10 Things I’d Like To Tell New Moms…

 

Let’s chat new moms! There are somewhere around a hundred and one things I wish I had known (or at least heard out of the mouths of other mothers) before I had my babies. And that’s on the low end. Here are some of them:

  1. To moms who’ve birthed babies: be kind and gentle to yourself and to your body. You will lose hair, your boobs will grow and shrink, and you will be flabby for longer than you want to be. Know you are beautiful because of these things. To adoptive moms: be gentle with yourself too, and seek out other adoptive moms to hang and share stories with. I think my mom would have loved this when I was brought into her world. Transitioning into this new roll can be really hard and really isolating no matter whose belly your sweet pea grew in.
  2. Make a habit of saying “no thank you” and stay home instead. Don’t for one second feel badly about that.
  3. Craft a routine that feels good for you and your family and do your best to stick with it – rhythm is calming and restorative. It will probably take you a few years to nail one down though. By that time, you’ll probably have another kiddo, who will without question, throw a wrench in your polished routine and you’ll have to start all over. Maybe join a wine club during this transition? This process will never end as long as you’re raising your babies, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
  4. When you get overwhelmed, stop and breathe. Then sit down on your bed for a minute. Lay there for ten if you have to. Then get up, move your body, and do the next right thing. Baby steps. Motherhood is not a hundred meter dash.
  5. Give yourself grace and get a babysitter or two lined up already because God knows you’ll need one. Then when you feel comfortable, treat yourself to a few things you did pre-baby that made you happy. Then start going on regular dates with your love.
  6. Learn to acknowledge your mom guilt – we all have it – and then give it a home somewhere other than your heart or your head. Although it will suggest otherwise, your guilt should not live there. I say “hello” to mine quite often, then go tell it to chill out in my closet. I don’t need it present all the time making my life harder than it already is.
  7. Try, really try, to take a shower at some point in the day—it will make you feel like superwoman. If you can squeeze one in before your kids wake up, you are literally my hero.
  8. Double any meal that allows for it and freeze as much as you can. Make use of your crockpot! I swear that thing is God’s gift to moms (that and wine clubs) and my secret weapon.
  9. Make a cup of hot tea…go on…make it with the fixin’s! This list will still be here waiting for you, along with at least a dozen other chores you should just let be. Okay, now that you’re settled, make a list of things and people that are life-giving and tuck this somewhere safe. Cling to these life-giving things when you feel yourself going to the scary place – I’ve been there – and know that if your toes touch the water of that scary place, it’s very brave and important to tell someone. Talking openly about my postpartum depression with doctors and counselors healed me in ways I didn’t know I needed. Know that your healing may probably take a long time and it will drag you through mud; people may not outwardly know that you are suffering. You will heal. Be proud of your story. Having postpartum depression does not make you a bad mom.
  10. Know you’re not alone. Not ever. Isn’t it comforting to know that there are millions of women who feel just as you do right now? At this very moment, there are mothers who are just as exhausted and overwhelmed and everything in between as you. They also probably the only ones on the planet that will nod with gentle understanding in the grocery store if they see you wipe your kid’s runny nose with your shirt, and them bribe with a sucker before supper so they sit still in the cart (with a broken buckle) so you can buy food to feed your family. Solidarity moms! Welcome to the club and come as you are. We’re all sisters here.

 

photo cred: We Are The Parsons 

  • Sara

    Thank you for this! I’m 5 months pregnant with my first child and I already feel like I’m doing so much wrong sometimes. Everyone has their own opinion, so it’s crazy to feel that I need to meet every expectation, but it happens. I feel the guilt already.

    It took us 3 years to become pregnant with this sweet baby and I hate that I would let anyone take that happiness from me. I’ll be referring back to this after little one arrives, I’m sure!

    SaraReplyCancel

    • admin

      Sara, you keep on doing what works for you and your family. No one else is in YOUR shoes, so nod when they give you advice and then respectfully disregard it if you don’t feel like it’s a fit. When you have your sweet bundle in a few months know that you are the perfect mother for your baby, mistakes and all. And mom guilt will always be there, just don’t let it in the driver’s seat. You will rock motherhood! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Kali

    Really needed this today, thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Angelina

    You’re the best!ReplyCancel

  • Thank you so much for this helpful, kind and beautiful list 🙂 !ReplyCancel

  • katelyn b

    So true, all of it. I am pregnant with my second and had PPD/PPA with my first. Part of me is terrified to go to that dark place again. I’m hopeful though. 🙂ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Katelyn, I can so identify with this…Andrew and I talk about it all the time. The possibility of it happening scares us but there’s HOPE, you are so right. x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Lauren

    Love this! My baby will be 4 weeks tomorrow and we’re starting to get into a routine but there are still challenges (notably cluster feeding and healing from an emergency c section). After a poor sleep I was going to clean, but was struggling… now that he’s sleeping I think a shower is just the thing! Thanks for the post from a new mum 🙂ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Lauren, at four weeks life can still be a big blur. Be gentle with yourself girl, you’re doing great! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Eda

