As a new mother, it’s more than likely that you’ll be pretty nervous. What are you supposed to do when this is your first child, and can any book or parenting blog really tell you how to smash motherhood out of the park? Of course, it’s a completely different experience for every new mother, and what’s right for one person may not be suitable for the other. However, if you’re a little bit terrified of what’s going to happen next, then it’s a good idea to keep these 5 things in mind…
#1: You learn as you go
Being a first time mother means that you’re not going to know everything straight away. In fact, it means that you might not know ‘everything’ ever, because parenting is, you know, pretty hard. Kids also change a lot, and need different things from you at different ages. As a mother, you’re always learning, so don’t expect to ever feel like you’re getting stuff 100% right. It’s a learning curve, but you’re doing your best (and that’s great)!
#2: You don’t have to listen to everybody else
Parenting is something that everybody has an opinion on. You should be breastfeeding, they shout from the left, and you should be bottle feeding, they shout from the right. Opinions, opinions, opinions… the important thing to remember is that this is all they are. Nobody is the overarching authority when it comes to motherhood. As long as your child is healthy (and happy) then who cares what they think?
#3: …But choose wisely about who you do listen to
Of course, if you do need some advice when it comes to motherhood, then be cautious about where you seek it. Sure, your friends have good intentions, but do they really objectively know what the right path of action is? Seek support from pediatric physical therapy sessions, counselors, doctors and other professionals. Steer clear from advice that, whilst well-meaning, may not be as reliable.
#4: Love is the main thing
As a parent, all you can do really is love your children. Of course, they’re going to annoy you, keep you up at night, have screaming breakdowns in Walmart parking lots, and there are going to be times when you miss all of that sleep and relaxation that you had pre-motherhood. However, you’ll still love your kids to pieces, and this is the basis of good parenting. Doing things with love should always get you to the right places.
#5: Asking for help is fine
When you have your first (and perhaps only) child, and even if this is your fifth child, you’re going to need some help. As an individual, you can’t do parenting all of the time, and you need to have a break. Whether this looks like asking your partner to stay in with your children whilst you spend a night with friends, or asking other family members and friends for support, there are plenty of ways to get the help that you will invariably need.
Good luck, you’ve got this!