So, although I cannot give you advice on exactly what to do, because I am still figuring things out myself, I can however tell you what NOT to do!
Your Home Life
Nothing in this world can prepare you for being a parent, I don’t care what anyone says, helping a sibling or a family member with their baby will maybe make you used to the idea of a baby and give you some helpful tips even, but in no way will it give you a taste of what it feels like when that little bundle is yours.
No book in the world will explain to you how YOUR baby is feeling and why, yes, it has been put together by experts, but it is the general rule, and not always specific to your baby, I have read so many things and then I think “what? Why is my baby not doing this?” – This is the biggest downfall for new parents, books tell you when what milestone should be reached and how much your baby should be eating, and most of the times this is right, but sometimes it just is not, and this immediately sends us into a state of panic.
Listening to how other people raise their children is also a “no no” , how people raise their children reflects their personalities, their home life and their values, therefore, doing what you see from other people will most probably not work for you, because, well, you are different, you are an individual and your personality and values might not be the same.
And Finally, the most important one; do not, I repeat, do not compare yourself to other moms, this will most certainly drive you insane, and it most certainly has for me, the problem when looking at other moms is you see what they call the “highlight real”, you come over for dinner, and the whole family is on their best behaviour, because let’s face it, that’s what we all do. What you don’t see, is that they also fight over who must do the dishes, the mom also locks herself in a closet to cry (a bit extreme but it happens) and the dad is not always the perfect husband you see at dinner.
Some people are just more open about their struggles, to me, these are the best kind of people, they make you feel like you are not alone, like you are not as crazy as you though, and not always overreacting, as per your husband’s opinion.
Find these people and stick to them like glue, they are the mom friends that you want by your side on days that you feel you cannot cope, or you just had enough.
Google is the Enemy
Wow, where do we even start on this one?
If you haven’t yet googled “How to get my baby to sleep” stop reading because this post is not for you; the results on this is so confusing and contradicting that it would leave even the most confident mom second guessing herself.
Sleep deprivation is torture, it affects every aspect of your life, it’s just intense!
Google is helpful in the sense that you can find information online at any time of the day or night, there are thousands of “how to” videos, and I myself have watched a few videos on swaddling and latching that were quite helpful.
But overall, you see information and tips that just do not work for your baby, and then you are left overwhelmed once again, with no way out.
Motherly instinct is the best go to you can get, become confident mom! And trust your gut, 9 out of 10 times it is right, the other time your baby was most likely just not feeling well or just having an off day – which happens, if you think about it, your baby is also an individual, and just like we have off days, they do too, they just can tell you how they are feeling.
Most days you end up just winging it! This too shall pass.
Fed is Best
This is such a sensitive topic, and I am almost scared to write about it, but here goes!
I personally tried to breastfeed, and did for 7 weeks, unfortunately due to circumstances, my supply dried up after trying everything under the sun, there could be a million reasons for why what when and where, but that’s just what happened, and I ended up giving my little girl formula.
This was so intense for me, as it felt like I failed her and that I am not doing what is best for my baby, but at the end of the day, do what is best for you, there are so many moms out there that will tell you that you are a bad mother for choosing to formula feed.
Don’t you dare listen to them, we place enough pressure on ourselves to be perfect mothers, we do not need added stress to any situation, it is your life, and you do what is best and what suits you guys better. You are still a good mother!
We need to stop mom shaming each other, what I don’t understand is that these women are also moms, they were even once first-time moms, and know how hard is to adjust and to get into a routine that suits your family and your lifestyle, adding to this is not only mean, but unnecessary. To the moms out there that are struggling with all these things, hang in there, keep doing what you are doing, and it will all get easier soon.
This too shall pass.
This blog post is intended to encourage and share personal experience for first time parents. Please consult with your doctor or Lactation Specialist. If you do not have a Lactation Specialist ask your OB/GYN or PCP for a referral or contact your insurance for In-Network Providers in your community.
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BIO: Angelique is a 27-year-old wife and mother of a precious little baby girl, she works from home and lives in a rural village in South Africa North West, she is also a mom blogger that focuses on the struggles that moms faces and especially first-time moms. To learn more about Angelique and her baby girl Paige visit her blog – www.babysmoo.com & follow on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BabySmooPaige