    I’m gonna send a link to this list to a sweet friend that had her baby on sunday 🙂 and then, in may, when our second baby arrives, I’ll come back and read it again myself. xoReplyCancel

    • admin

      Eda, pass on the love sweet mama! x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Erin

    mine is now 6 but one thing my mom always told me was – if you’re feeling overwhelmed, put the baby in their crib and take time to collect yourself. their crib is safe, even if they are screaming and you are breaking down – just put them down for a moment and walk away. it was lifesaving advice.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Erin, YES. Wise words that every new mom needs to hear and know is okay. x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Allie

    Thank you for this! I love your posts and instagrams. You have such a sweet family. I just had my second baby 2.5 weeks ago and really needed to read something like this. Especially number 1 and number 10. And amen to taking a shower everyday! It makes a world of difference!ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Allie, showers can be the thing that can turn your day from dark to light. Little things mama, little things. x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Rachel

    Yes, yes and YES.ReplyCancel

  • Peach

    I’m not a new mom, (5 + 3 year old) but this advice still rings true and was much needed today so thank you! This is wonderful advice.ReplyCancel

  • Allison

    Thank you for this post and for making me cry. 🙂 It felt like an online hug which is always appreciated. We have a pretty good community in Austin, but honestly, journeying into motherhood was far more isolating than I ever imagined, especially with all family 14 hours away. I don’t mean to sound over the top, but after a year spent in the scary place, often without me even knowing it at the time, finding your blog in January was the breath of fresh air I so needed. It helped me get some traction on living life as a mama that I’ve always wanted to be. I still have years of steep learning curves in how to care for myself and my new family, but gee golly, life is already so much better than it was last year and I have so much to be thankful for no matter my circumstances! 🙂 Thanks again.ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Allison, oh sweet mama. Thank you for being brave and opening up here, I know how scary it is to admit to others outside of your head that you were suffering, especially because you didn’t even know it at the time. That’s how I was. It was happening and I was in the thick of it and didn’t think I had depression. I have family far away and that was really hard for me too – still is. Keep pursuing your community, we need others! Have a beautiful weekend lovely. x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Thank you for sharing. Whenever you open up about mothering it really resonates with me. I struggled with postpartum depression with both of my boys and praise God I am now finally on the other side! But I look back on those dark, isolated days and I’m truly thankful to know how it feels so I can reach out to other people struggling with depression. I’m grateful for the journey, and grateful for the dark days to make the bright ones brighter. I appreciate your vulnerability and sharing glimpses into your home and family. Thanks 💛ReplyCancel

    • admin

      Emily, us moms need to stick together, ya know!? I am so glad to hear you are on the other side that and those dark days are a thing of the past. Bless you brave sister and thank you for sharing this here. x AmandaReplyCancel

  • Amy

    Thank you for this. I am nine months pregnant with my first (any day now!) Sometimes I wonder if I have what it takes. It’s so scary to jump into the unknown especially when a helpless little babe will be depending on me! I don’t want to let him or her down. Thank you for your sweet heart and your honesty.ReplyCancel

  • It’s 3:30 am and I can’t sleep even though both my babies are. Aren’t those annoying nights? But instead of tossing and turning, I remembered you mentioned this post the other day and decided to read something edifying versus letting my sleepy mind run with the unproductive thoughts that sometimes accompany nighttime when sleep evades. This is just exactly what I needed to read right now. Been a bit harder on myself than I’d like to admit, transitioning from one baby to two recently and needing all the grace I can give myself. Hate when perfectionism rears its ugly head in my life but working to become conscious of when it does. This list is a beautiful ‘how-to love yourself & your journey and in doing so… your partner, your babies and your life so much more’. Thank you for taking the time to write it and share it ❤️ My heart needed to hear this right now. Much love to you and yours.ReplyCancel

  • Ana

    I’m a mama of 2. Wonderful advice. Wishing all a peaceful, joyful day.ReplyCancel

  • Sarah Kostelyk

    Mom guuuuiiiilllllttttt. That beast put me in a bad place with my first round of kids. Now, with round two, I am much nicer to myself and to my family. Hindsight is such a valuable gift I am thankful for every day. It gave me the courage to go get some medication when I couldn’t get dressed after I had Margot, it helps me remember everything will be fine, and mostly it reminds me that my children and I are the perfect fit. We are plenty enough for each other.ReplyCancel

  • Jill

    Beautiful post! You pretty much nailed it with advice I wish I would have gotten.ReplyCancel

  • Maria

    This is a beautiful post, thank you! It is so nice to hear your words.
    I am wondering if you could give me some advice about how to deal with pregnancy sickness? I’m pregnant with my second and am constantly nauseous and throw up a couple times every day. I know that so many moms have it worse than I do, but I am just having such a hard time anyway despite trying to have a good attitude and being grateful. It is so hard to enjoy anything while on the brink of vomit all the time haha. I feel guilty because I want to be savoring this time with my daughter before I have the new baby, but all I want to do is put an ice pack on my forehead and lie down. 🙂
    I love your blog and appreciate all of the wisdom that you share on it. Thank you so muchReplyCancel

  • Hi,
    Great Article, thanks for sharing this. This is very helpful for all women.ReplyCancel

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