The Beginners Guide to Surviving mom hood
Welcome Mommy! You just accomplished the hardest most rewarding milestone of your life! BIRTH! Now here is your beginners guide to surviving mom hood, you know kind of like the manual they don’t give you in the hospital.
If you are anything like you me there were so many emotions that came with this day. You were initially scared for it, yet you couldn’t wait to just have your baby and hold them! I was nervous for birth the first time I was pregnant, but almost every day I kept saying “get this baby out of me!” Through all the aches and pains, I just wanted to hold my baby, I was so ready to start this new journey.
You’re sitting in the hospital holding that new bundle of joy smelling the sweet baby smells and then the nurse comes in and tells you they will start your paperwork to go home.
Oh wait…. I have a BABY! I am taking a baby home. Yup. Reality set in for me like that too.
But don’t worry! You will get through this!
Moms have this weird intuition, one day you know nothing about babies and then the next something just clicks, and you know what that baby needs from you at that time.
And if you don’t then that is why you are here! I am going to help you along this beautiful journey, we will help each other through the ups and downs and we are going to be surviving mom hood together.
What is mom hood
If you were to ask someone what mom hood is to them they would answer with something as simple as “having kids” or “taking care of kids” but you will soon know that it means so much more than just taking care of them.
Unfortunately, for one thing, it means no more sleep. But remember when you were pregnant and had all that alone time with baby? Think of these late-night feedings and diaper changes like your alone time. Your spouse, and the rest of the world, is quiet and peaceful and there you are all alone with your little bundle- rocking in the darkness shushing and singing them back to sleep.
It is also very emotional. There will be times you might cry as much (or more) than that darling little baby of yours. You may find yourself locked in the bathroom on the floor crying for, truthfully, no reason at all. You are human with a tiny new human, you will make mistakes, don’t beat yourself up over it. There are moms on their third, fourth, fifth kid still trying to figure this all out.
Yup you read that right! Not everyone has this all figured out.
But we will get through it together and come out on the other side with more knowledge and an ever bigger soft spot for that baby!
Tips for Success in surviving mom hood
Take it day by day
These first few weeks are going to be the toughest but don’t look too far ahead, just take each day and get through that day. One day the baby may only get up twice in the night and sleep well for you during the day. And one day the baby may be up every hour at night and then only want to nap in your arms during the day. Just take it day by day and you will both slowly get to really know each other.
Laugh it off
Some days you are going to have to learn to just laugh off the stress. I remember with my first my husband told me to go take a shower and a nap and he will take the baby. So, I did. But I could hear her crying from the other room, so I texted my husband and asked him the basics- Fresh diaper, pacifier, do I need to feed her? He changed her, I had just finished feeding her less than an hour ago, so what could it be? Babies are funny in a way that they already know what they like and don’t like. This two-week-old little baby already knew she did not like her daddy’s chest hair! The second my husband put a shirt on and picked her back up she was fine! Even to this day if my husband doesn’t have a shirt on “ew daddy”!
Remember to ask for help
Sorry to say but this is not the time to be super woman. You are going to need help, and you need to let your body rest. If you have family willing to help, LET THEM HELP! Let them make dinner, whether it’s in your house (make sure they clean up then) or they bring you food. Let them do the dishes or the laundry or let them hold the baby while you go take a rest. Your only job in those first few weeks are sitting on the couch or in bed holding your precious baby and resting your body. I made this mistake with my first and then when my second came everyone thought I had it under control and I struggled a lot.
mommy still needs me time
Don’t feel like because you have a baby now that you aren’t allowed to enjoy the things you used to before the baby. If you used to get your nails done every month, continue to go! Leave the baby with your spouse or a trusted family member. You need to get out for an hour and still enjoy yourself, go meet up with a girlfriend and grab a cup of coffee or lunch. You are still the person you were before baby so make sure you still feel like her.
don’t be too hard on your partner
The moment a woman finds out she is pregnant she is in love with that baby growing inside her, she builds a bond with that baby for the next nine months, and when that baby is born and placed on her chest she falls even more in love. Surprisingly it can take your husband or spouse a little longer to bond with the baby, their “paternal” instincts don’t necessarily kick in the second the baby was born. I don’t think my husband was truly “bonded” to our first baby until she was a few weeks old. Be patient with them while they are still learning how to take care of this new human.
remember YOU are the mom
Strangers and family members are going to tell you what to do with your baby, whether you ask for it or not. What, how, and why you should or shouldn’t feed them, are just a few examples. Take the advice and store it in the back of your head, use it if you want to. But remember this is YOUR baby! You parent and teach it, and feed it, what you think is best for YOUR baby!
ignore the public
The first time I went in public with my newborn I was petrified! “What if the baby cries” was my biggest worry.
