To all of you soon-to-be moms, new moms, and even seasoned moms…here are five things I wish someone would have told me when I began this adventure.
1. Comparison can be the thief of joy.
I’ve had a few moments of disappointment when I’ve heard other moms tell me about how their “little Jimmy is crawling at 6 months!” and “little Gloria has been sleeping through the night since she was 2 months old!” Being real here…I try really hard to be excited and happy for those moms and babies (and trust me, I AM happy for them) but sometimes it sends me in a fit of despair that I should NOT be in, because…
I have a 6 month old who has sat by himself since he was 5 months, eats solid foods like a champ, takes flat-footed steps (and I’m sure walking is near,) has slept through the night four or five times, laughs all the time, has a sweet and gentle spirit and loves to hold my hand when we pray, and has done countless other things (like poop and pee on the potty!!) that I’m extremely proud of! I have to remember that God created each baby perfectly, in His image. Each baby is different, each baby does different things at different times…and that’s perfectly OKAY!
Just embrace each milestone as they come and enjoy the moments because they go way to fast.
2. Don’t stress yourself out over a schedule.
6 months in, I would agree with you that schedules are important. And maybe you’re the type of person that needs a schedule, and that’s okay…but don’t get stressed out over creating that schedule right away. There is literally no time for stress.
The newborn stage for me was so new, and I didn’t mind being up ALL night EVERY night nursing and rocking and watching him. I didn’t even mind that he had his days and nights mixed up. I honestly got so used to waking up multiple times a night that it’s just a norm now. Who needs sleep anyway?
I started Z on a schedule at 5 months, and in the first 3 days he was on it without a problem. Take your time, create a schedule when you’re ready, and pray that your little one catches on. (FYI-Being on a nap schedule has not led him to sleep through the night…yet.)
3. There are lots of moms out there with lots of opinionated advice.
One of the things I am so glad I decided the day I peed on that stick was this: take advice with a grain of salt.
I occasionally skimmed through the pregnancy books, we watched a couple videos on childbirth and breastfeeding, and have only read one parenting book (diaper free before 3) in the last six months.
I’ve asked close friends some questions and for their opinions. I’ve called the doctor once regarding lactose intolerance. And I’ve been given a lot of advice I didn’t ask for- the best way to deal with it is: listen, say thank you, and carry on. You’ll figure out if the information is valuable to you or not.
There is no right way or wrong way to be a mom. Just be you. You know your baby better than anyone else.
Pray for them.
Raise them with confidence.
4. Rest when he sleeps.
Most people say “sleep when he sleeps” but when he only sleeps for 20 minutes every 2.5 hours…it’s hard to sleep that fast. So, I say…have a cup of coffee, watch a quick episode of FRIENDS, read a good book, or take a relaxing bath. Do something for you. Re-energize.
Or…clean the kitchen and sweep the floor and declutter the house…if that’s relaxing to you. 😉
I’m a big pray-er. For everything.
I feel it’s one of the most vital things I can do as a wife and a mom- pray for my husband and pray for my child. God will bring you peace, He will take away your anxieties, your worries, and your fears. He will protect, guide and renew.
I just encourage you, if you pray or even if you don’t, to talk to our gracious and loving God. Keep that line of communication open all day. Thank Him for your life, for your spouse, for your children, for the food in your fridge and the means to buy it, for your ability to be a mom, for your freedom to worship Him, for continued moments to teach you patience and gratefulness and unconditional love…and for anything you’re so grateful for.
Sometimes, I lay next to Z’s crib when he’s awake most of the night and I pray God will put His hands on this baby, and comfort him and give him sleep and peace and good dreams, and will keep him breathing and growing and keep his tummy full. Sometimes those prayers work, sometimes they don’t. Just don’t give up. Don’t stop praying. God is there with you.
And trust me…You’ll be a great mom, you’ll figure it out as you go, and God is with you every moment. And I’m praying for you.