Life as a new mom can be filled with many challenges and blessings. Trying to keep everything straight while running on little sleep can easily leave you feeling frazzled. Please know that you are not alone — every mom has been where you are right now.
After chatting with many women about their past struggles as young mothers, I created a list of a few helpful tips for women in your shoes. Looking back on my years as a young mom, I wish my younger self would have embraced these tips. Although these ideas might sound simplistic, they can really help you in this new stage of life.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Every honest mom will tell you that there have been times when she’s felt overwhelmed and could have used some extra help. Sometimes just having someone run a quick errand, throwing in a load of wash or watching your little one so you can grab a much-needed nap is just what you need to get things under control.
Asking for help doesn’t mean you are incompetent or lazy. Family and friends may want to help, but they may not know what you need. Don’t be afraid to ask.
2. Remember that your child is one of a kind
Even mothers of multiples will tell you that their children are not exactly alike. Many well-meaning people will give you advice on pacifiers, burping, napping, and a whole list of other things.
Be open to advice while keeping in mind that what works for one baby may not always work for yours. Concentrate on doing what is best for your child and not on pleasing others.
3. Schedules come and go
While a schedule may sound great to keep your life running smoothly, your baby may not know he is supposed to follow one. Your baby may be on a 3-hour feeding schedule for a few days and then decide that a 2-hour schedule is better, sending you into a panic if you can’t figure out why he is crying.
This is all new for both of you. Be flexible and adjust as your baby grows and your schedule will figure itself out.
4. Don’t be drawn in by the social media comparison trap
Instagram and Facebook are filled with perfectly staged pictures of perfect families and perfect homes. Parents often post pictures of their best moments and not their average ones. Unfortunately, we fall prey to wanting to portray the perfect life instead of normal day-to-day life, and that often makes new moms feel as though they are falling short.
If we posted pics of our normal day you would see formula-stained shirts, messy hair, unfolded laundry and dirty dishes in the sink in just about every new mom’s home.
Remember, perfect doesn’t exist in the real world.
5. Take time to enjoy the moment
There is a lot to do when a new baby enters the picture. It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the small tasks that need be done now that you have another one to take care of. Laundry, housekeeping, shopping, doctor visits, cooking and visitors take up most of our day. Add to that an outside job, other kids and commitments, and it’s easy to miss the beautiful moments that are happing daily with your new little one.
Your baby is a special gift that is changing each day. Try to take time to calm your mind and soak up the sweet moments just enjoying this precious gift. You will always have a to-do list, but this new little one will be grown up before you know it. Ask any seasoned parent, and they will tell you how much they wish they could have taken more time to cherish those special moments.
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Parenting is tough, and we want you to know you are not alone in your journey. If you’re interested in receiving free, individualized parenting classes, contact us today.
We have something for almost every stage and challenge of the parenting years, and we would love to be a resource to you!
Director of Client Services, Kutztown