Friday, November 15, 2013

What a First Time Mom Really Needs

You may have seen something floating around called 10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood. This really got me thinking... It's good, it's funny and it's true.

But what gets me about a post like this, and others like it, is the hindsight it involves to write it. Can you really have that kind of clarity and perspective about your first year of parenthood as you are living it? Is a first-time mom really going to change her ways and chillax after reading something like this?

Don't get me wrong, I love reading these posts and like I said they are funny and true, but I can safely say I probably would not have read it in my first year of parenthood and had an ah-ha moment. The first year of parenthood was survival and I wasn't seeking out posts about how I need to take a chill-pill and calm my ass down. I was seeking out posts about sleep regression, what foods to feed my baby at what age, how to break him of his paci, and what milestones he would be hitting next.

When my poor baby was sick I was researching like a mad woman why he kept getting these stomach bugs every 4 weeks like clockwork. I was exhausted and clueless and gathering up as much information as I could because that is the type of person I am. I don't think it has anything to do with the type of mother I am but everything to do with how I'm hard wired.

If I have a question, I want it answered. When I was pregnant I read the books and I was a Baby Center junkie. A lot of it had to do with gathering information but at that stage, it was just fun! After Little C was born my nose was in What to Expect every month and I was working that index like a BOSS! All the information helped me and I felt more equipped to tackle each hurdle as it arose.

But that's just me. The books didn't make me stressed out or confused, they were my life lines. Along with other moms, doctors, bloggers, etc. And I couldn't relax and calm down because I didn't know what was coming around the bend. I was a new mom and that is just how it was.

Now that I have a second baby? Man, oh man, is it a whole different game! I can read a post like the 10 True Things About the First Year of Parenthood and I can laugh and say, "damn skippy, that's how it is!" But only because I've lived it for myself. Instead of having my nose in a book, this time I can feel my way through parenting another baby and rely on instincts and more importantly, experience.

My second baby is nothing like my first so even now I still have moments where I feel like a first-time mom all over again but this time I can relax because I am resourceful and I can handle anything.

In my opinion, a first time mom doesn't need to be told to calm down, that their baby isn't like all the others, or that the books will overwhelm them. I believe a first-time mom just needs to be. She needs to figure it out for herself. She needs to have a hard time and learn what she is capable of. She needs support and whether she gets it from her partner, her family, friends, books or the internet, she will seek it out for herself.

A new mom needs to have triumphs and days where she feels like she knows a thing or two. She needs to laugh at herself and at life in general because some days that is all you can do.

She needs to cry by herself at times because some days, that is all you can do.

She needs to pour herself a heaping glass of wine at the end of the day because some days, that is all you can do.

She needs to just be. Be a first-time mom making mistakes and learning from them. Be put together and confident one minute and a clueless hot mess the next. It's all okay and a new mom will be better for all of it.

So if you are a first-time mom reading this, my humble advice to you is... just be. Keep at it and do whatever you need to do to get through your first year. The resources are there if you need them and your own instincts will take you far. But you have to figure it out for yourself.

And if nothing else, always remember... You're doing a great job.

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