In my 6 months of being a mom I have obviously become an expert. <insert sarcasm here> I am still trying to figure everything out, and I'm sure by the time I get it all "figured out" I will have another baby that is completely different!
I am SO not an expert but there are some things that I have learned in the past 6 months, and I figured I should write them down because I want to make sure I don't forget them next time around.
-Be prepared for birth; I know you can never really be totally prepared, but you should have an idea of what kind of birth you want. Be firm in your decisions and make sure that everyone who is there is aware of what you want and supportive of you. Be informed.
-If you plan on breastfeeding (kudos) have the name/number of a local LC and know who the LLL leader is for your city. You want to know who to call the minute you run into any issues. Don't wait until bad habits are formed.
is amazing. I wish I had read it before I had E, not 6 months later. Better late than never right? Give yourself small goals, breastfeed for 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 1 year, etc. And know that every day you are going what is best for your child, and if tomorrow you stop nursing it's ok. Your baby isn't going to die or get the measles just because you stop breastfeeding. If you choose to formula feed that is ok too. Don't feel like you are a bad mom, you are doing what is best for you and your baby. Each situation is unique.
-Don't feel like you have to do it all. Give yourself room to grow, room for things to change. Accept help, if someone comes over and asks what they can do for you say "the dishes/laundry/etc, thank you". Accept when people offer to bring you food, stock your freezer.
-Take plenty of time to sit and soak in that new baby smell. Lock the doors and spend quality time just you, your spouse, and your new little miracle. Bond as a family, don't feel like you have to see everyone; everyday. Don't be afraid to say "No."
-Trust your instincts. If you think something is wrong or off with your baby don't accept when the Dr or anyone else tells you "that's normal". You know your baby and you know what is normal for your baby.
-Your chiropractor will probably give you better and more holistic advice than your pediatrician. Sometimes adding a simple pro biotic to your baby's bottle will make the biggest difference.
-Don't let anyone pressure you into doing something you don't feel comfortable with. Starting solids early, crying it out, leaving them with a sitter if you're not ready...etc. Trust yourself and the decisions that you make.
-Ask for help if you need it. Caring for another life is hard work, and can be really stressful at times. Get out of the house or go for a walk. Or have someone come over and watch the baby so you can take a nap, take a nap, run some errands, read a chapter in a book etc. (If you know someone that has a little one offer to come play with the baby so they can relax, sometimes even just having someone else there can lessen the stress or the feeling that you're all alone.)
-Make friends with other moms in your area, go to LLL meetings, mom groups etc. Anything where you can talk about your new life and get ideas/advice/support/or just vent.
-If you plan on using a sling, put them in it when they are newborn for a little bit at a time. Get them used to it, because when you try to put a 3 or 4 month old in a sling for the first time they are not amused.
-While the baby is teeny and sleeps all the time GO OUT! LEAVE THE HOUSE. WALK THE MALL. GO TO DINNER. Enjoy the time when you don't have to worry about the baby screaming or being wiggly the whole time you're at a restaurant.
-Remember this is your child. Politely tell others who think they know best that they had their chance to raise their children so you would appreciate it if they let you have yours.
These are just a few things that stick out to me over the past 6 months. I am still learning what is best for me, for my family, and for my baby. And I swear it changes every day! Some of this isn't right for you or your baby. Some of it I'm sure you will think is dumb, but this is some advice I wish someone told me before I had Ellie.
What do you wish someone would have told you? What have you learned since you've gone down the "Mommy Path"?