Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What I wish I knew before I had my first child. . .

1. Doctors are NOT all knowing. You don't have to do everything they tell you to do. You should do your own research on everything and make the best informed decision you can. After all, you are Dr. Mom. There's no app for that.

2. When your child is 1 and wants to help, let her. Encourage her. It might take twice as long to do whatever you are doing with her "helping" NOW, but if you encourage that helpfulness, it won't be long before her helping will save you time. And that's a lot easier to get her to do if you encourage it starting when she's interested in doing it. Teaching her to do it right the first time and encouraging her desire to help will pay off big time. It is not fun to argue with a 6 year old about why she "always" has to help. Do yourself a favor and don't let it get to that point.

3. Time goes way too fast. Don't blink. Don't wish it away. Just enjoy it, whatever it is because there is a season for everything and when that season is over, you almost always miss it. Even if its a season of snuggling on the couch and giving breathing treatments while being barfed on. BTDT and missing my 6 year old being little enough to cuddle like that now that she's "too big" to want to cuddle.

4. Your mother was right. And she's still right. Listen to your mother every once in a while. It will save you a lot of heartache and time and pain. Remember, she's the Dr. Mom you learned from. She is the only app for that you've got.

5. Take care of you. Sleep when she sleeps because your first baby is the only one you can do that with, guilt-free. Every other child after that carries with him/her the potential to feel bad that you're neglecting the older ones when you nap with the younger ones, even if the older one(s) is (are) asleep. Take a shower, brush your teeth, make sure you eat right and sleep when you need it. If you don't take care of yourself and you get run down, who is going to take care of you and your baby? Besides, you want to be a good example for him/her and you're definitely going to want your kids to brush their teeth, bathe, eat properly and sleep when they need it.

6. Be a good example. Invariably, your child will copy everything you do or say that you don't want them to copy. Minimizing that saves you a lot of frustration in the long run even if its hard to do in the short run.

7. Cut yourself some slack. You are not perfect and can't hope to be. Do your best, do what you can do when you can do it, and then cut yourself some slack for your failings. Learn from them, do better next time, but don't beat yourself up over something that's done and can't be undone.

8. You can't keep everything. 2 years from now, you will look at that picture in the pile of nearly identical pictures that really amount to huge blobs of scribbles and wonder what it is and why you kept it. You will probably, at the same time, be keeping other drawings that are only slightly more recognizable that you will feel the same way about in another 2 years time. Its a vicious cycle. Keep 1-2 and toss the rest. You'll thank yourself for it later. Trust me.

9. Trust your instincts. You have them for a reason and that reason is not so you can ignore them.

10. Take a break every once in a while. Its hard, but important. When you take a break and come back refreshed, you will be a better mom. And you can get refreshed even if all you do is sit at Starbucks, drink tea and eat a muffin while thinking about your baby and missing her.

11. Everything around your baby will affect him/her. So get informed about everything so you can make informed decisions about what to feed them, what cleaning supplies to use around them, what lotions and soaps to use on them. Its all important. So learn what you can and do the best you can with the knowledge you obtain.

I may add to this from time to time as I think of more things I wish I knew then that it might benefit new moms to know now. Happy parenting :)

No comments:

Post a Comment