If you’re a mum like me who’s been there, done that and bought the T-shirt (However still learning on the job!) what advice would you give to a first time mum or what advice do you wish you had been given when you first became a mum? I have shared my top tips for new mums before but I thought I’d do a refresher and share some more of my mum to mum advice with you. Since my last tip sharing post I have become a mum for the second time and I think I’ve learned a thing or two more since then.
Being a new mum is a tough job and that’s no secret Here is a list of advice I have for you. From one mum to another:
- Go with the flow. When I was pregnant with my first, I spent a lot of time planning and preparing for my expectation of what pregnancy, labour and motherhood was going to be like and it all went out the window. For starters, my son was born 6 weeks earlier than expected which no one could have predicted and obviously through a massive curve ball our way. Thankfully he was okay and I’m blessed with two healthy children now. I’m not saying don’t be prepared, of course be prepared and if preparing is what helps you feel more comfortable, prepare away! But also be accepting of the fact that things might not always go to plan but that doesn’t mean things won’t be okay. Let it go and just go with the flow.
- Don’t worry if you don’t bond with your baby instantly. There is nothing wrong with that or with you for that matter. That feeling of love between you and your baby will come even if it isn’t instant. For some mums it takes day or weeks and for others even months. If you have any concerns you can always speak to your family or a professional without the fear of feeling judged.
- Accept help. Don’t feel like you cannot accept help for whatever reason. If someone offers their help, they offer to make dinner for you, tidy for you, even hold the baby for you, say yes. It can be hard at first to trust others with your newborn but there is no shame in accepting help. I was reluctant to leave Kory with my own mum at first, not that I didn’t think he would be in safe hands, it was just daunting for me and I can still remember the very first time I ever left him to this very day. But I’m glad that I did. I think I went and got my hair done actually!
- Breastfeeding vs formula. Breastfeeding is hard. You might be surprised to find out how passionate some people are going to be for you to breastfeed your baby. You’ll hear many times ‘breast is beast’ and the importance of breastfeeding which is fine but if breastfeeding isn’t for you that’s totally okay as well. It wasn’t for me either. I never wanted to breastfeed, I never intended to and I never attempted to. Both of my kids have been formula fed and that doesn’t make me any less of a mum. If you want to breastfeed, that’s great too but don’t be too hard on yourself. It can be quite tough. I guess what i’m trying to say is, just do whatever you feel is best for you and your baby, no one should be passing judgment on anyone for how they choose to feed their baby so don’t let anyone make you feel bad about whichever you decide to do.
- Join a new mums group when you feel ready to. A lot of the time, most of the other people who attend these groups will be other parents with babies similar ages to your own who will then be able to sympathise with you as they will be going through similar baby aged related issues at the same time as yourself and will be able to offer you support, even someone to talk to. It helps to speak to someone who understands what you’re going through and might make you feel less alone. Who knows, you might even make some new mum friends!
- Your relationship will be pushed to its limits. I’m not trying to frighten anyone, if you have a partner by your side throughout this, your relationship is going to be tested but in turn, the limits your relationship will be pushed to will also be what strengthen your relationship. There are going to be ups and downs, for example, when I see my partner with our children, I think to myself ‘I love him even more now than I did before we became parents’ and sometimes when I’ve been up in the night with Kora while I can hear him snoring on the other side of the bed, I’ve wanted to push him onto the floor. Balance.
- Give yourself time to recover. Do not put yourself under any more unnecessary added pressure to lose weight or fit into pre pregnancy clothes. It takes about 6 months after giving birth for our bodies and our hormones to begin to normalise again. You have just grown and birthed a baby, you’re already amazing.
- It’s okay to cry. Becoming a mum, going through all those changes as well as sleep deprivation is tough and it’s okay to feel sorry for yourself. The baby blues kicked in for me on day 4 after having both of my babies, I cried about everything. Just remember that you’re doing your best.
- Do not compare yourselves to others. Do not compare your parenting, your partner, your baby or anything else. Everyone’s parenting journey is unique to them so nothing is going to be identical to the way someone else may experience motherhood. Guidelines are just that – guides. There is nothing wrong with your, your baby or your parenting.
- Trust your instincts. With all the advice that will be thrown your way, all the opinions that people will think you want to hear, you should just do what works for you and your baby. Don’t feel pressured to do anything that does not work for your family.
- This too shall pass. In the beginning, it can be tough but the waking in the night, the teething, it is all just a phase or a stage and you will get through it. This too shall pass.
- You might not enjoy every moment. Some days will be harder than others and it doesn’t mean you’re a terrible mum, it probably just means you’re overwhelmed or exhausted.
- You’re allowed to complain. Almost 5 years of being a mum, 2 kids later and I’m only just realising this. I am allowed to complain and no one will think that I don’t love my children.
- There will be good days and bad days. You’ll have days when you feel like a boss ass mum and you’ll have days when you wonder if you’re even cut out for this and the answer to that is yes you are. You absolutely are.
Lastly, you are doing a fabulous job and your baby is so lucky to have you as their mama.
Thank you for reading my mum to mum advice. If you are a new mum, what advice have you found helpful? (Or not so helpful) please let me know by leaving me a comment!