So many of my friends are having babies these days. As I sit here with two elementary-aged kiddos, I can’t help thinking about what I would have done differently in the beginning. So, consider this to be my unsolicited advice to all you first time moms out there.
Throw Expectations in the Diaper Bin
We grow up thinking that love is like all the beautiful fairy tales and happily ever afters… and that the babies that come along with that only cry when they’re hungry and tired, and are more cute and snuggly than anything else. Every day is a big dose of reality punch-to-the-gut that nothing is how we expected it to be.
But it’s a beautiful thing! If we always knew what was coming, where would the joy come from? Life would be drab and predictable. Recognize the beauty in the unexpected, even the difficult stuff. I wish I had more in the beginning. Thankfully, I do now.
Really - Sleep When the Baby Sleeps
That advice you hear so often is sound. Take it from someone nearly 10 years in, if you don't sleep now at every chance you get, you'll never catch up. I never listened to that advice. Instead, I used the time to get stuff on my never ending to-do list done.
Sure, that's a respectable ambition, but I miss sleep. And to have something like the Hush Hat to help baby sleep more soundly so I got more shut-eye, well, that seems like an obvious course of action!
Embrace the Village
You don't have to do it all in your own. It's okay to ask for help. And it's okay to take a break. I know the ever present dilemma: feeling overwhelmed while simultaneously never wanting to leave your baby's side. But it's good for both of you. And you are likely surrounded by people who want to help you, they're just waiting for you to ask.
So do it. Give in to the tribe mentality and let other people love on and care for both you and baby. You'll be happier and able to enjoy those fleeting moments with your precious bundle all the more.
I won't tell you to “savor every moment” or that you'll simply blink and your baby is grown. Those things are obvious realities. I'll remind you that it's hard - harder than anyone really lets on - and worth every second. Deep breath, Momma. This is the best journey of your life. Your legacy. Final word of advice: embrace it.