Constant Chatter: Advice from a new, experienced mother

Jade Steckly

 

I had a baby this month, and I’m not sure if I should be giving advice, but I’m going to anyways, because I wish I had known/accepted these things when I was a new mom!

Spoil your baby. With my oldest being nine now, and the rest falling somewhere in between age-wise, I know all too well how fast it goes. It’s SO cliché, I know; but your baby being one day old…one week, or even one month old? It’s not much time. Snuggle them as much as you want. I barely even bring the car seat out of the vehicle this time. I find myself just wanting to hold her in the carrier instead. The car seat is too stinking heavy anyways! You can’t spoil a newborn, they are just looking to have their basic needs met. And even if that weren’t true, would it matter? It’s so short a time to worry about them being “independent” or self soothing. Trust me, they will be independent…and it will be sooner than you are ready for. In fact, I think our kids can just stay under age ten forever. I’m not ready to parent past that level of independence! LOL.

It’s true that certain things will slip once you have a newborn. You may never be as behind on laundry or dishes again as you are during this time. You probably won’t get a shower every day (but when you do, it will be the best thing ever!), and your social life may consist of calling a friend to talk about baby poo.

Your days will instead be filled with making sure this new little one stays well fed…which most new moms need to be encouraged about. In my humble opinion, whether you are on the couch for 16 hours a day nursing, supplementing with formula, or feeding solely with formula, you are doing a great job. Why? Because you are doing everything in your motherly power to keep you baby fed, and that in itself is a full time job!

After all of my “enjoy it” talk at the beginning, I also need to say that there will probably be some harder days. I now have five girls, and there are days when everything seems to be spinning out of control and I get really overwhelmed. One day recently I was talking to someone and I haphazardly mentioned that I wasn’t naturally an organized person. Her response was something to the effect of “really? You need to be organized with five kids!” That comment really stuck with me and on the bad days it seems to be at the forefront of my mind. I’ll look around at the messy kitchen, the kids who are half in PJ’s without their hair brushed, and the toys on the floor, and I’ll think, “what made me think I was qualified to have five kids?” Those days stink, but I believe we need to let ourselves have them. As moms, we don’t get many days off, and I think some days we need to lower all our expectations of ourselves and just “be”. Let the kids stay in PJ’s and eat cereal for every meal, and just enjoy spending time with them (and cuddling the baby if you have one :)). Maybe I’m just saying that to make myself feel better for having days like that, but if I could give one piece of advice to new moms, it would be to cut yourself some slack. Have the bad days, but enjoy the good ones!

Have a great summer, everyone!