I am by no means a mommy expert, but that’s not going to stop me from sharing a few opinions. My oldest sister is expecting her 1st child this weekend. I could not be more excited to spoil my niece. I also get to welcome my sister into the world of motherhood. I have some advice for not only my sister but anyone else about to welcome a child.
- You will never be a perfect mother. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to a good mom. It simply means give yourself some slack when you feel like you have fallen short of your own expectations. You don’t have to be a super hero to be a great mom. You just have to give the best you can that day and then forgive yourself when you fell you have fallen short.
- You will change how you planned to do somethings as a mother. Some changes might be out of your control. You might want a natural child birth and need and emergency c-section. You might want to breastfeed and your milk dries up or you decide you really don’t like it. You might say there will be no tv or processed foods, then find yourself handing out chicken nuggets in front of the tv. Things will change because the reality of being a mother will be different than anything you ever imagined.
- You will learn a new level of love, fear,and straight up crazy. The love part is a little different from mother to mother. You might love your child in a way that hits you like a truck when they place her on your chest. You might need a little time to let that love fully blossom, and that is ok too. I personally was to tired to be hit by the truck of love when Little O came out. I loved him, but I wasn’t knocked out by it like I heard other moms are. So NEVER question the love you have for your child. I promise you will love your baby, even if you need some time. Then you will find out that you have never been so scared in your entire life. I mean shit someone is going going to hand you a baby and you have to take it home and raise it. No instructions are given, because no two babies are alike. Beyond your fear as a parent is the fear of anything that might happen to your baby. I was sure we would all die Final Destination style at any given time. The car was a giant death trap and it took me a good while to ride up front and even longer to drive with Little O. My anxiety has reached new levels and mostly over events that will probably never happen. If so call events were to happen that’s where the crazy comes in. I use the term Momma Bear. I have cussed people under my breathe for simple things like no waving at my child. Being a new mother will make you do and think things you didn’t ever see yourself being capable of. It’s ok to embrace your crazy as long as it isn’t hurting the baby, yourself, or others. Well if someone puts your child in danger let the Momma Bear instinct kick in. If you walk in my house unwelcome and I feel my child is in danger I promise you one of us won’t walk out. I would literally do whatever I can to keep my child safe, that instinct will hit you too.
- Love your child. All you have to really do to be a great mother is love your child. Looking back she won’t think of what you could or couldn’t supply her. She will only look back and remember how much you loved her. Be warned though… Sometimes you will not like her. It is ok to not like your child, because you will always love her. Babies can do some really annoying shit that you don’t have to like and then they grow up and do dumber shit. Just take a deep breath in, grab a glass of wine, and love her through it.
- Ask for help. Do it. Ask for help on anything no matter how big or little. Ask for help. Moms get really use to doing most things on their own or their own way. Ask for help. For my sister I will be here to help in any way possible. I try not to rely on others for almost anything. I’m stubborn and I don’t want to be seen as weak. You are NOT weak if you ask for help!!! Ask your love, your mom, sister, a friend hell call a babysitter. Just ask for help. You cannot do everything all of the time. You have to have some down time. Even if you just want to take a shower in peace, or want away for the the day. There is nothing to big or small to want help with. You have to rest to get back up and give your best to your child. Also people freaking love newborns they want to come see the baby, so use that time to relax.
- Locking yourself in the bathroom from time to time is pretty normal. As a new mom you have been introduced to a new world and been hit with a ton of emotions, a new level of tiredness, and whatever else you need to feel. There will be times when your child won’t stop crying or is up your ass, and you will want to run away. I give you permission to get your child settled in a safe place (crib, bouncer, play pen, etc.) and take a couple of minutes to yourself, even if that means the child is still crying. Step in the bathroom or outside and just breathe or call someone to vent. However if the feeling to run hits you hard and often and you have a hard time stepping back to your baby please do not feel alone. Call your Doctor and see if you might need their help. Postpartum Depression is a real deal people and it is NOTHING to be ashamed of. You have to take care of yourself in order to take care of your baby.
What I really want my sister and others to know is you don’t have to “enjoy every moment.” You really don’t have to “miss this when they are older.” Basically don’t listen to anyone telling you how to feel. FEEL WHAT YOU NEED TO FEEL. I want my sister to always know that I’m here willing to listen and help anyway possible. Also know that being a mother doesn’t define you. You can be a mother and many other things. If you need to cry or cuss I’m here. If you need someone to care for Baby Z, I’m here. . I can promise whatever motherhood makes you feel plenty of other moms have dealt with the same there. Motherhood has been my most chaotic adventures and it has taught me, as I hope it will you, that you are never alone. I am so happy to get to welcome you into motherhood! I can not wait to snuggle Baby Z. You have this Big Sis! I promise!