Becoming a mom is such an exciting thing! So much planning and preparing, dreaming and worrying goes into the time we spend waiting for a baby to be born (whether we physically birth them or are even waiting for an adoption). The 9 months you’re pregnant is an amazing thing ladies, do NOT underestimate the necessity of having this amount of time to prepare.
Sure, it takes that long for a baby to be truly healthy and ready to enter this big world, but it’s also the perfect amount of time for us to adjust emotionally and psychologically, and gives us just enough time to arrange things at home and in our lives for the new arrival. Every single mom is unique, and each new baby adds something completely unique to a family as well.
Two kinds of New moms
There are new moms who truly are new to the world of babies and children entirely. These moms may not have done a lot of babysitting when they were younger or maybe didn’t work much with children in any capacity until the birth of their own child.
Then you have the new moms who have been exposed to children a lot. They may be the woman who dreamed her whole life about the day she would start her own family and grew up taking care of other children in many different capacities. These tend to be women who enter parenting with a lot of set ideas of exactly how it should and will go.
The pros and cons of each
Both types of new moms have their definite sets of challenges and also equal sets of positive aspects as they enter motherhood….
For the unexperienced mom, becoming a parent can be a little more daunting and overwhelming initially, but the amazing part about this is that often, they don’t go into it with too many expectations and do a great job of listening to their intuition as long as they have not inundated themselves with advice that is often shoved down a new parent’s throat the moment anyone finds out they are pregnant.
For the mom who is experienced with children, we face an opposite yet equal set of pros and cons. These mothers typically go into parenthood much more relaxed and confidently, they are prepared for what they know from experience and feel totally ready. The downside to this is that they often are a little too confident. I cannot tell you the number of parents I know who had it “completely figured out” before their first child was born (or even subsequent children), only to find out that nothing went how they anticipated.
The bottom line with motherhood (I stress this so very often here) is to be balanced with it all.
- Don’t go into it thinking you know everything, be flexible
- Don’t go into it thinking that you are destined to fail, there is a lot to be said for instinct.
- Don’t take every piece of advice you are given to heart as the absolute law – you will regret it if you do.
- Don’t overwhelm yourself with information – take it slow, bite size pieces are always best and if it doesn’t sound right to you, then move on.
- Don’t underestimate yourself. Your ability to parent is genuinely as good as anyone else. You have natural instincts that will kick in no problem as long as you don’t let everything else (and everyone) get in your way. Use caution who you listen closely to and always listen to your heart.
- Do get help – know when you need help and ask for it. I didn’t, I paid for it… do not be too proud or careful not to take people up on their offers. When friends and family offer to help you it is because they genuinely want to help. It is up to you to follow up and let them know what you need and when. Often they will not ask again because they do not want to pressure you or bother you, NOT because they no longer wish to help you!!!
- Make time to get together with friends or go out with your spouse or join a mom group to your comfort level. I will address this a little more in a follow up post, but it is important to still keep in touch with people who are important to you. To maintain your individuality while understanding that motherhood is a season of life where by definition, you will be mostly consumed by everything but you.
- Enjoy your baby/child. Yep, I rolled my eyes at this one too. But it has to be said because there is value in the statement that this stage in your child’s life and in where you are at as a mom and woman right now will not last and will never be repeated the way it is right now so take time to remember it, to bask in the good and try to breathe off the bad.
- Take tons of pictures and journal. Kind of random and doesn’t have a lot to do with the actual act of parenting, but I am telling you, there is nothing better than having good photos and journal entries of each stage of development for your child. It’s irreplaceable and you will be so very incredibly blessed someday when you look back at all of it. Yes, again I realize that this is such an “old mom” thing to say, but ladies I have been there and I promise you it is true.
- Do be yourself. Stay true to who you are as a parent. Your parenting style will not look like the next family over and you will need to learn to be ok with that. If you are raising healthy happy children who are well adjusted in life then you are doing what you should. This will absolutely not look the same from family to family, so don’t try to be the Joneses!
Becoming a new mom is the beginning of a rather large journey in our lives. Embrace it, be a mother and enjoy your role as a parent. You can’t beat yourself up over every little thing, you will have moments that things are hard and you feel like you’ve failed, but it’s equally important to remember just to enjoy them as much as you can however you are able to.