Originally posted 02.11.16 on Facebook (I’ll be porting a few more well-read posts in the future):
I guess when someone asks you what advice you’d give a new mom, hysterical laughter isn’t the answer they’re looking for. 😀 The things I would have told someone a long time ago sure have changed!
1. All advice is extremely subjective and may not work for you at all. I had three babies, and what worked for the one prior did not ever seem to work for the newest one in my arms. Babies be crazy, yo.
2. (related) No matter how much another mom might look like she has it together, we are ALL winging it. Every.single.day. Some people (not me, heh) are just better at faking appearances.
3. If you’re loving your baby and trying your best, congratulations! You’re doing it right — no matter what feeding method or diaper material or anything else you’ve chosen. You’re doing a good job. Even when it doesn’t feel like it.
4. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK. That’s in all caps for a reason. If someone offers to babysit (or hell, just hold the baby while you pee in peace and shower as long as you want to), let them! It’s OK to need a friggin’ break now and then, even from the most angelic baby on the planet.
4b. This goes double for anyone with a colicky infant. You desperately need to build in breaks/have someone for relief. I didn’t leave my son with anyone for the first eight months of his life because he screamed all the time (seriously, like 20-22 hrs/day) and I was afraid anyone else would hurt him…and it took a toll on me. I would never judge anyone for needing a sanity break. It’s OK to let another (trusted) person deal with the crying for a few hours.
5. Taking care of yourself IS taking care of your baby. The happier/healthier/more relaxed the mom, the better for everyone. You don’t have to feel guilty for putting yourself first sometimes.
6. Advice-givers mean well…truly, we do! 😉 That said, it’s also OK to tell people to shut the fuck up. 😀 You got this. I promise.