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Tips For New Moms

Having my first baby was hard.  Really hard.  I was completely blown away.  My ideals on motherhood versus the reality of motherhood floored me.

New Baby Help

To start things off, there was the episiotomy I didn't even know I had received.  I remember walking into rooms after having the baby and nearly bursting into tears wondering where I would sit.

Then there were the sleepless nights.  I thought I was prepared for these, but really, I don't think anything can prep a mother for this.  I was tired.

Post-partum emotions had me erupting in tears when I saw my mom's casserole in the fridge after she left.

And a whole host of other challenges accosted me at the same time.

Fast forward nine years...

I just had my fifth baby on January 4th.  He is the apple of our family's eye.  We can't get enough of him.  A timer runs almost around the clock as kids switch off holding him.  I'm thankful to be nursing so I can commandeer the baby when he's hungry!!

As I look back on the kind of mother I was with my first and the kind of mother I am now, I can think of a few things I've learned.

1. Try not to complain about the sleep.

I was a die-hard whiner.  I listed the times the baby woke up in the night for anyone who pretended to listen.  I let myself dwell on the sleep I wasn't getting and didn't hesitate to let everyone else know too.  I don't know how I managed to have any friends at that time!   Who wants to listen to how much I did or didn't sleep?

This one commitment that I made before I had my second child has done me so much good.  I don't pretend that everything is hunky dory, but I don't whine and complain like I did before.  It's changed my outlook on those sleepless nights completely.

{and when a night comes along that is seriously challenging, I do let my husband know I can use extra help that day - as much as possible without complaining}

2.  Find someone in a similar stage in life who you CAN talk to about your daily struggles.

In 2003, when I had my first, the internet was just becoming popular and we lived up in the mountains with limited access.  Now, though, many people can tap a key on their phone and be immediately in touch with 75 other mothers who had their baby on the same day.   What a blessing the internet can be!

3.  Don't worry so much about "the schedule."

This is easier said than done.  Once you've had a baby and seen that they're remarkably resilient it's a lot easier to be more laid back.  My husband reminded me last night that I used to be very regimented about when the baby ate...sometimes down to 3 or 5 minutes!

4.  Tell your husband, or someone who can help, what is happening in your heart.

Don't resolve to be the "everything" mom.  If you need help in the night, let your husband know.  If you are feeling overwhelmed about nursing or schedules or have a sick baby who literally hasn't slept in days, ask for help.  There is no reason to be a complete martyr.  Sometimes a brainstorm session can do wonders.

Maybe your mom or an older woman from your church can stay over one night each week.  Maybe a younger girl can come help with laundry once in a while.

5.  If you have a very fussy baby and are breastfeeding, consider what you're eating.

My second baby fussed ALL NIGHT LONG.  He squirmed.  He twisted.  He squealed.  He screeched.  I asked the doctor if it could possibly be milk products.  The doctor said most likely not.  I eliminated dairy anyway and he got a little better.

My mom and I went out to eat one night and indulged in a seven layer chocolate cake.  That night the baby cried again, ALL NIGHT LONG.  I eliminated chocolate, and my nights were so much more peaceful.

I also found a delightful product called Hyland's Colic Tablets.  On those nights when he still was fitfull, I gave him a tablet or two and he slept.

I'm not suggesting that this is the case with all babies who fuss, but I am saying that it's a potentially "easy" fix.  It happened again with my fourth baby, and I decided that sacrificing dairy and chocolate were small prices to pay for a {nearly} full night's sleep.

6.  Don't worry about your body or getting back in shape, or dieting for AT LEAST a month.

Seriously, you've been through a lot.  Let the nursing regulate, let your body regulate.  Allow yourself to indulge a bit in sweets or other things you enjoy.  You have time to get yourself back together, I promise!

Do you have any advice for new moms?


Christy from One Fun Mom

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