Sunday, November 25, 2012

What I would say to a first time mama

If I could summarize in a simple way what I think is the most valuable "advice" a first time mama of a newborn should hear it would be this:

Relax and trust yourself.

Relax and trust yourself about feeding.  Right, left, two at one feeding, one at each feeding, it doesn't matter, just relax and go with your baby's flow.  This one might like one at each feeding and the next might want both. You will figure it out, you will know the right thing to do.

Relax and trust yourself about sleep.  Your baby will find their own rhythm and sooner than you realize you will intuit that and go with it.  Sleep the baby during the day in the common areas of the house so that they can get used to sleeping through noise.  Hold the baby while she sleeps if you want.  Snuggle her next to you while you catch a nap too if that sounds good.  And generally once she finds a pattern and sticks with it for a couple of weeks and you are finally on top of it, she will change it.  But it's ok, just follow her cue and trust yourself.

Relax and trust yourself about her crying.  It's so hard I know, we want to fix it all and make it all better.  But sometimes even now as adults all we need is someone to hold us while we cry and sometimes that's all our baby needs too.  Sing to her, tell her Jesus loves her, tell her how beautiful she is, and if all else fails, cry with her.  Trust that you are meeting her needs.

Relax and trust yourself.

You are NOT going to screw up that precious baby in the first month of her life.  She's never going to remember the first month of her life and it will all be a sleepy blur to you by the time she has her own babies.  Follow your gut.  If something is working for you then ignore any further advice about that subject.  Do what works for you.  Do what works for your baby.  Trust yourself!

Hold her, love her, gaze at her for hours on end because it really is just too fleeting.  One day she will be sassy and independent and confident in who she is.  But first you should relax and trust yourself.

I remember all too well becoming a mama for the first time.  My baby cried a LOT, ate more, slept only when latched on or in my arms, and drained me.  I was so uptight about him getting enough sleep at the right times and not being dependent on me for a pacifier.  I was so worried every minute of every day about ruining him, about permanently screwing him up.  I most definitely did not trust myself to be a good mama to him.  And in the end I think it was my tension that has caused him to be my most high strung and tense child.  If I could go back in time and tell myself as a first time mama one thing it would be this.  This post.  Relax.  Relax and revel and TRUST yourself!  One day that child is going to be a sassy, opinionated, stubborn, seven year old who thinks he knows everything.  One day that baby boy who fits in the crook of one arm will be taller than you.  One day you will realize that you missed out on so much of his newborn days because you didn't simply relax and trust yourself.

So dear first time mama friends, one friendly piece of unasked for advice.  Relax.  Trust yourself Rest in God, rest your baby in God, and enjoy THIS moment one hour at a time.  God made you this baby's mama for a reason.  If you can't relax and trust yourself at least trust that.

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