Unconventional mama tips
Note: The pictures above, the one on the left you may not notice, but I see a tired, juggling pumping/breastfeeding (because little man was having so much trouble keeping milk down, he was colicky till about 14 months) puffy faced mama, still trying to loose the baby weight, trying to figure out how to care for two kiddos and feeling so overwhelmed. Now the picture on the right, this mama is starting to feel like herself again, almost lost all the baby weight, feeling confident about caring for two kids and not so overwhelmed and tired any more.
Below I wanted to share some things that have really helped. It's something I wished someone would of told me. I hope it helps some of you mamas out there and don't be so hard on yourself, remember "YOUR A GREAT MOM"
1. It's your choice
Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, co sleep or not and thousands of other decisions involving your baby is yours and your partners choice. Don't let anyone make you forget that or berate you for your choice.
2. Don't beat yourself up
Parenting is not a competitive sport. For the things you do and don't do for your baby, for how your baby is supposed to be (and probably is not) don't beat yourself up. Especially when it comes to breastfeeding and not having enough milk or worrying about pumping, one thing I want you mamas to remember your doing your best and if you were only able to breastfeed or pump for 3 weeks or 4 months it's okay. Side note: Don't stress out if you feel like you don't have enough milk supply and try to eat/take pills (like fenugreek, etc) and your milk is still not growing, honestly it's okay, sometimes our bodies (breasts) can only produce so much milk and it may dry out, REMEMBER "it's okay".
3. You don't a need a thousand things
Don't go on a shopping spree buying things for every need (real or percieved) for your baby before you have had a chance to get to know your little one or at least a month or two.
4. You will not break the baby
No first time parent will really believe it, but it's true. Babies are not really fragile. As long as you support the baby's head and neck, you'll be fine.
5. Ignore the house, not yourself
Seriously though the house will get clean eventually, the most important thing is to look after yourself and little babe. Honestly what are moms, friends and mom-in-laws for, they're there to help you and they'll most definitely wouldn't mind help cook a meal while your exhausted from the sleepless nights, recovery and learning how to care for a baby.
6. Trial and Error
Literally the whole thing of becoming a first time parent or a third around time it's all new. Through trying out new things different sleep strategies to bottle feed or breast feeding is all up to you learning about your child's temperament, likes and dislikes.
7. Things will never go back to normal
Truthfully, nothing will ever go back to the way it was before your baby came, it'll be different, better but not the same as before. Whether its your body, living, eating habits, etc, this tiny human being has changed it permanently.
8. Your baby looks like any other baby
It's true, my little girl looked just like me the minute she came out, but if you see her now, she is her dad's twin. Seriously, I am vietnamese and my husbands Jamaican, when people see us now they usually assume I'm the nanny LOL. Babies change so dramatically throughout their first year, everything from their appearance to their personalities change so much.
9. The love connection builds over time
You'll feel an overwhelming sense of love and urge to protect your baby from everything. Trust me, even while recovering from a c-section, I wanted to do everything for my baby, I even hovered around my husband during diaper changes to baths. And you wouldn't believe it but the love grows so much, everyday. Even after having my little guy, I honestly had fears if I would love him just as much as my little girl and I did just as much, my heart multiplied as soon as he came into the world.
10. Don't take every advice seriously
Listen and take in the advice for sure, but don't take everything literally. You are the only one that knows your baby and your instincts will kick in and tell you what you need to do for you and the baby.