We have no doubt that every mother will agree with us when we say that during pregnancy, the only thing worse than the stretch marks and bad gas are the hours of bad parenting advice you get from every source imaginable. Between the always-ready-to-share, been-there-done-that mothers, strangers in the grocery store checkout line, parenting books and online resources, the information available today for new mothers is overwhelming. What’s more, you never know what to believe, since one book will contradict the next, and what one mother swears by, another mother will insist did not work for her baby. Weeding through all of the advice can be daunting, to say the least.
Here is a list of things we all agree are so important for new mothers to know. Things we wish we didn’t have to learn the hard way.
Listen to your instincts, not Dr. Google
With so many online parenting resources and “how-to” books available today, most contradicting the next, don’t get caught up thinking these resources know better than you do.
Listen to your baby’s cues
While babies can only communicate through body language and crying, within the first week, you will begin to notice behaviors and different tones of crying that are clearly trying to tell you something.
Pay close attention to those different cues and within a week or so, you will easily be able to decipher what it is your baby is trying to tell you, and most likely before he even starts crying uncontrollably.
Do not get caught up trying to be the perfect mother
There is no such thing. In order to be the best mother to your baby, all you have to do is try your best. Parenting is filled with both triumphs and failures. Do not be hard on yourself or get discouraged if you fail. Just like with everything else, practice makes perfect.
Don’t forget to take time for your partner
It is so easy to lose sight of your relationship with your partner during those first few weeks and months of parenthood. Between the exhaustion from the sleepless nights, the demanding feeding schedule and your normal household or work activities, it can be hard to find quality time to spend with your partner. However, it is crucial that you MAKE time.
The key is not to build a new life around your baby, but to blend your baby into your existing life together.
Don’t forget to take time for yourself
It is absolutely crucial that you take time for yourself on a daily basis. Every day you need to make it a point to take a shower, put on clean clothes and eat at least two wholesome meals. Then aim to leave the house for no less than 10 minutes, at least every other day. Even a walk around the block does wonders. Just get away from that baby to rejuvenate, or you will crash and burn.
Above all, rather than trying to be the perfect mother, try to be the best mother, by giving your best.