When we become moms we suddenly realize we don’t know as much as we thought we did, despite the hours spent pouring over the baby books and magazines.
Eileen Spencer, of Oak Park, admits she didn’t know what to really expect when she was first expecting. But she quickly discovered life is a lot busier and a lot more complicated than she imagined.
“I’m amazed at how much your priorities change, little things that were very important to me, like having a perfect house and getting wrapped up in internal politics (at work) used to get me so riled up. Now I just think as long as my kids and husband are happy and healthy, all that stuff falls down on the list,” she says.
The best advice she says she received was getting her girls on a consistent, but flexible, schedule.
We’ve all faced unsolicited (and sometimes unwanted) parenting advice from family, friends and strangers in the grocery store. But here’s real advice from moms in the trenches:
The advice that I will give to a new mom is not to get discouraged when things don’t go the way you plan. Since you are a new mom, you are basically learning from trial and error.
Constantly tell your baby that you love them and show them affection by holding them, kissing them or even singing to them. In addition, I would also advise new moms to take lots and lots of pictures and videotape them—babies grow so fast and having pictures and videotapes to look back on are such wonderful memories.
Enjoy every moment you can with your child. Before you know it that sweet little baby will be growing and changing and heading off to school. Spend time with your children. You do not want them to remember you as a mommy or daddy that had to work ALL the time, but as a parent that loves to play games, sing songs, be with them.
During the late-night feedings, you should feed the baby, change the baby and put the baby back to sleep. This is not a good time to enjoy singing and cuddling your baby. Being a new mom, you are going to need all the sleep you can get. The best advice, when the baby sleeps, you should sleep.
Never be afraid to ask for help. We often think we are expected to be Supermom and do it all by ourself, but asking for help does a lot for a mom’s sanity.
... Try not to stress.
Your house is never going to be as clean as you want it to be, you will always have dirty laundry, something that needs to be washed, etc. Don’t worry about all the small stuff and focus your time on the new baby.
Always trust your instincts and never be afraid to ask for help or advice. Newborns are a lot of work!! And to always take time out for yourself!
The best advice I’d give to a new mom is: Your entire life as you know it right now will change once that new baby comes. It is definitely a joyous change, but give yourself plenty of time to adjust, especially if you get the baby blues. Be prepared and once you adjust to your new life, you won’t believe how boring your pre-baby life used to be!
Take time to sit and hold them and enjoy the time to just be with that baby. They grow so quickly and you will forget how small they were and wish you had just taken a few more minutes to hold them while you could. The household duties will never go away but your few days of infancy quickly vanish.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. This means, don’t worry if the dishes aren’t done, you haven’t showered today or cooking is the last thing on your mind—just take care of you and your baby in the best way you know how.
Your inner instinct will always kick in and trust it. Everyone will want to give advice. Listen, but only a mom knows what’s best for their child. If you have a gut feeling about something, trust your instincts and follow through.
Patience. Things aren’t always going to work out so you must be patient and enjoy the changes. Cherish the time you have with your children; you will make memories that last a lifetime.
Keep everything simple and just relax.
Go with the flow! Plans will always change and time seems to fly by. Enjoy every moment.