Friday, July 20, 2012

Advice to My Pre-Mommy Self

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My friend Kelly once told me if she could give me any advice on being a new mommy it would be to not listen to anyone's advice. This is so true and so fitting to start off this post. The thing is... this is my advice based on my personal experiences as a mommy, some of it will apply and some if it wont, so if you get one little gem out of this post then I will feel content with my effort.  

I've often thought of compiling a list of advice for myself as a new mommy. Meaning, if I could go back in time, this is what I would tell my pre-mommy self. The truth is, we never stop learning, growing, changing and with that we are gaining new information and new advice based on our new experiences.... but if I could stop time right now, this would be my top advice to myself when I was a brand new mommy. 

1.  Don't have any expectations about how things are going to go. Go with the flow and be prepared to evolve your philosophies as you go because you will whether you want to or not. What once appalled you will suddenly seem fitting and then you will kick yourself for judging, so stay open and accepting at all times.

2. Remember that you aren't about to have a baby doll, you are about to have a human being. This means that sweet little babe of yours is going to have opinions, likes & dislikes and isn't going to care how you intend to do things. Try everything you wanted to do, but don't be frustrated or angry if you have to switch up your game in the middle of it all.

3. Poop can come in all the colors of the rainbow and don't get me started on textures. If its not black and there isn't blood or mucus in it, don't worry.

4. Trust your instincts. Do the research, but trust your instincts. They have been right 99.9% of the time.

5. Don't buy brand new toys or clothes. The baby will either grow out of them overnight, loose interest or destroy them at first use, most things can be sterilized beyond belief (so don't worry about germs on used toys) and reused or re-purposed. There is a 99% chance the baby will prefer your set of Rubbermaid plastic storage containers and lids to any toy you can buy at the store. They don't know the difference between a colander & wooden spoon vs. an expensive colorful drum set so don't waste your money. If you want to splurge, I'd urge you to wait until they are older and can really appreciate a special toy.

6. Don't compare yourself to other moms and don't compare your baby to other babies. Your baby is not behind if she doesn't crawl or walk at the same time as little Charlie and you are not a bad mom for putting her in a swing to give you some time to get your chores done.

7. Sometimes your sweet angel of a child, the apple of your eye, the beat to your heart, will embarrass you beyond belief. In these instances you should laugh.

8. You don't have to do everything from scratch, you are not a bad mom if you buy certain things or do things to make being a mom easier on yourself.

9. There will be times when your baby will not stop screaming crying and you cannot figure out what to do and you will get the sudden feeling that you are loosing it. In these moments it is okay to leave your screaming baby in the crib and walk outside to get some fresh air and take some deep breathes. Gather your thoughts, get back on top of the situation and give it another go.

10. Your baby is perfectly fine with a trusted family member while you and your husband go on a date or you have a moms night off. You don't need to check your phone a million times and you don't need to feel like a horrible person for enjoying yourself. It is your time off, let it be your time off.

11. Everything passes and changes, the good with the bad, so enjoy every moment like it is the last.

12. Put your husband before the baby because your relationship with your husband directly affects the baby. A strong, loving relationship between mom and dad will make the baby feel confident and loved.

13. Have a tribe, lean on them, love on them, depend on them. They will hold you up when you can't hold yourself up and there will be many times when this happens from up-all-night 6AM coffee calls to 102 fevers.

14. There will always be curve balls and you will never stop growing and changing, but you will always get through it and be stronger and more capable for it.

15. Don't buy a car, don't spend your money on stupid purses, just buy lots of stock in Apple.... oh wait, SORRY, that was meant for my 15 year old self. Ooops, wrong list.

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