My son will be 8 months old on March 10th. I can utter, “Hello eight months and goodbye eight months.” in one breath. The time went by in one inhale and one exhale. It’s redundant and cliche to exclaim how quickly time flies when you have a baby, but there is a reason it’s repeated day in and day out by parents on your Facebook feed, it’s true.
I guarantee you will spend a good portion of your day frantically Googling every stage your baby is going through to make sure you and baby are up-to-snuff. Let me save you some time, the odds are strongly in your favor that you will not kill your newborn baby. You will find a wide range of opinion on how you should or should not raise your child. Here are 14 pieces of advice from one new mother to the next:
- Kiss your little one often and snuggle them closely, you will hug a slightly different version of them tomorrow. You can’t spoil your baby with affection..
- If you fall asleep exhausted in bed with your baby, they will be just fine. You will wake up with the first movement or sound your baby makes. There is much more of a health risk to you, your heart may fall out of your mouth in a panic, but your baby will be fine.
- Sleep training is a mean experiment to drive parents crazy! Don’t stress about sleep training and don’t measure your success as a parent by the hours your baby sleeps. (But seriously try to sleep when they do, you deserve it.)
- Breastfeeding is one of the most selfless things you will ever do. It’s fucking hard, it’s stressful, it hurts and it’s okay if you swear while your sweet little bundle is ripping your nipple off.
- It’s okay if you don’t breastfeed.
- The people who judge you for the method you choose to feed YOUR baby are assholes and not worthy of your time or consideration.
- You may feel depressed, scared, or like an utter failure at motherhood. From what I hear these “postpartum” feeling will reappear for the rest of your life.
- Get ready to feel guilty every day.
- Forgive, forgive, forgive. Forgive yourself AND your partner.
- Treat yourself: get a pedicure, take a walk alone, go have some girl time. Give your partner alone time as well.
- Buy your favorite bottle of wine and stay up late with your partner after baby has gone to bed and watch a sitcom that makes you laugh.
- It’s okay if you and your partner don’t have sex for the first six months postpartum, you will again…. one day. Women recover from the PTSD of delivery at different rates and in different ways, start by testing the water.
- If your baby doesn’t poop for a week it’s actually okay. Why does nobody tell you this?
- Embrace the smiles that you and your baby share. Remember the way they look at you with sleepy adoration when you feed them before bed. Take Polaroids of moments in your mind, you don’t have to capture every moment for social media.
Nobody can prepare you for how fast the time will go by, don’t waste it trying to be the perfect mother, just be their mother, I promise it is enough.