Which “New Mom Survival Guides” Should You Listen to?
Pregnancy can be overwhelming. You have probably heard all the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy from your friends that have had babies. You might have stumbled upon many New Mom Survival Guides in your research. Sometimes you might be surprised by the advice, sometimes you might hear conflicting information, and other times you might blatantly disagree with certain tips. On top of that, you decided to continue working until your baby arrives, you are running back and forth between doctors appointments, and preparing for the baby’s first day home. Let’s face it, you are becoming a multi-tasking superwoman.
When information about “everything motherhood” is coming at you at the speed of 100 miles per hour, how are you expected to take it all in? Do you write a list? Are you going to remember everything? Do you agree with all the advice you’re hearing? How do you weed out the good tips from the bad? These are all the thoughts running through your mind. So what do you do…
Communicate how you’re feeling with those around you. Become a part of the new mom conversation. Do you breastfeed, do you not breastfeed? How often should your baby be eating? How many diapers will your baby go through? What are signs you should look our for? Talk about these real life experiences of motherhood. Find groups in your community where you can connect with other pregnant mothers who understand exactly what you are going through. New mom survival guides might give you the best of this, or the worst of that. Mothers who have been in your situation will be reiterating everything you have read in the books, give or take some new information. If they are feeding you too much information, kindly tell them that these are all things you will learn with time. You might be curious about what they have to say, but they might be telling you at a bad time. Ask them to write advice down for you in a little journal or notebook… (hint-hint this could be a great baby shower idea). If you’re curious about how they managed the baby’s first day home, prod them with questions that you are actually curious about. Communicate with other pregnant mothers or new mothers. Find these community pages on Facebook. Discover the narrative and be a part of the conversation. Don’t just read about it.
If you’re a Type-A individual, you have been researching for quite some time. You’ve read all the books, blogs, posts, and discussion groups you can. New Mom Survival Guides are your go to read in the morning and the evening. You have created mental or physical lists of everything you think is the most important. And that is completely okay. Being a new mom is scary. You don’t want to feel like the Rachel Green at her baby shower when she doesn’t even know what any of the gifts are for.
The reality is that the amount of research out there on being a mom could take a whole lifetime to get through. You could have five babies before you make a dent in all of the research. Research what you need if that’s what you like to do, but don’t get too caught up in it. It’s okay to do research, we aren’t shying you away from it. Some people might find this a way of soothing the anxieties of being a new mom.
If you’re not a Type-A individual, you are taking in what you can but also relying on the natural mommy instincts. You might actually relate with Rachel Green on this one. You’re okay with making a late night run to the grocery store because you forgot to get diapers in the right size. And guess what? That’s totally normal too. This is all part of the journey of being a mom.
But Here’s What You Can’t Research…
As a new mom, your responsibilities and priorities suddenly shift. Your world becomes completely about taking care of your baby. The truth of the matter is that no two mom experiences are the same. You can research as much as you want, but something will come up that you did not read about in the “New Mom Survival Guides”. But don’t worry. Instinctively, you will know what to do. You will react; you might panic, you might cry, but regardless you will figure out a solution. Creatively, you will discover ways to cut corners and be just as efficient in your routine. You will smile at the most beautiful moments you have ever seen. You will cry because the world feels like it’s crashing on your shoulders. But this is your story. No one can take those moments away from you. Mommy Survival Guides cannot prepare you for these moments. You are instinctively geared to be a mother. It’s in you, you just have to let those instincts act on themselves. Through the good and the bad times, the unconditional love you have for your baby will take over.
You Can Do It
The reality is that you can do this. Some days will be better than others. There is more research out there than you will ever have the time to read. Your job is to take in what you want from the New Mom Survival Guides. Research a little bit so you aren’t completely lost when the baby comes, but be open to being creative and writing your own narrative. Just because something worked for someone doesn’t mean it will be what is going to work for you. Don’t worry about reading all the do’s and don’ts. Don’t worry about forgetting the little details. In time, motherhood will feel natural to you. You won’t be reading about “What are the best times to feed your baby?” because the best time to feed your baby is when you and your baby are ready. There is no set time when this will happen. Let nature take its course. You will smile through the pain and joy, you will laugh at the silly facial expression exchanges you share with your baby, you will cry when your baby is crying right back at you. But that is a part of the journey of motherhood. You can do this. You were made for this.