Motherhood is simultaneously one of the most under-appreciated, yet exquisitely exclusive jobs a woman could ever have. There are times when new moms may feel like an intern in their own home, running ragged, no breaks, fleeting confidence, the work environment far from stable. But as a new mom, there are also times where you wonder how you were ever blessed with the amazing responsibility of being so important to this tiny little being. I mean, they’re counting on you for e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.
Try not to panic. The pressure can threaten to crush you from the enormously beautiful weight of this position.There are a few guidelines I try to mantra to myself in those precious quiet moments in the morning. Like those happy little pictures you may have pinned to a cubicle once, some days they work better than others. I am not trying to tell you how to do your job, I’m just trying to share my experience of how I’m adjusting to this learning curve of motherhood, (which happens to be longer than life). I want to take a minute to appreciate your new title, Mom. And like any good co-worker, try to make you feel welcome to the profession.
Tips For New Moms:
You are the best person for the job
Do not underestimate the importance of who you are. And by you I mean you, personally, originally, you. Inevitably, you will receive loads of advice, some will be immensely helpful….a lot will be wildly unsolicited. But at the end of the day, I whole heartedly believe that old saying, that no one knows how to raise your child better than you. I’m talking big picture. You may have to WebMD every ailment, or admit that Barney is a better singer than you are. Don’t forget you’ve been one of the most invested partners in this relationship from day one. You are the expert on you and how you know to love, protect, and cherish your baby. The more confident you are in yourself, the more security your child will feel they have to grow confidently into a unique individual themselves.
Realize it’s not about you
I know I just said you are a hugely important part of this equation, but your fears about yourself should not be. Whatever past mistakes you’ve made, or struggles you’ve had, do not disqualify you from receiving the promotion to motherhood. You can list them under “Relevant experience”, because I’m sure there will come a time when you’ll have the redemption of being able to teach your child what you had to learn the hard way. Realizing of course, they may choose to learn their own hard way. Your job is not to teach them how to be (or not be) you, it is to mold them into the best person they can be. Don’t worry, parent’s best parts have a way of clinging on to their children, though they might not realize this until they’re grown (thanks Mom and Dad).
Take a break
This is obviously no time to be slacking on your new responsibilities, but your old ones can handle a hiatus for awhile. You will want to be able to fit into your old jeans, keep the house together, catch up with friends, and be the funny stylish creative self you think you must have been before this baby chaos took over your brain. Instead of beating yourself up and causing even more of that beautiful pregnancy hair to fall out, give yourself a break. Set a realistic timeline for yourself on when to acclimate back into the real world and then release it from your brain. Fall off the face of the earth if you want to with your baby and Daddy and don’t feel bad about it for a moment. You may have to go back to work sooner than you’d like, but that doesn’t mean your personal life has to snap back at the same time. Not everyone will respect this new role you have in life but good friends will. And the dishes, they can always wait because your baby could be smiling and you don’t want to miss it.
You will have times with your child where you feel like you’ve dropped the ball. You feel unqualified and irresponsible. You may wonder if both of you will survive your mothering. In the short amount of time I’ve had this position I’ve made many mistakes, or at least felt that way. This is one of those times to look to the mommy union you have behind you and confess. Don’t let the guilt build up. Find someone you can tell your worries too, chances are they have made many of the same mistakes. They may even tell you you’re crazy for thinking of them as mistakes, and say now get back to work.
Give up some control
Your universe may revolve around your child, but you still didn’t create it. You are not the creator of all life nor can you control everything about it. No matter how well you plan there will always be surprises. That is why you must pray, meditate, journal, blow bubbles or do whatever it is that allows you to release control over things you can’t change. Nothing makes you long for Divine wisdom more than the all encompassing question of a baby’s stare. I’ve come to the conclusion that a ridiculous amount of love is the answer to most everything.
Welcome to the team Mom, you’re going to do an amazing job. Celebrate the miracle of motherhood. Do you have any tips for new moms that you’d like to share with fellow moms?