YOU can!