Are you a first-time mom?
There’s this special bliss that comes with being a first-time mom. So much excitement and anticipation. So much to think about and wonder about. But here’s the truth: your mama instincts kick in once your baby arrives. While advice usually comes from a good place, you know what to do, mama.
But I know, the title of this post is “The Best Free Advice for a First Time Mom”.
So I’m going to offer some. However, take it with a grain of salt. I believe that moms know what is best for their babies and all the voices on the internet can’t replace what you know in your heart.
Becoming a mom for the first time is exhilarating, terrifying, wonderful, amazing, nerve-wracking, and ALL THE THINGS. Seriously, when it’s your first baby, you’ll feel all the feelings.
What is the best advice for a first-time mom?
Trust your gut. You may feel like you don’t know what you’re doing, but guess what? None of us do the first time around. We just do our best with our best judgment and hope it works out.
While you may feel tempted to ask your mom, aunts, cousins, sisters, and close mama friends about how to handle certain newborn or infant situations, do so with care. And if you venture to ask strangers on the internet, proceed with caution.
If you’re anything like me, you seek answers from other moms to see if your plan lines up. However, you don’t want to be judged by strangers on the internet. And if there’s anything that’s real, when it comes to motherhood and the internet, it’s mom shaming. As a new mom, if you start to see that, run!
What should new moms know?
There is no one way to parent or care for a baby, toddler, or child. Each parent figures it out along the way. And you may think that you may be one kind of mom before your baby is born, and then it turns out you’re becoming a different type of mom. Again, there is no singular way to be a mom.
Once your baby is born, that mothering instinct will kick in to some degree. At the very beginning you may feel like you’re floundering (I did!) or you may know exactly what to do. Take it easy, step by step, and don’t let others try to influence you too much with their opinions.
Opinions are great and all, but they aren’t typically facts.
Being a first-time mom can be hard and overwhelming
I won’t lie, being a new mom is hard. Especially if it’s your first time. Especially if you’re doing it without a partner or you don’t have any close family or friends nearby to help.
Being a new mom can feel overwhelming. I remember the first thought I had after we brought our son home from the hospital and all the grandparents had gone home the same day: “We’re supposed to do this on our own, unsupervised?!”
It’s funny how something that you’ve been wanting, looking forward to, and excitedly anticipating, can quickly hit the brakes when reality hits. Don’t get me wrong, we were so happy to be parents, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. Okay, a lot nervous.
But here’s the thing: you figure it out as you go. And when you feel like your brain just won’t function anymore, there are books and there is the internet. Parenting is often figuring out what works for you and your family.
Think of it this way: most of our parents and grandparents just had to figure it out. We came out pretty good, right? Mostly?
First-Time Mom Tips
Here’s what I wish someone would have told me before I became a mom (though, I probably wouldn’t have listened).
The first 8-12 weeks are the hardest.
Bar-none. If you’re one of those lucky mamas who has an angel who eats and sleeps without any issues, consider yourself #blessed. For the rest of us, those first weeks are hard. You’re juggling figuring out how to be a mother, how to feed your baby, how to get your baby to sleep, how to change a diaper, and how to take care of yourself in between everything.
It’s a lot. But eventually, you get over this “hump” and you start to fall into a natural rhythm.
You’ll feel all the feelings. Keep track of them.
I think this was the thing that hit me hardest. I found myself crying way more than I ever have. And I wish I knew that it was normal (to a degree). When my feelings and emotions started to taper off around 9-10 weeks postpartum, I knew it was my hormones adjusting.
However, if you do feel depressed, overwhelmed, hopeless, anxious, or otherwise unable to find joy from your new addition, please talk to your doctor or midwife. Postpartum depression and anxiety is very real and should be handled accordingly. Don’t suffer in silence or try to earn a mom badge of courage. Help is out there.
Trust your gut.
This is probably the biggest piece of first-time mom advice that I can offer, over and over again. Trust your gut. It’s probably right. You know deep down what’s best for your baby. Sure expert books and blog posts may feel like a lifeline, but at the end of the day, your baby is yours, and yours alone.
You’re doing a great job. And if you’re still waiting for your little one to arrive, you’re going to do a great job!
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