As a first time mom, you are going to experience a whirlwind of emotions. Your whole world has been turned upside down so you're bound to feel all over the place. It’s safe to say the first few weeks aren’t as lovely and rosy like the movies and social media make it out to be. Sleep deprivation, after birth recovery, and new life adjustment is sometimes hard to comprehend. You get bombarded with advice from family and friends (…which is great in the grand scheme of things) but it isn’t half overwhelming when you are finding your feet and your way of doing things. So, I’ve compiled a list of the best advice for first-time moms (do with it what you will)!
Follow what works for you
One of the best pieces of advice you can follow is to do what works for you. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to nap when your baby is sleeping (although, this is great in hindsight). Instead, you can catch up on your favourite TV shows or do something around the house. Some moms have certain ways of doing things like introducing a routine early on. I didn’t personally, and you don’t have to either. Just do what’s right for you. Some moms use cloth nappies, other disposable. Some moms breastfeed, others bottle feed. Every baby is different, and so is every mom. Learn to embrace that, and don’t worry when a piece of advice doesn’t work for you.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
It can be overwhelming looking after a newborn on your own, so definitely never cower away from asking help! There’s nothing wrong with asking your family or friends to babysit for a few hours so you can rest and recoup. What family member is going to say no to an offer of babysitting a cute, newborn baby anyway?! Remember, this is your first time being a mom, so don’t expect yourself to become a pro overnight.
Bad days don’t last forever
Some days you can feel absolutely defeated and at your wit's end. Especially, if your baby is teething, struggling to sleep, or experience reflux or colic issues. This can be exhausting and physically, and mentally draining, but remember bad days don’t last forever! It doesn’t last long, so always remind yourself it will pass. You’re doing an amazing job!
Bonding takes time
Everyone mentions the amazing feeling when your baby is born - the ‘instant’ bond with your little one. But this isn’t always the case and don’t be ashamed if you don’t initially feel this way. After months and months of build-up and preparation and a long and tiring labour and delivery, once your baby is born of course you love them more than anything but the one feeling that overwhelms absolutely everything is the sigh of relief that your baby is safe and well. The bond you form with your little one comes with time and becomes stronger and stronger as you both learn and grow together. Just because you don’t feel an instant bond with your baby, doesn’t make you love them any less!
Postnatal depression is a real thing
After birth, you always expect this will be an amazing time where you are surrounded by loved ones starting a new life with your little one. But it can be very difficult adjusting to your new life as a parent, which isn’t helped by your drastic changes in hormones, sleep deprivation, and being overwhelmed by visitors. Like me, you will have good days and bad days, days that you feel so happy on the inside but your face is expressing the opposite, or days you want to cry for no reason and have to try and explain how you feel to your loved ones. If you ever feel like this please remember to speak to someone about it, friends, family, your GP. It is honestly nothing to be ashamed of, and it will pass and get better in time. Believe me!
Take time out for yourself
As a first-time mom, you can often forget to look after yourself. Find time outside of motherhood, where you can de-clutter your headspace, so you can destress and relax. It will do you the world of good! While taking care of your baby is important, make sure to look after yourself as well.
Trust your gut
Despite the number of books on motherhood or advice you take on, never ignore your gut instinct. If you have a bad feeling, make sure to check on the baby. If you are uncomfortable following someone’s advice, just don’t do it. As each baby is different, you know your child better than anybody else.
Being a first-time mom is really difficult and exhausting. You don’t know what to expect and so rely on the experiences and advice of others. But remember, like every baby is different, every mom is too. Your birth experience and parenting style will be totally different from other moms. Just do what suits you and your baby, you know your baby best. And most of all, always ask for help if you need it and reach out if you’re ever feeling down or low. You definitely won’t be the first person to ever feel like this! And, if you ever want to talk feel free to email me.