Thought I'd do a slightly different kind of post today. I don't know about other Mums out there but I remember, and still feel like, I was/am swamped with advice when I became a Mummy. It was very overwhelming and probably started when I was pregnant. Everyone seems to have an opinion or the 'best way' of doing something, even if they aren't parents themselves! (Have to admit I am probably guilty of this myself before I had my daughter!) As a first-time parent I had no idea what I was doing! I had read some things in books and online but to be honest tried to take it in my stride, at least at first! My Mum was a great help in the first few weeks with the basics but then I started to find my own way and it really is true that you know your baby best.
In this post I thought I'd share the top pieces of advice that I received, I am not in any way saying that everyone should follow this advice, only that these stood out to me either in those early days or in everyday life now!
- Do what you feel is right - you are responsible for this tiny human being and it can become very overwhelming. If you aren't sure about something or if you feel like you need to get a second opinion then do it. If you are relaxed and feel happy, then so will your baby. Try not to worry about what other people think or say and do what is right for you and your baby.
- Remember that you are more than just a Mummy - this is something that I am still struggling with and think will take me a long time to get the balance back. It is important that you get some 'me time' and learn to enjoy having some time away from your little one. I can't cope with that long away from my daughter at the moment, I'm the clingy one, not her! But this is a massive thing for me. If I had perhaps worked on this from the start then I may be a little better now she is older!
- It is ok to have a PJ day - in those first few weeks you have so many visitors, too many sometimes, and all you want is to sit and enjoy your gorgeous new bundle of joy. There seems to be a lot of pressure on new Mums to get ready, put some make-up on and get out as soon as you can-not saying this is a bad thing, only that it is ok not to do this straight away. Being a new Mummy is so tiring and just relaxing with your little one and finding your feet is a good thing, don't feel like you haven't achieved anything that day, you've relaxed, you've enjoyed the company of your newborn, nothing to be scoffed at there. This is also acceptable when you have a toddler!! Sometimes you just need a day of comfort!
- The housework really can wait - I felt so much pressure to make sure my house was spotless for each new visitor that came to see our daughter! The truth is that motherhood took over! I found it impossible at first to either find the time or to find the energy to clean. Now I have a toddler I am able to do a lot more around the house and am in a bit of a routine, my house is never spotless! I think that might just be parenthood though! It is still something that bugs me but I am beginning to just let people see what reality looks like in a house with a toddler!
- Ignore what a child 'should do' by certain months/years - you read and hear so much about what this child has done by the time they are 6 months and what this one has done before they were 2....the truth is that no two children are the same. It is unlikely that even siblings will progress and develop in the same way just because they are in the same family! I found that there was so much pressure from parents, friends, health visitors, books/articles, apps about what your child should be able to do by a certain point. At first I read them all and compared my child to them, I then stopped. Not because my daughter wasn't doing what it was saying necessarily but because it seemed like I was concentrating more on that than experiencing how my little one was developing right in front of my eyes. Obviously, if you have real concerns about development or what you think your baby can/can't do in relation to their age then of course you should seek professional help, but for the most part just enjoy watching them. I am astounded everyday with my daughter's development! I have no idea what she should/shouldn't be doing at her particular age, but she seems like she is doing well in my eyes. No major concerns so I am enjoying her, currently she is copying dance moves and singing along to songs on the TV or counting to 10...sometimes skipping 7! She is just great and I can't stress to you enough to try to let them grow and develop in their own way.
I thought I'd keep it to just five pieces of advice! I was given so much and so many little tips here and there which have been great but I tried to think of things that people didn't often say, the above came from friends who didn't have kids or Mum's that had recently had a baby or who were on their second or third and so had that recent experience to share!
Parenting is hard and we will all make mistakes, I don't even want to count how many I've made in the two and a half years I've been a Mummy, but it doesn't matter. As long as you have a happy, healthy child and you are happy, healthy parents...most of the time anyway...then all will be well! Try not to feel overwhelmed by the advice of those around you. Take them with a pinch of salt and pick and choose what you listen to. Everyone is trying to help, even if it doesn't seem like it at the time! If you are starting to feel stressed out then it may be worth dismissing whatever has been said and moving on. I have found this hard in the past and still do. You want to be polite, you want to take on board what all those experienced Mummy's before you can share but you also need to remember that you are now the Mum and you can do this!
Thanks for stopping by!