Although I was always grateful for my newfound motherhood, I was still rocked by the way my life was no longer linear. When my head hit the pillow in the night, I was still on duty. It was at this delicate time that I came to understand another less-than-desirable aspect of becoming a new mom – getting inundated with suggestions. The first-time parents is hard and new to me, which makes me worried sometimes. While I’m sure the unsolicited advice was well-intentioned, I found it was anxiety-inducing.
Advice For New Moms – The Best Way To Interpret The Worst Advice
There are nuggets of useful advice amongst the unsolicited advice out there, they just need some editing. Here’s a not-so-great recommendation for new moms and their better, better-modified equivalents.
Sleep When The Baby Is Sleeping
I don’t know much about you, but I’m not a light switch. I can’t just relax on the drop of a hat. And, I’m not sure if you heard, but young babies are really sleeping unpredictably and for unusual periods of time. I rested while my toddlers slept, so if I did this any day they were napping, little would be done in the house.
Better advice: Don’t try to do it all. When you need to relax, lie down and forget your list of to-do chores. If you’re going to go crazy staring at the unfolded laundry for another minute, do that instead.
Put Baby Cereal In The Baby’s Bottle So She Sleeps Longer.
About every source available claims this is a terrible idea, so infants do not get solids until they are 4-6 months old. Plus, this is a choking hazard. The best way to feed a baby preparing for solids is by staying upright. Often, as Bettina, mother of two, pointed out, babies don’t just feed themselves. They do it for closeness and warmth, too.
Better advice: Nurse/bottle feed your baby in order. Seek the health authority or doctor’s guidance on the introduction of solids. If you need a rest, give a night feed to your spouse or family member using pumped milk or formula.
Don’t Spoil The Baby. You’re Holding Him Too Much
If you happen to hear this uninformed piece of advice, you may want to ask the person to do a little google search. There is no article in development science that indicates that it is possible to carry an infant so much. Before the invention of strollers, bouncy chairs, and car seats, humans relied on carrying and wearing children in slings or makeshift carriers. And of this, neonatal development is reinforced by physical touch.
In particular, one study showed that children were less likely to have less mature DNA. Very literally, infants rely on closeness and contact to thrive optimally. They would naturally want to be more autonomous as they grow older. No amount of newborns will avoid this.
Better advice: Hold, carry and love your infant to help her grow. When you need a rest, lay the baby down or move it over to someone else to re-aggregate and recharge.
Now Onto The Absolute Best Advice For New Moms
Each piece of advice should be addressed with an element of versatility. And if you know like it resonates with you, if the course of action varies, forgive yourself. Often, don’t take suggestions simply because it’s what you think you’re going to do.
Accept Others’ Help
It’s quick to get stuck pretending to be nice. However, if anyone wants to have dinner, sweep your floors or fold your laundry, say yes. There’s no prize for completing it all. Any extra little bit of support gives you extra energy, extra morals, or just a required break from being touched.
Get Some Alone Time
Whether it’s going to the grocery store on its own, commuting to and from Starbucks, or simply taking an hour or two to yourself, find a way to do it daily. As cliche as it is to be said, you can’t spill out an empty cup. And for the next few weeks, you’re not just doing this baby stuff. You’ve got 18 years to come, plus plenty of the time to be selfless. Take the time for yourself.
Have A Sense Of Humor, Or At Least Be Loving To Yourself
We’ve all got them. It’s both about us. But when you’re a new mom, they sound particularly consequential. It’s easy to feel that each action determines your performance in this new job. But this is not so remotely.
In particular, in an emotional development report, Shore found that new mothers reacted “the right way” to their babies about 30% of the time. What distinguished the strongest mothers from the mediocre mothers was their propensity to re-attune. In other words, when the first time they struggled to get their answers correctly, these mothers tried again to try ways to get it right. As such, he argued that a “good enough mother” is the true force of parenting. It is assumed that both parents will always get their parenting wrong. What divides the best parents from the ordinary, though, is their determination to get back on track and re-attune themselves with their parental priorities and what is best for their infants.
No One Knows Your Baby Better Than You
This is something I’ve had to remind myself. Yet new moms have to listen to their intuition. If you’re being suggested by someone who doesn’t sit right, let your intuition be your guide. Vanessa, three-year-old mother, advises saying, “Thanks, I have this,” to shut it down.
Understand Parents Who Parent Differently Than You Are Doing Their Best Too
I have friends who have opted to eat because they can’t bear the draining and exhausting breastfeeding that has had an effect on their mental health. When my son was about five months old, I got so exhausted that I started putting him in his crib and slept with him because I couldn’t get enough sleep in any other way.
Every Situation Is Unique And So Are Each Person’s Limitations.
If it’s good or evil, it’s not forever. The best piece of parental advice I’ve ever been given came from one of my regional bosses. He said, no matter whether it’s extremely pleasant or incredibly tiring, it’s fleeting to grasp. Relax with the positive and hang on to that as much as you can. Motor through trying times, feeling that there’s an end in mind. No matter what, there’s going to be a day when your baby no longer feeds, sleeps through the night, doesn’t fit in your arms, and wants you even less.
As neuropsychologist Allan Schore shares:
Giving birth and becoming a mother to a boy is a profound experience. Not unexpectedly, early postpartum contact is a stressful and difficult period correlated with both positive and negative outcomes.
The reality is, it’s all right to fade, feel out of contact with yourself, and feel overwhelmed. Over the ups and downs, lean on those around you, share your stories and soak in those baby snuggles.