I have a pretty good idea of how you are feeling right now. It is probably a combination of excitement, worry, and love. Welcome to motherhood! Those feelings will never really leave your system from here on out (lucky us!).
I am by no means an expert with this whole motherhood deal and I am not attempting to represent myself as one, but I have learned a few things along the way, so far, and I would like to take this opportunity to share them with you.
So, without further adieu, here are a few of my unsolicited words of wisdom (you’re welcome ;)):
- Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to (and really shouldn’t expect to) be prepared for everything before the birth of your first baby.
I wanted to have everything from the perfect crib to the perfect stroller, picked out and purchased within the first two trimesters of my pregnancy. So many books out there will warn you that you need to order your crib by a certain deadline or it won’t arrive in time. We didn’t touch our crib for Little Man at all until he was at least 3 months old and, even then, only for naps.
We bed shared for that time, but, even if you don’t do that, most parents I know cosleep (as in sleep in the same room) for the first few months of the baby’s life using a bassinet or pack ‘n play to lower the risk of SIDS.
Honestly, when I think back, the only reasons we started using Little Man’s crib when we did were a.) guilt for not using something we had purchased and b.) peer pressure to get Little Man on the “so important” sleep schedule in his own room (which I now believe to be pretty unimportant in the grand scheme of things).
Don’t even get me started on the “must have” stroller we barely use. I mostly wore Little Man unless I was out jogging, which is something the stroller we bought ahead of time was not designed for because I wanted to make sure it was maneuverable. I now have zero idea why I thought that was so important.
In retrospect, I really believe you’re better off waiting to see how you feel and what your life is like postpartum before making most of your equipment purchases. You will have at least six months to make up your mind.
- Everyone will have an opinion from the moment you announce your pregnancy until… well, until forever and you honestly will just have to smile, nod, and ignore most of it.
With sleep training, specifically, I felt so guilty for not having Little Man on a sleep schedule immediately at 3 months. I felt it was somehow a reflection on how disorganized I was.
I’ve since come to realize that it wasn’t really my problem at all. I think it was more an example of self justification. I mean, if someone feels the need to shove her approach down my throat, she is probably not feeling all that confident about it to begin with, whatever that approach may be. I also recognize the difference between passion and pushiness and am taking about the latter.
- It is not a good idea to make too many life changes within the first year of your first baby’s birth.
I heard, before Little Man’s birth, that it was unwise to make any major changes in life within the baby’s first six months of life. I tend to follow directions to a T, which I realize is a little ridiculous at times, but hey, that’s me.
Immediately following Little Man’s birth in Colorado, I started considering moving back east to be closer to family. We drove cross country and arrived at our new home on his 6 month birthday.
Seriously. I told you I follow directions!
It wasn’t a good idea. I was an absolute mess until shortly after he turned one.
I have since spoken with other new mothers who also felt out of sorts until around their children’s first birthdays. So, if you can wait out the first year of your child’s life before making any life altering decisions, it is worth it. Really.
That’s about it. I am sure I have more and may revisit this topic at a future date, but I’m also quite sure you’ve had enough of me by now.
If you have any questions or need any support, as always, please reach out to me. I would absolutely LOVE to here from you!