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20 Seasoned Moms Offer Encouragement to First Timers

Want to hear the understatement of the year? Being a mom is really hard work.

You won’t sleep. You will only eat cold cereal. You will lose your sense of self, and never fit in to your favorite pair of jeans again. People will tell you what to do, how to do it, and when to start it. They will tell you you’re doing it all wrong.

You will cry, you will laugh. But you want to know what? You will emerge successful. You will be forever changed, and you will be better off because of it.

On the impending eve of Mother’s Day, 20 seasoned and beautiful moms (moms who have traveled the rocky road through motherhood), share their most encouraging words of wisdom that they would give a first time mom of a newborn.

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  • You will sleep again. 1 of 19
    You will sleep again.
    Don't have expectations, surround yourself with wise people, and don't compare your baby to others.You will be able to sleep again, and you will make it through the first few months. You can do it!
    Crystal is a mom to 4 and tweets from @Blonde1s
  • Be present. 2 of 19
    Be present.
    Spend millions of hours being physically present with your children. Read them a book, snuggle them while they watch a movie, get down on the floor and play their favorite game. The effects of early hands-on bonding will last their lifetime, and the memories are priceless.
    Susan is expecting her 4th child June of 2012
  • It’s ok to mourn your pre-mommy days. 3 of 19
    It's ok to mourn your pre-mommy days.
    Sometimes people forget to tell you the real shitty (hard) parts of being a new mom. You can love your child more than anything in the world and still mourn for your pre-mommy days. EVERYONE DOES! Some just don't want to say it because they feel guilty or abnormal for having those feelings. But, SAY IT! We all go through it!
    Allison is a mom to 2 and blogs at Me and Mine
  • Be informed about your options. 4 of 19
    Be informed about your options.
    Be informed. Going into motherhood I knew nothing about vaccines, labor or nursing. I wish I had known more. I would of done things so differently and would of had a lot less stress.
    Drea is a mom to 3 and blogs at DreaWood.com
  • Everything can wait. 5 of 19
    Everything can wait.
    Soak in those first days and weeks like nothing else. That time is so precious and goes so very quickly. The dirty dishes can wait, the visitors can wait. Don't be afraid to ask for help with cleaning, or meals. Let people serve you so that you can spend every waking hour holding, kissing and snuggling that baby. This is time that you will never get again.
    Kim is a mom to 3 and blogs at KimOrlandini
  • It’s okay to let the baby cry. 6 of 19
    It's okay to let the baby cry.
    It's okay to let the baby cry (somewhere safe!) while you pee or grab a quick shower or eat a sandwich. You're not going to create a serial killer or future therapy bills, but you will give yourself a slice of sanity.
    Beth Anne is a mom to 1 and blogs at The Heir to Blair
  • Hold her as much as you want. 7 of 19
    Hold her as much as you want.
    Don't be afraid you'll hold your baby "too much." Also, don't be afraid to let someone else hold her.
    Katy is a mom to 3 and blogs at Katy She Cooks
  • They need your time, not money. 8 of 19
    They need your time, not money.
    Spend time, not $. Our kids don't really want cute new clothes, fancy baby gear, expensive lessons, or even that hot toy {that they think they want}. They want your eyeballs, your arms, your time, and your heart. I bet your fondest childhood memories have little to do with the things of this world.
    Cherrie is a mom to 2 and blogs at Queen of Free
  • It’s ok to feel frusterated. 9 of 19
    It's ok to feel frusterated.
    In those first few months, it's okay to feel frustrated and angry and sad. Both you and the baby will have these feelings. It doesn't mean you don't love each other. With each new day and each tear shed you'll be gradually building the most amazing bond there ever was. Just wait and see.
    Beth is a mom to 4 and blogs at I Should Be Folding Laundry
  • There is no manual. 10 of 19
    There is no manual.
    This isn't your grandma's, your best friend's, or a random stranger at the grocery store's baby. Although some of their advice may be helpful, there is no user's manual for your individual baby. It takes time to figure these little creatures out, so extend yourself a giant helping of grace along with your giant mug of coffee.
    Jenn is a mom to 4 and blogs at 4tunate
  • One day at a time. 11 of 19
    One day at a time.
    When things get tough or overwhelming, remind yourself to take it a day at a time. Enjoy your baby; this time goes by so fast!
    Sarah is a mom to 3 and tweets at @sallycollage
  • Chaos is OK. 12 of 19
    Chaos is OK.
    Embrace the chaos. Babies don't understand schedules, timetables, or productivity and come to think of it, neither do teenagers.
    Heather is a mom to 2 and blogs at Domestic Extraordinaire
  • Mistakes can be fixed. 13 of 19
    Mistakes can be fixed.
    Don't stress. There aren't many mistakes that can't be undone. Give yourself tons of grace and just have fun!
    Sarah is a mom to 5 and blogs at Ordinary Days
  • Forget unsolicited advice. 14 of 19
    Forget unsolicited advice.
    Hold that baby as much - or as little - as you need. Tune out all advice including your own mom, your best friend, your doctor, that "parenting" book, and your nosy neighbor who brings dinner. Thank them but don't listen unless you asked. Follow your heart, you'll never go wrong.
    Stephanie is a mom to 4 and blogs at Adventures in Babywearing
  • Find other moms. 15 of 19
    Find other moms.
    Seek out other moms (first time and seasoned). Talk honestly with them about problems you are having or emotions you are feeling. I guarantee you that someone else is having the exact same problem or emotion and it helps to know you're not alone.
    Katie is a mom to 3 and blogs at Evoked By Light
  • Just Pray. 16 of 19
    Just Pray.
    Pray. All of your failings and fears will come to rest in this most important task.
    Jennie is a mom to 3 and blogs at Big Wide Porch
  • Do things your way. 17 of 19
    Do things your way.
    You know your baby and his/her needs better than anyone else so follow your gut instinct in caring for him/her. Do things your way and don't feel pressured to do what others say you should with your newborn.
    Angie is the mother to 6!
  • Perfection does not exist. 18 of 19
    Perfection does not exist.
    Don't worry about raising a perfect child. Lord knows they don't exist! Instead, show them to be gracious and teachable by apologizing every time you make a mistake.
    Bethany is a mom to 2 and blogs at Still in St. Louis
  • Stop and breathe. 19 of 19
    Stop and breathe.
    Make sure you stop, take a breath and enjoy this time with your baby. With my first son, I was so caught up in the exhaustion, the stress, and the worry that goes along with being a first time mom that, looking back, I feel like I missed out on just how wonderful those first few days and weeks really are. It's easier said than done, but definitely something I tried to actively remember with my next two babies.
    Meghan is a mom to 3 and a blogger at Babble Kids

If this is your first Mothers Day, congrats! And remember, there are very few mistakes that can’t be fix, you will sleep through the night again soon, and you’re doing an amazing job. Regardless of what your mother-in-law tells you.

Find more Emily on her blog, twitter, Pinterest, and facebook.

MORE ON BABBLE:

10 lies I tell myself to cope with being a parent
25 things every kid should experience
12 ways college prepared us for motherhood
What’s your mom type? Take the quiz to find out!
The top 15 mommy meltdown moments

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