One Year Later: My Advice to New Moms

It’s official… Josh is almost 13 months old and I’ve made it past the one year marker of mommy-ing! And that, my friends, is something to celebrate 🙂

I realize that so much has changed over the course of a year. But it’s hard to really notice all those little changes when you’re going through the motions of day-to-day life.

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Even just looking at these two pictures:Joshua at 2 days old and Joshua at 10 months old. I cannot believe how much he’s changed, with his huge smile, little teeth, and a head full of hair.

And now that one year has gone by I am so eager and excited to share with new moms or up-and-coming moms all my little nuggets of advice that I would have certainly told myself had my future self been able to talk to my old pregnant self.

Here’s what I’ve taken away from year 1: (these primarily revolve around the first few months of motherhood)

  • There’s no right answer to that parenting question– Trust me. There were plenty of times where I had no idea what the “right” thing to do was… I quickly found out that everyone does things differently. Pick a method that resonates best with you and your baby.
  • Don’t be so afraid of that C-section… They aren’t half bad– I secretly loved having a C-section. I loved it for a few reasons: 1. We got to stay in the hospital longer, which meant more time learning from the nurses and staff about how to take care of our baby, while also being fed. 2. By the time I had to deliver the baby, I really had NO energy to push. None. So when they said that they’ll be taking the baby out and it would be over in about 15 minutes and I wouldn’t feel a thing… I said go right ahead.
  • I. love. Epidurals. I slept after they gave me mine 🙂
  • Mom & Dad alone are capable of getting through the first few weeks. Most people have their mother or MIL come, but we knew that those weren’t going to be options for us… and I was terrified. But we made it! We also had a lot of help from friends.
  • Breastfeeding around others can feel awkward. I didn’t get warned about this much, but even though I used a cover, I still felt extremely uncomfortable breastfeeding around others. It didn’t get much easier for me. But at the end of the day, you’re feeding your baby… people need to get over it.
  • Pamper yourself. Go get a mani/pedi or a massage or a facial or anything to help you feel less grungy and exhausted sometime during the first month. It’ll feel wonderful.
  • It’s okay to cry. You’re not crazy. I cried a lot. For no reason really, other than sheer exhaustion and the surge of hormones. IT’S OKAY!
  • Find a mommy group. I needed other moms to remind me that I wasn’t crazy. I needed women to bond with and pray with… people I could nurse in front of and meet with consistently. Joining a mom’s group at church was one of the best things I did.
  • Get out of the house. Or else you’ll feel really cooped up. Go on a walk with your baby or run errands together 🙂
  • Don’t force yourself to hangout with people- I made myself be social for the first few months because I’m naturally an extravert. I felt bad kicking ppl out of the apartment or telling anyone I was too tired to hangout so I just did. Sometimes it was fun, but most of the time, I just really needed to be by myself and relax. And that’s totally okay.
  • Enjoy the time off!- I really really miss the days when I would get to sit at home with Josh, relax, watch TV & just chill at home… being a new mom is the BEST excuse to lounge and REST and do whatever you want (even if it’s NOTHING). Enjoy it 🙂
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