Honest advice from a mom with a toddler
Someone asked me how motherhood was going. The only way I knew how to describe it was, “wonderfully exhausting.”
The moment you share the exciting news with family and friends, you start getting a lot of advice and it can be overwhelming.
Some of it is helpful. But there are so many things I wish I was told before I became a new mom.
So, I decided to share a few things that helped me on my journey so far, as a mother:
- Give yourself enough time
This is number one on my list because I think you need to hear it the most. From sleepless nights, sore bodies, and hormones playing roulette with your emotions, it’s hard to see better days. But they do come. You are learning a lot of new things, so give yourself time and you will soon find yourself getting the hang of things.
- Don’t believe everything on Google
Pregnancy, giving birth, and raising children are different for everyone. There is a lot of information available online which can be scary. Speaking to real people, whether it is your family or friends, or strangers you meet out and about, is the best way to filter advice out, and learn things that are relevant to your journey.
- Breast is good, but so is formula
The pressure to feed your baby is enormous, and without realizing it, we put a lot of emotional strain on ourselves, mentally and physically. My philosophy on feeding is, it takes three; your mind, your baby, and your body to decide how your feeding journey will go.
There is no wrong way to feed, but a right way for the three of you, to help your baby get what they need.
- Don’t forget to pace yourself
A new mom’s to-do list is never-ending. Don’t panic if the laundry isn’t folded, or the dishes aren’t clean. It will all get done, at a pace that works for you. I understand that the desire to have things a certain way makes you feel like you have accomplished something or are in control of something. You have already accomplished a lot Mom, so give yourself a break too.
- Lean on your village
“It takes a village to raise a child.” This is true, but everyone’s circumstances are different. If you are fortunate to have family & friends at hand, don't be afraid to ask for help. Help can be in the form of many things like bringing or cooking a hot meal, giving you time to shower, or running to the grocery store for you. It doesn’t make you any less of a mom if you lean on your troop to get you through.
- Embrace your new body
Our bodies go through a lot, and they change during pregnancy and postpartum. I know it isn’t easy, from stretch marks to hair fall, it can make us really miss our pre-baby bodies. But your body has just achieved something pretty incredible, so don’t rush to “snap back” and find ways to love this new version of yourself.
- Hear the cry and spot the sign
A crying baby can have you jumping up in no time. There are 5 main reasons why a baby cries: hunger, tiredness, colic/gas, pain, and fussiness. Each cry will sound a little different, helping you understand what it is your baby needs. There will be signs too, like, a closed fist or hand in the mouth when hungry, or crying softly on and off can be due to discomfort from a dirty diaper or feeling too hot or cold. You will learn your baby’s cues to help you get to know them better.
- Build a daily routine
A routine is something that is just as important for a baby, as it is for you. A daily routine offers flexibility and less resistance towards things like nap time, or feeding time, but is something you will build slowly as your baby grows. For example, newborns do not know the difference between day and night so introduce small habits, like exposure to daylight, so they can start recognizing the difference. Sticking to daily habits early on gives benefits for many years to come, and less bedtime struggles.
- Take time for the small moments
Your baby will only be this small for a little while. Enjoy the journey. I know it’s tough and exhausting. But there will be so many moments as your baby grows and learns new things, that will melt your heart and you deserve to take them all in.
- Trust yourself, moms really do know best
Our brains are wired differently, and becoming a new mom is a new and scary experience, which can lead to a lot of self-doubt. But, I am here to tell you to trust yourself, Mom, because no one knows your baby/children better than you do.
- Talk to someone for advice on Ovvio
Don’t get me wrong, family & friends mean well. But sometimes, you can learn so many things from new people.
Meeting new moms, or moms who have been “momming” for a while, can really help you when you need it the most.
Ovvio is a safe place, where people with the right experience are giving real advice and answering your questions.
There are 3 ways to connect; video, message, or call, so you can get instant advice anytime and there is also something called Anonymous Mode if you aren’t ready to share your identity.
Give Ovvio a go! Sign up now!