If you could go back to when you had your first baby, what would you tell yourself?
Summing it all up and quoting my husband, I’d tell myself to…
Read everything you can on being a parent…
and then adjust to fit ‘shop conditions’.
I’ll elaborate on my husband’s quote from my “mom” point of view.
You’re a mom for the first time.
Relax and breathe. Trust yourself as a parent.
Trust that you can do it and that you know everything there is to know about parenting.
But you don’t. Because I didn’t.
I had absolutely no parenting intuition. Mom instincts? I now know that I had them, but I doubted myself and questioned myself about every little thing.
Now with my third newborn, I still haven’t figured out the secret to babies sleeping through the night…
I was frustrated, confused, doubting myself, thinking I failed….
… but I have learned a little bit about parenting since then.
I wish some moms would have been open and honest about how difficult parenting can be, and that its not all hugs and kisses all the time.
Frustrating. You’ll feel lie beating your head against a wall at times because you just can’t figure out what to do! Nothing seems to work. Once you think you’ve gotten it figured out. The baby knows better and changes. You can’t troubleshoot a baby. They’re not a problem that can just be solved with a simple answer.
Self doubting. No matter how much mom instinct you have, or how much you read through about what to do with a baby, or what to do when they’re sick… you’re going to second guess yourself and have you doubting your gut instincts. Which makes you doubt yourself. Am I a good mom? The question I always hate that I question myself with.
An identity theft. You’re not longer just you. You’re you plus one [or two or three]. Even if you’re a working mom, its not just about you anymore, there’s always someone else to think about. You’ll start to ask yourself what you did before baby. And baby will take up entire conversations. And time for yourself? You’ll have to schedule it. Bathroom breaks won’t even exist once baby is on the move.
Failing. You can’t learn without making mistakes, right? Well, you’ll be learning a lot as a parent, because you’re sure to make some mistakes [if not a lot!]. Take them as they come. Along with the self doubt, you’ll often feel like a failure, too.
A roller coaster. You’ll have great days and be all smiley and happy and think you’re the best mom in the world, that you can handle it all [more babies please!]. But there will also be days when you wonder why you wanted to have a baby, you’ll question yourself as a mom, you’ll probably yell, you’ll definitely cry. Then your baby smiles at you, and all that goes away. But then they won’t sleep for 4 hours in the middle of the night and you’ll go back to wondering why you wanted the baby…
Makes you a liar. Like I mentioned above, babies [and toddlers and preschoolers too] change all the time. When someone asks you today “How’s the baby sleeping?”, you’ll give your answer… and tomorrow, that answer is different. Or when you drop them off at the babysitter and you give her the run down of what to expect…. none of that happens for her.
Forgetful. There’s a reason they tell you to take photos all the time to show their growth and the cute little things. Or to write down anything and everything you want to remember, because you won’t. Not just hypothetically, or way down the road, you seriously will not remember it next week.
Having guilt. Guilt for wanting to have alone time. Guilt for thinking having a baby is frustrating, or confusing, or just not getting it. Guilt for going down the road of wondering why you wanted a baby, if just for a second. There’s a term for this. Mom guilt.
A learning curve. You can read all the parenting articles you want and nothing will work. You can try to do all things ‘right’, and still feel like a failure. You have to learn to do what is right for you and your baby. And that might be dessert before dinner, or rocking them to sleep every. single. night. Eventually, you’ll find your groove and what works for you.
And that’s the bottom line. The kicker.
Parenting is not for your best friend and your baby. Or even worse, the lady at the checkout line and your baby.
Parenting is for you and your baby. Do what feels right to you. Not because your mom told you that you should. Or your best friend says its best that way. Or because I suggested it. Do it because it works for you and your family. It makes you happy and your kids happy.
And as my husband’s parenting advice?
Read everything you can on being a parent….
and then adjust to fit ‘shop conditions’.
If you could go back to when you had your first baby,
what would you tell yourself?
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Comforts For Baby. The opinions and text are all mine.