This past weekend I attended a baby shower for a good friend of mine. There was yummy food, adorable woodland decorations, perfectly wrapped gifts, and of course games. One of the activities for guests was to write down a piece of advice for the new mom to be. Having recently had a baby myself, I had quite a few people come up to me to ask what advice I was going to share. It really made me reflect back on the past year I’ve had with my daughter. What would be the most useful thing I could share with a new mom? How can I properly prepare her for this new chapter? Is there even a way to really prepare someone for what’s coming?
After careful consideration I narrowed my thoughts down to one simple word of advice. My number one tip for a new mom to be is to go with the flow. As a control freak myself, I know how difficult this piece of advice is to take. However, after a year of motherhood, I know just how important it is. It truly is the key to survival. Let me tell you why.
Before your child is even born you are already trying your best to control as much as you can. I know you have a plan for what their life is going to look like. Don’t worry, all moms do! A normal way to deal with the anxiety of the unknown is to try to control it. You’ve probably already planned out your plans for sleeping, eating, routines, and more. However, don’t be too surprised when your child is born and those plans go straight out the window. After all, children do have a way of doing that.
Exclusively breast-feeding might turn into combination feeding or formula feeding and thats okay. Plans to put baby in a crib right away may quickly change to room sharing or bed sharing and that’s okay. Following a parent led routine may need to be adjusted to a baby led routine and that’s okay. A mom who plans on going back to work may decide she would rather stay home and that’s okay too. There isn’t really a way to plan ahead for many of the aspects of parenting. Every child is different and so are their needs and wants. What worked for one child won’t necessarily work for another.
Remember, there isn’t a right or a wrong way to parent. All that matters is your child’s needs are taken care of and they are loved. So, take a step back and relax. I promise, the more relaxed you are the more you will enjoy this time. You’ll hear this time and time again, but it’s so true – these years fly by. So, take a deep breath, adapt to your environment, and just go with it. I promise you, even the most put together parents are just winging it too.