Saturday, March 23, 2013

practical advice for newbie mamas

With Sam's birthday just this past weekend & my lovely sister-in-law giving birth to her first child just a few days ago {Congrats Maryann & Nick!!!}, I've been thinking a lot lately about my initial transition into motherhood after bringing Sam home for the first time.  Of course, I expected all the wonder, awe & love that you hear about from every parenting magazine, website & mama on the street, but there were a few realities that I had wished I'd been a little more prepared for. So without further adieu, here is a short list of practical advice for newbie mamas regarding a few of the less commonly discussed and slightly less glamorous realities of new motherhood.


1)  You're going to be a hot mess for awhile {we're talking weeks here} and that's okay.  You'll consider a day that you shower by 5:00 pm to be an amazing success.   Leaving the house for a quick run to the grocery store becomes more reminiscent of packing for a month long European backpacking trek.  You will be late to everything for a while.  Just keep in mind, "Those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."  And when all else fails, go to your mama's.  Having an extra set of hands, someone to talk with who understands what your going through, and is willing to forgive your sleep deprived zombie-like ramblings has a miraculous way of making you feel human again.

2)  People are going to judge you.  From how you choose to handle the birth process to breast feeding, what type of baby food you feed your child to whether or not you sleep train your baby.  The list never ends, and everyone has an opinion.  Some are pushier or more judgmental than others, most have good intentions.  Don't let them get to you.  Most of the issues are not black & white, so feel confident making your own decisions regarding what's best for you and your baby, and if you have questions always feel free to contact a trusted health professional.

3)  Two words:  Stool softeners.  Be kind to your poor post delivery nether regions and buy some. *disclaimer: always check with your physician prior to initiating any new medications blah blah blah.

4) ALWAYS carry an extra outfit for baby and extra nursing pads for you where ever you go.  You never know when one {or both of you} will have a blow out.  Although chances are good it will be in the car on your way out to a nice dinner with friends when you're already 20 minutes late.

5)  You and your boobs are going to be cuh-razy for awhile.  You will feel a little emotionally crazy.  Elated one minute, crying the next.  It's okay.  It's called hormones and sleep deprivation.  It will get better.  If it doesn't, go see your doctor, and then it will get better.  But you won't be alone, your boobs will have jumped on the crazy train with you.  One morning you wake up with two half watermelons stuck on your chest.  It's uncomfortable.  Go feed your baby or pump or both.  Make sure to lay a couple of towels down on your side of the bed--this will save you from having to change your sheets every day.  Thankfully, this phase is relatively short lived, your boobs will figure out how to modulate their milk production soon.

6)  Take care of yourself.  Mama's have the tendency to put everyone else first and can put their own needs on the back burner.  Remember to make yourself a priority too and do NOT feel guilty about it. Just as in any relationship, a whole and happy person is better able to actively participate in a healthy relationship.  Same goes for motherhood.  You want to be be the best mama you can be, right?  So make sure to keep yourself whole and happy as an individual.  If this means hitting the gym or that yoga class a few days a week, do it.  If it means having a scheduled girls night once a week or taking that painting class at the local college that you've always wanted to do, do it.  Taking care of yourself will allow you to better take care of others.

7) Don't kill yourself trying to be perfect.  There is no faster way steal the joy right out of you than chasing perfection in motherhood, because just like unicorns and delicious fat-free popcorn, it doesn't exist.  So just buckle up and enjoy the ride, because motherhood has one steep learning curve that just never seems to end.  And it's fun, and scary, and amazing and often times gross, but mostly amazing if you'd just cut yourself a little slack.  You will never have it all figured out.  And that's okay.  So, just love on that kid like there's no tomorrow and you'll both be okay, imperfections and all.


  1. Can you move here and be my neighbor and best friend??! Please and thank you. I needed someone to tell me these things when C was born, goodness did I ever. Love your honesty (and hilarity, you always make me laugh!) but this really was fantastic!! xo

    1. Thank you! And yes please, that sounds like a fantastic plan :)

  2. This is great advice! Same goes for a new foster-mom (without all the boob issues) haha!

    1. Or the stool softeners! LOL

    2. hahaha! Very true! I think you were the smart mama! ;)


Thanks for visiting, I'd love to hear from you!