As mothers, we’ve all been on the receiving end of another’s well intentioned words of wisdom. It starts early, there is something about a baby bump that bonds us as women and brings about a swell of experiences we feel the need to share with each other. Whether solicited or unsolicited, advice just comes with the territory and it’s up to us whether we want to take it or leave it. Here are a few that stand out in my mind as the best advice I never took, but totally should have.
Enjoy the newborn phase – it’s so easy!
If only I knew then what I know now. In hindsight, those fleeting months where my child was a newborn are a blur. As a self proclaimed type A personality, complete control freak and paranoid ninny, I was far too busy obsessing about this new and delicate life I was now responsible for to enjoy anything. Looking back, I should have let go a little more. Especially now that I know things only get harder as that delicate life learns to walk, talk, climb, jump, scale, scream and have a mind of his own.
Laundry, dishes, dog hair oh my! How in the world would I get anything done if I slept when the baby slept? News flash – all those things will still be there when you wake up, the opportunity to sleep, however, will be gone forever. I. should. have. slept. I’ve seen the error of my ways and now that my child isn’t a baby anymore, I proudly claim that 90 minute stretch in the height of our day (also known as nap time) for myself, and do as little as possible while he’s snoring quietly in the next room. It’s magical.
Let others help you!
New mommy emotions bring all sorts of new perception pressure. I feared that if I didn’t handle it all on my own I would be judged as a failure. So, when people offered help, I kindly smiled and explained that I appreciated the offer, but we were doing great! On the inside, however, I was screaming for help, pleading for someone to bring us dinner or come sit with the baby for an hour so I could sleep or shower. I always scoffed at the saying “it takes a village to raise a child,” but now realize letting others help only allows you to be better than you are alone.
What advice do you wish you would have taken?