How to survive the first year of motherhood

As I sit here and write this, I am completely in awe that it has been almost 1 YEAR since I became a mother. In some ways it feels like it went sooo fast, and in many other ways it feels like the longest year of my life (HA). That’s motherhood for you. It will be the greatest blessing and the hardest job.

So, I thought I’d take some time to write a post sharing my top 7 “what I wish I would have known” advice for year numero one of motherhood! I want to share more of what I have learned and wished I would have known rather than “items I wished I would have bought.” I say this because I remember reading a lot of articles on that subject before I had my baby, and what I have now realized is every baby is so different. It’s not one size fits all. So instead, I thought it would be more helpful to share practical advice and encouragement. Enjoy! 🙂

+ONE
First, I want you to know something crucial, as I said above- Every single baby is so different. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. Don’t get caught up in other mama’s lives and compare your baby to theirs. No, you are NOT doing everything all wrong, it’s just what works for one baby, might not work for another. And what your friends baby might like, yours might hate. Breathe mama, your baby is doing just fine.

+TWO
If you are trying to breastfeed and you’re having issues, reach out to a lactation consultant RIGHT AWAY. Don’t wait. Please, please know, you are not the only one and that it doesn’t just ‘come naturally’ for every women and every baby. I mean really, why do you think there’s lactation consultants in the first place? 😉 You are not failing or ‘just not a good mother’ because it might not have came easy for you. Some babies have oral motor issues, tongue tie issues, there might be positioning issues during nursing etc. etc…. the list goes on and on. Reach out for help.

+THREE
ASK for help. If someone offers to help with watching the baby, bring you food, or cleaning your home, take them up on it. Don’t think you need to do it all on your own. If you’re struggling and you have a spouse or signifiant other communicate with them that you need more help. Don’t feel guilty because you can’t do it all by yourself. None of us were meant to do this life alone, we need other people. Don’t beat yourself up for that, and please know, you’re not the only one! All of us mama’s can use some help! Can I get an AMEN?! 😉

+FOUR
Don’t think you need to buy all the latest gadgets and shiny toys for your baby. Did you know that your baby can actually survive and live a healthy life on really not that much stuff at all! Haha! Nowadays there are sooooo many options for baby items and gadgets, and most is a big waste of money. Here are the essentials- diapers, wipes, bottle/formula (if not nursing), clothing, car seat, crib/bassinet and blanket. I recommend waiting on a lot of the other things until your baby arrives. Once you have your baby and your doing this mother thing, you actually start to get a picture of what you really still need.

+FIVE
Do not be afraid to buy things second hand. You can save soooo much money this way. It is incredible how much cheaper things are. Or if you have family/friends who are done having children it’s always great to see if they would be wiling to give you or allow you to pay them for their items. Like I mentioned earlier, every baby is so different, so it’s hard to know for sure what your baby will actually like or need before they are born. Wait, shop second hand, and save lots of $$$$.

+SIX
Every one is going to think they know your baby and will be more than happy to tell you how to do this mothering thing and what you’re doing wrong (LOL). Try to take advice from others with a grain of salt. Some times it can be very helpful, and other times it’s a load of crap because like I said above- EVERY BABY IS SO DIFFERENT. Stick to YOUR gut, you know your baby best. Be confident in your parenting.

+SEVEN
Please know mama, your body is beautiful. Please don’t get into a rush to think you need to lose your ‘baby weight’ as soon as possible. What your body just went through is incredible and took many, many months to accomplish so do not expect that you should be back to your old self over night!! And then not to mention, what your body went through to birth your baby!! I mean, HELLO, it’s time to nourish, nurture and truly love your body for at least the first 6 months (in my opinion) after baby. Do not over do it. Trust me, your body will let you know if you’ve done too much. Take your time. Enjoy your baby, be grateful for your body and try to focus on what a blessing it is that your body allowed you to carry your beautiful baby. Body shaming, in no way, will be helpful during this time. Or ever, for that matter! HA! 😉

There you have it, the advice I wish I would have known before having my baby. I hope you take something away from my words and also realize, no one is ever ‘truly’ ready to be a parent! Ha! 😉 No matter how much advice/information you have read, nothing can totally prepare you for it. It’s a trip, but the greatest joy- for realz!