Babies are going to cry! Ignore the dirty looks and stares you may get, don’t let them stop you from going out in public.
Your health is still a priorty
I’m sure you have heard of baby blues and postpartum depression, these are real things and if you are feeling them in anyway, reach out for help, don’t ignore the signs. They can be scary and having these feelings on top of being overwhelmed by a new baby can really add up and cause a person to break down. The most important thing a baby needs is a healthy mommy. So not only do you need to take care of your mental health, but you also need to take care of your physical health. Get out and take a walk, have someone cook you a nice healthy meal. Make sure you are happy.
FAQ About surviving mom hood
How does a new baby effect your relationship?
After my first I truly believed my relationship with my husband got stronger. You are both so focused on this little baby and they are all you talk about, but after the baby goes to bed you need to really sit down with your partner and talk. Just talk about your day, how you are feeling, how much you appreciate their help, how you love seeing them interact with the baby. That is where and how your relationship will strengthen, you will learn a lot about your partner after having a baby.
should i breastfeed or formula feed?
Truthfully in my opinion the simple saying “fed is best” is the best way to live by. Whether you choose to formula feed or breastfeed that is up to you and your partner and what is best for your family. With my daughter I breast fed her for 3 months- it hurt, I didn’t know what I was doing, I thought it was going to be a walk in the park. Until my postpartum depression got the best of me and I had to make the decision to stop for my sanity and health reasons. You do what is best for you.
How do i get my baby to sleep in their crib?
The easiest way to get them to sleep in their crib in their own room is to start with daytime naps. Slowly adjust them to the crib with an hour or so nap first. and when they become comfortable in there then you start the transition to nighttime as well. Make their nighttime routine in the room with the crib so they understand it is time to wind down and then go to sleep. Read books with the lights dim, rock and sing songs, this way they get comfortable with the crib and the room.
It is recommended that you share a room with your baby for the first 6 months to a year.
Can i really spoil my baby by holding them all day?
NO! For the last nine months your baby has been tucked in a warm safe space that was you, they only know you as their comfort device. Hold that baby! Do skin to skin! There are so many benefits to holding your baby, bonding to be one of them but also these days are going to go by quickly soak in all the snuggles you can get.
As I am writing this my youngest baby is sitting in my lap belly to belly with his head on my chest. He is turning one this week and I am not OK with that. The first-year flies by, soak up that time with them.
do i really need to follow a schedule?
Following some sort of schedule is always helpful, that way if the baby starts to get cranky you can tell from the schedule if it’s time to eat or sleep. However, don’t feel like you need to follow a written schedule to a T. I stressed out over some of the schedules you can find online. If the schedule says baby should be sleeping at this time but your baby went down at this time don’t stress over it. Use that schedule as a guide, take into consideration at least a half hour to an hour, and just know that all babies are different.
You also need to be flexible with your schedule. If baby wakes up at 8 am and goes back down around 10 am use those two hours to get out of the house, go to the store or to the park. But if you get home a little past nap time, it is fine, your baby will most likely fall asleep in the car and you can just carry them into the house and lay them down in their normal nap spot.
Is it oK for my baby to go outside?
YES! It is beneficial for both you and baby, getting some fresh air will definitely boost mom’s mood too! Of course, make sure you are dressing baby correctly for the weather. If you are nervous at first, stick with a stroll around the neighborhood or just sitting outside in the shade for a few minutes. Try and stay away from crowded places like the mall, and don’t let anyone touch your baby. The best thing I found for going out in public is a car seat cover, that way you can lay it over the car seat while in the store and no one will look at your baby and baby is also protected from any wind, or the bright lights and sun.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Surviving mom hood
The last thing you need to know about surviving mom hood is that it really is not as hard as it seems. Cherish these moments, they truly do grow up so fast. Who knows, in a few years you may find yourself with the “fever” and wanting to be right back in the position you are struggling through now.
Food for thought, I always tell myself “it will change with the season.” As quickly as summer comes and goes and Christmas right around the corner, that is exactly what happens with your baby. Four months ago I had a 2 year old and a baby that was just barely learning to crawl, now four months later I have a 2 and a half year old with a lot of sass and a one year old that no longer crawls because he learned walking and running are faster.
You will get through this season, and every season after that, don’t be too hard on yourself.
Please Feel free to leave a comment below and let me know if this has helped you, or leave a fun little story! Also feel free to share on social media! (Facebook, pinterest, instagram)
- Beginners Guide To Surviving Mom Hood
- 5 Things to Do in the Morning to Have a Productive Day
- Asking for Help Postpartum