CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You have made it through 9 months of pregnancy, now the fun begins.
Regardless if it’s your 1st time or your 5th time being a Mum, those first few weeks are hard. But the good news is that you get through it. You will survive. <insert Diana Ross here> I will survive. Repeat this until you believe it, because you will.
I’ve asked some other Mum’s what they did/used/said to get through those first few weeks of motherhood. Some things I only figured out the second time around, so here’s your head start if you’re a first time Mum. And if you’re a seasoned Mum, maybe you’ll learn something new.
Sleep when someone tells you that they will watch baby for an hour or so! If someone offers help (watching the baby, making dinner, folding laundry, sweeping, dishes, etc), suck it up and take their help. Getting out of the house for a walk/fresh air, even if it is to the bottom of the driveway, it’s therapeutic!!!!
– Katie, Mother of 1
Alcohol just because! Get on a schedule, get on a schedule, get on a schedule – if you want to keep your sanity. Forget being pro/con breastfeeding/formula or doctor vs midwife or anything like that. There isn’t a bad choice. Do what works for you. Get your partner on board and on the same page.
– Alex, Mother of 2
We found that using one of those change pads was invaluable. We kept it at the couch for quick changes (with a basket full of diapers, wipes, butt cream, change of clothes, etc) right at arm’s reach. Our son would fall asleep on the change pad and we’d just pick it up and carry him to our bed on it. They can’t roll off, its soft, waterproof and lightweight. Easy peasy! Also sound machine is helpful, especially if/when you start to sleep train.
-Janene, Mother of 1
I think it’s important to be in the moment and know that if your baby is crying and you’re going insane, it’s only for a short time (even though it feels like it’s forever). Stay off the Internet and over thinking everything, trust your instincts, you will know what to do.
Be true to your style of parenting, your kids are a product of you and your spouse, so let them be who they are instead of someone you want them to be, good or bad. And don’t compare your kids or other babies or yourself to other Moms.
Also, if you’re a new Mom, take every piece of advice with a grain of salt. Store it for later, some may be helpful, some may not be. But they may have done it and you haven’t, so don’t be offended.
-Amanda, Mother of 1
A wrap or a soft shell carrier (Ergo, Tula, etc) and letting go of all the things I/we ‘thought’ we would do as soon as the baby/babies came. For instance, we assumed our daughter would go into a crib right from the get go and we co-slept instead. After that we got rid of the crib altogether and used the Montessori style room set up with her mattress on the floor.
Using Dr.Google is an awful idea, so try not to let yourself go down that rabbit hole.
Be okay with the fact that some friendships may change or end. I had a really tough time with that when it came to my friends who didn’t have kids. However, you make some AMAZING friends in return who have kids, so ensure that you get involved in playgroups, swimming and classes in your area.
– Christie, Mother of 3
Starbucks! Long car rides, and hot showers when you can. I hate help, so I may not be the norm, but any chance you have someone just hold the baby is what I preferred over someone doing something for me.
-Michelle, Mother of 2
I found for the first baby it was an incredibly overwhelming experience. It’s OK to not be in love at first sight and to know that you will eventually build an incredible bond with your baby. When the baby is born, you may feel excited, scared, happy, etc,… And it is all normal. Things will even out. Your life in an instant, just went from being about you… to this new little person who is 100% dependant on you. You’ll be so exhausted but know that, that too will end. Your child will sleep more and so will you. It’s OK to cry. I did.
You will receive a lot of advice and opinions, but do what is right for you regarding everything.
For the second kid, be prepared for some difficulty with your older sibling, especially if they are still young. It is a huge life change for them. You may not feel as overwhelmed as you did the first time emotionally because you now know what to expect. But now, be prepared for even more Mom guilt and getting used to juggling your time.
Parenting is extremely hard but also wonderful.
– Caitlin, Mother of 2
I was so nervous about pretty much everything in the beginning! You really do figure out what works best for you and instinctively know what’s best for your babe. I found it important to get out every day and do something, even if it’s just a little walk for some fresh air or to grab a quick coffee. I have a hard time accepting help, but it was so welcomed when it came! I love Christie’s point about friendships, that was hard and some of mine have changed for the better or for worse. But have also made some great friends through having a kid now.
-Laura, Mother of 1
So, to all Mothers, child of 1, 2, twins, adopted, all of them, there is no one way to parent. What works with one kid and parent may not necessarily work with child number 2 or 6. Every child is born with there personally, it’s the parents who take the time to learn there child.
Those first few weeks are hard, that’s no secret but it does get better. It doesn’t get easier, you get stronger. You will survive, channel Diana Ross and just sing at the top of your lungs, I WILL SURVIVE, because you will!