I am just beside myself y’all.. My precious little boy in that picture is a week away from becoming a full blown toddler. Then I will have 2 newborns/ infants under my belt! It doesn’t matter how many children you’ve had in the past, bringing home a new addition to the family will always be trying. Since his birthday is a mere 7 days away I want to share some tips to get you through the first year.. Not everyone’s experience with newborns are all sunshine and rainbows, so trust me when I say this article will be nothing short of real.
Before I even get into this topic I want to address this to the post postpartum Momma. PLEASE take care of yourself first. Stay in bed as long as you possibly can, keep your baby with you and just be. Of course you’ll need to make some bottles, get some food, the usual, but return to the softest place in your house and be okay with being lazy. Your body just gave life to another human being for crying out loud, give it the rest it needs. Don’t be too hard on yourself trying to be super Mom. I did, and it’s not worth the exhaustion. You really need a solid 2 weeks to just chill, after that be as awesome as you can be. Your body will thank you.
Let’s talk sleep exhaustion. Been there, done that with both of my boys. It’s without a doubt the hardest thing I had to deal with. I am a huge sleeper, always have been and always will be. Knock me off my sleep schedule and you’ll see the real Medusa. I know many women can relate. The only piece of advice I have for this is to breath. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Oh Gee, Thanks Captain Obvious.’. Am I right? Seriously, just breath. When you hear that little whimper just sit up and take a few deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth, it’ll get your heart pumping and you’ll feel refreshed enough to feed your baby and go right back to bed.
If your goal is to train your baby to sleep in their own crib ASAP then I salute you. I was in the same boat with both of my boys. Luckily, I had them in their own cribs by 3 months old. Don’t go rolling your eyes yet though, with my youngest I was so concerned about the transition that I TOOK APART the crib in his room and shoved it into my room. It stayed there until he was about 5 months old. My advice, don’t listen to those baby books. Do what makes YOU feel comfortable. I was so uneasy simply because I couldn’t follow the ‘What To Expect’ books. I had my own instincts and followed them to a T. You’re actually allowed to do that you know! Drown out that noise from the baby books, google, and your Mother In Law and just do you.
There’s a good chance you’re going to be an emotional mess for a while. Just roll with it, and don’t hold anything in. If you hold it in things will only get harder, much harder than they should be. After both of my pregnancies I was such a wreck, I couldn’t even think straight for a good 4 months. I was second guessing my ability to be a mother. I cried uncontrollably when my boys cried uncontrollably. Just remember that these emotions have NOTHING to do with your capability of being a mother. You just need to ride it out until your hormones get balanced enough for you to function normally. Communicate with someone about your feelings, be open, and you’ll get over yet another speed bump in no time.
Get out of the house with your little one. Take a ride to Starbucks, go through the drive though and take a walk through a park. As long as you’re outside moving I can guarantee your baby will be silent. The outdoors can do wonders for children. I wish I had realized this when I was nearing cabin fever. I was always so worried to bring my babies anywhere, I just didn’t want to be that Mom with the screaming child.. It was a nightmare of mine really. Eventually, I got over it. Now, I do not hesitate to load up the kids and let them blow of steam at the park, while I gather my thoughts and relax.
The first year is always the hardest, you need to accept the change and learn to live your life differently. The first year, however, is also the quickest year you will ever live. You’re so busy with your new bundle of joy that time stands still and somehow flies by at the same time. I cant even begin to fathom how a year ago Westin was still in my stomach, rolling around, hiccuping, and kicking his little legs constantly. Like the first year, pregnancy is over in an instant.
If there is anything you take from this article, I hope this is it.. Live in the moment. Watch your child grow from your own eyes, not through the camera on your phone. Of course there will be moments that need to be captured on video but limit that so they are forced to be kept in your memory. A phone and a computer can crash in an instant, but your memory will live as long as you do. Take it all in firsthand and try not to get carried away in taking pictures. Some moments are meant to be kept within the walls of your own house, not for the world to see.
Before you know it that little baby, wrapped up in the hospital blanket, will be face planting into their very own smash cake. Embrace being a Mother, its the most important thing you’ll ever do. Appreciate the gift god gave you and always believe in yourself.
I think that I see something deeper, more infinite, more eternal than the ocean in the expression of the eyes of a little baby when it wakes in the morning and coos or laughs because it sees the sun shining on its cradle. (Vincent Van Gogh)