I’ve been a mom now for almost 14 months. And in those 14 months, I’ve made mistakes, tried to stick to a schedule, cried, laughed, didn’t know what to do, and have had “mom brain” more than I can count.
I’ve also figured out my parenting style and what I’m ok with and what I’m not ok with. I’ve made a little list of things I wish I had known over the last year, that would have saved me a lot of guilt in thinking I was being a bad mother.
1. It’s ok to take a break.
When Little Miss was a newborn, I felt so guilty everytime I put her down and got up to do anything. I only showered when A was home and he could hold her. It took me forever to get out the door because I was scared A wouldn’t know how to hold Little Miss the “correct” way. FYI when I say correct way, I meant my way, which was basically how you hold a baby.
2. Happy baby is a healthy baby.
When Little Miss was in the hospital she had to be supplemented because she lost over a pound within 14 hours. I wasn’t happy because I strictly wanted to breastfeed, but at the time I just wanted to go home and I wanted her to be healthy. So from day one Little Miss was able to take a bottle. For two months I was back and forth between nursing, pumping and formula feeding. Because Little Miss was a bigger baby, she nursed longer, and every time I pumped she would drink that bottle the same day. It was quite sad to see my hardworking be gone within a day. When I made the decision to strictly formula feed, I felt like the worst mother ever. The one thing that only I could do for her, and I was going to stop doing it. However, it was what we both needed. I was able to feed her and know how much she was getting, I didn’t have to pump during her naps and I could nap too. Now I’m not saying babies shouldn’t be breastfed, but a formula fed baby and a nursed baby are just as healthy as the other.
3. Ask for help.
So I didn’t actually do this, but I wished I did. I never wanted to ask for any kind of help. I was set on doing everything myself because I’m the mom and a mom should be able to handle everything. As soon as A went back to work, it took a while to get on a daily schedule but I want the help because I thought I would figure it out quick. It took forever to do anything and I was exhausted.
4. Keeping and daily schedule.
So this lasted for maybe 4 months, once I thought I had it figured out, Little Miss changed it up on me. Every. Single. Time. After so long I honestly got tired of getting aggravated that Little Miss wasn’t eating lunch at the exact time she did the last week. Who cares. As long as she eats, has normal diapers, gets a bath and is safe. No schedule needed here. That doesn’t mean I just do whatever with her. We have a flexible schedule but I’m definitely not as uptight as I was last year. Seriously does anyone set alarms on there phone to remind you that you need to feed your baby?
5. Stop comparing your baby to others.
I didn’t actually do this, I had people do it to Little Miss though. And it always made me uncomfortable. All baby’s develop at a different pace and they’ll crawl, roll over, walk etc when they’re ready. Little Miss did alot of things early. She sat up at 3 months, she had teeth coming in at 3 months, scooted around at 5 months, but didn’t actually walk til after her first birthday. If you sit there and compare your baby to another, all you’re going to do is make yourself think there is something wrong with your baby, or just make another mother feel uncomfortable.
Enjoy your little one, the time goes by so quick. But remember, you’re only human. It’s ok to cry, not know what you’re doing. It’s called motherly instinct. You’ll figure it out.