And, of course, take or leave any of this! Top photo by Nikaela M. Peters , bottom photo by LaTonya Yvette. Can I offer some advice to veteran moms? Not everyone wants to hear your advice! Treat yourself to a few clothes that fit your body right now and that make you feel good. It can feel like such a splurge because in theory, you will eventually lose the baby weight, but it made such a difference to feel comfortable in my new, squishy body at a time when so much was different.
One thing that also helped me with my first and that I plan to use with my second is a postpartum doula. She came by twice a week and helped me with every thing imaginable from running a sitz bath and taking care of the little one while I took a few moments to myself to breathe to ensuring that I ate. I could ask all my silly questions and it was just nice to have another woman in the room since I live far from my family.
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I have someone that comes 4 times a week for 3 hours at a time to help me wash bottles, get some rest, shower, etc. At night when I feel overwhelmed, I look forward to her time with us.
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When I came home after my second baby I had a mantra: practice radical kindness. Practice radical kindness. First children feeling overwhelmed and acting out? Practice radical kindness.? You hold that baby as much as you want. Mine is now 5 months old and everyone always comments on how happy she is and how she smiles.
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I truly contribute it to her being held and her knowing she is very loved! Great job on sticking to your instincts!!!
I just nodded and appeased the curiosity — even though I nursed the babies forever, they never slept through the night and when they did it was us, and all of them were in diapers til they were 3! Our first is about to turn 6 months, and is an utter delight. Ha, the strawberries!
Prayer for your Daughter’s Heart
So true. My six year old demanded I cut the tops off just the other day. Though I think the answer is just to keep not doing it.
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Sooner or later they will figure out how to get at the good part on their own. My 4yo just started eating them whole tops and all recently and I love my life. Wow, there are so many awesome mom tips going on here! It might sound a little strange but what helped me the most in the early days of sleep deprivation was the right music: lullabies to help me keep frustration levels down when she simply would not sleep, then upbeat tunes to help me get up and do at least one proactive thing that day, then singing baby-and-me songs while we played together. Just taking one day at a time and little ones get big before you know it!
At the beach with my almost 7 month old — my it goes so fast! Seeing my baby see the waves and the fireworks for the first time was unforgettable. My approach to feeling as human as possible when exhausted, especially in the early days: if you have a window when you can nap, do it. Haha yes I was the every episode of Castle with my first baby. I needed something to do during all those naps on my chest and nursing that was hands free.
Walks and find a community of wome, or even just one good friend in the same boat, to support you. And we can still be friends outside of social media where the full picture is a lot easier to hold in focus! Applicable for leaving the house to go to work, sleep, breastfeeding, etc. This shift in language makes it more relatable and positive in a way. If your baby loves the grocery store, but tries to climb out of shopping carts — be the weirdo with the overloaded stroller!!
If your primary motivation for not doing something is fear, do it any way. Obviously there are basic safety precautions, but babies and toddlers need to explore! Finally, look for the good in the world. Soak up all the goodness and all the love. And that is coming from a pessimistic introvert.
I learned this on your page- just add water! Baths, pools, glasses of water, a bowl to splash tiny fingers in, a spray with the hose…all of it makes them happy and will buy you five minutes of time with no screaming to clear your head! Also…those newborn nights seem endless. What seems impossible in the dark of night will suddenly seem easier when the sun starts to rise. I used to pray for 6am when I was up all night with my triplet babies. Suddenly I felt like I could breathe and be in control once the sun was up! Just add water works with older kids, too.
Water always improves her mood! Just add water works with adults too! Will probably be revisiting several times very soon:. I remember when I was a strung out and sleep-deprived new mom, and NOTHING seemed to get my baby to sleep for more than 2-hour increments, I crafted a Facebook post asking for advice from other parents.
I received many responses and they were chock full of tips and tricks. I hope it gets better for both of us. Her comment cracked me wide open; I realized that all I needed in that moment was to feel seen.
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And I pretty much stopped giving advice to other moms who were struggling after that unless I had something really valuable to share. And I hope it gets better. Smile and nod, and keep doing your thing. You are the best parent for your baby.
I give myself a Grown Up Sticker Chart. Anything from actually washing my hair to not cussing in traffic. When I get a certain amount I get a small treat. A coffee from my favorite coffee shop, a giant piece of cake, a new nail polish. Something small that rewards my adulting! A wise woman there, who saw how much I was struggling to keep the dog in line, told me this in passing: dogs are like kids and respond better when you talk less and act more.
I remembered it all these years and applied it with wonderful results when I had my daughter. Here it is from the blog, positivediscipline. It is really that simple. Say it; mean it; and follow-through. Parents who say what they mean and mean what they say do not have to use a lot of words. In fact, the fewer words used, the better. I went to my daughter with the first cry those first few weeks. She put herself back to sleep before I was done dealing with the shield. For those who stay home and feel like they are constantly tidying up endless messes…. I learned that my key to a house that is always tidy is to pile everything on the bed and all dishes in the sink first thing in the morning and throughout the day as needed.
I then set a kitchen timer and tackle it when my SO gets home and is on kid duty. Another piece of advice is to look for opportunities to empower your partner to make decisions and not default to being the point person which is hard, gender norms be damned! Often the daycare, pediatrician, relatives, friends, strangers, and my partner himself will default to me to ask if something is OK, give info to, etc.
My advice would be for the parents-to-be out there… most of the time being a parent is LOT better than the internet makes it seem!!! I was so scared and prepared for it to be awful and hard all the time and I have been totally blown away by how much the good dwarfs the bad. I completely agree!! It seems so much of the internet is filled with the hard parts of being a parent and there are hard parts while only a small sliver focuses on the joy—which I find so disproportional to reality.
The vast majority of being a parent has been wonderful for me. This has been the best chapter of my life without a doubt. Thank you! I am 21 weeks pregnant with a baby boy and after reading ALL the comments on this post yesterday afternoon all of my excitement drained right out of me.
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So true! The joy! Your baby will marvel and amaze you at every turn. I remember being so sad about my daughter not being a baby anymore, but 7 year olds are great! So funny, and independent, and ask all the big questions.