We’ve had Max for little over a month with us, and though I’m not claiming to be a baby expert by any means there have been some lessons that I’d to learn pretty quickly if I wanted to move forward as a happy, healthier mom. Personal growth is a process that never ends, and when you have a baby in your arms, the wake up call hits you harder. We all want to be our best for our children.
I’m writing this post as a reminder of where I was at this point of my life, as a way to look back on all the memories and to see how far we’ve come. Also, I know my family will hold me accountable for the words on this post!
1| It’s not about being the mom I want to be, it’s about being the mom Max needs me to be
I really wanted to be the mom who had a vaginal birth, but our health was on the line, so a decision was made to keep us both safe and sound. Although there’s been a widespread increase on c-sections, making it quite the controversial subject, having a c-section is not the easy way out. And thanks to a great group of doctors aiding us, our little baby and I are doing okay (actually, better than okay!). I also really wanted to be the mom who was able to breastfeed, but issues with the placenta and thyroid gland make it really hard for moms to be able to do it. And I had both. I’m lucky I can at least pump a couple of bottles a day. Like our pediatrician told us, “breastfeeding for a year doesn’t make you a better mom”. Max doesn’t, and probably won’t care, if I did all those things I wanted to but couldn’t. What he needs is a loving, relaxed and rested, happy mom that gives him the best that she can give him.
2| Learning how to feed your baby is a process
Even if you can exclusively breastfeed, it is not that easy to follow through. You need to worry about the latch, the number of wet diapers and about eating the right things. When you bottle feed, you need to make sure everything is sterilized, that the baby doesn’t swallow too much air, and that you have the right water and formula. When you pump, it is a combination of both of the above, that will drive any one mad. You have to do it every couple of hours to keep the flow going (I don’t think they even milk cows that much to be honest), so your nipples might get blisters, and you need to get all the right appliances to store the milk properly which includes bottles, bags, and bottle warmers. Oh and you also need to label them with the expiration/expressing dates to organize the feedings in order for the milk to be digestible for the baby. And this is just for the first months. When the baby is able to digest solids it is a whole another story! Overall, it is probably a process that never ends until they go away for college.
3| Sleep when the baby sleeps
A little dust on the floor or furniture never killed anybody. You are not sleeping through the night, or barely three hours straight. If everybody tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps, listen to them. Having a clean house doesn’t necessarily make you a better mom. I do have cleaning wipes around to do a quick clean up if things are overboard. And I don’t procrastinate with the dirty dishes, the bathroom and trash. But other than that, I try to not stress too much about it. Really, the dust will be there just where you left it after your nap.
4| You are not your hormones
So. many. emotions. Where did they come from?! Oh yeah, from making that tiny beautiful baby you are holding in your arms. It is okay to be emotional, and to cry when you need to. But don’t forget to check in with your emotions either by meditating, going for a walk or journaling. You are not your worse moments, but it is not okay to take it on those who love you the most. And even if you do, remember that you are not your hormones and that slowly but surely, this too shall pass. Also, asking for help is not only okay it is necessary! Remember that you are not alone.
5| Time really flies by so quickly
Ahhh, the cliches are all true. You think you will have that little newborn baby forever with his squishy little pretty face. But after a couple of weeks, that cute puffy face is gone. And you are left wondering who is this new baby with a brand new face. He seriously changes so much every day and with that comes a new challenge and so many wonderful surprises. Choose grace and laughter over stress and petty things. It all goes by so quickly!