This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

This Mommy Runs on Caffeine

November 23, 2010

Words of Wisdom

As a dear friend awaits the impending arrival of her twins any. day. now.... (she's made it longer than I did- Kiera made a surprise arrival at 37w and she's now at 39w3d- with twins!), we had a nice conversation that included my unbiased advice to a new mom- what words of wisdom did I NOT take to heart and wish that I would have oh, say, 15 months ago?  Well, where to start? First of all- cherish every single day even those when you are elbow deep in poo, haven't had time to shower at 3:45 p.m. and even your fourth shirt was now thrown up on.....  the both of us went through fertility to start our family, we knew what we were getting in to, but there are just 'those' days that you're not quite sure.... and they start once they tell you it's too late for an epidural!  Nothing will ever go quite as planned once you throw a little one into the mix- for planners (yes, that's you KL!) it may be enough to drive you stark raving mad, but that is exactly what you will remember most.  That night that there was nothing that made the baby happy and you had to crawl around on the floor to try to entertain them, digging out all of your safest kitchen utensils for them to use as drum sticks or chew toys.  Oh, wait- that was LAST night!

My first piece of advice is to let people help and tell them what you NEED.  The novelty of a 'new' baby (or babIES) wears off and the offers of help soon will as well.  I wish that I would have gotten just a few more days-hours, of sleep when my mom was staying with us for the few weeks after Kiera arrived.  I was worried that I would miss out on valuable bonding time, but instead, I could have gotten some much needed (and forever fleeting) rest to recover from pregnancy and delivery.   I wanted to prove to her that I would be a good mom right off the bat- rendering her feeling nearly useless and me very tired.  My stubbornness might have been part of what led to my post-partum depression and essentially was counterproductive to the bonding.  A tired, emotional and confused mommy has a hard time bonding with a stuffed animal let alone a new little baby.  So, we all know that you will be a good mom- but give your self a chance to rest- really rest because you have to save up that energy for the next 18-or-so years.....  and if your friends and family really want to help, tell them what you really want- like just an hour to take a hot bath, the floors swept and mopped or bring in a few groceries. 

Next, take lots of pictures- you will be amazed at when you look back- even after just a few months- how much they change and grow.  Jason always teases me about being a 'mamarazzi' but I'm so glad that we have all of these wonderful moments captured on film (and now video).

Also, live in the moment- don't worry about milestones- every baby will progress on their own timeline (if the pregnancy and delivery isn't any clue...) and try not to "can't wait" every one of those milestones away because some day you will look back and long for those days when you could set them on their blanket on the floor and still be there after your quick potty break instead of half-way up the stairs.  Be there for your children.  The laundry and dishes can wait until 2017- you think that you should be getting them done, but trust me, a quick little dance or game of tag is much more important.  It will be hard to fully accept this piece of advice, see above and make sure you have the camera ready....

And speaking of you- take good care of yourself.  The mom (not sayin' that the daddy isn't important) is the hub and needs to think about herself first and foremost to be the very best Mommy possible.  Mentally and physically.  Being a mom is the hardest job I've ever done.  There is no "time off" (even if you take words of wisdom #1), "sick time" or otherwise, however, there is downtime and take advantage of it- to TAKE A NAP! Make sure that there is something that you enjoy on what little "break" time you get.  A clear head makes for more enjoyable parenting.  For sure.  And this goes back to asking- no one can read your mind- let us know how we can help.  It really does take a village.

And those little "ugh" moments- they're far and few between and the first time you see a real smile or hear "mama" makes it so worthwhile.  All that lost sleep; 3:54 minutes of labor; post partum depression; poop patrol- it's also job security and the most priceless form of payment ever.   Enjoy being a mom...........

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