I’m about to become an aunt for the 4th time and I cannot wait. My older sister has 3 boys who all came before I had my own kids. They were the first little guys to show me the true meaning of unconditional love.
I remember everything about having my kids. The love I felt especially, but also all of the unknowns; what to do next, how to raise a happy baby… questions that I’m sure every new mom has.
After having our second child, I didn’t question things…it was ‘easier’ the second time around. But I still remember not knowing anything when my first was born. It was really hard for me after the birth of my oldest. I cried a lot. I was exhausted. I had no idea what to expect.
Wanted or not, I was given advice. Nurses at the hospital telling you so many different things. How to do this, how to do that. What not to do and what you should be doing. To be honest, looking back, it’s annoying! Every person and every baby is different. Every experience is going to be different. And while advice should always be welcome, and opinions are just that – opinions, its hard to know what’s what when you become a mom for the first time.
Once you are home from the hospital, you are on your own. And besides going to the people in your life who have been through it, you pretty much have to figure it out by yourself…fast.
My sister-in-law, and about-to-be mom for the first time, was over at my house the other day. And we started talking about the usual…how she is feeling…is she ready…does she have any questions about labour or what to expect to feel afterwards. You know, the stuff NO ONE tells you.
After telling her what she must do (Peri bottle and donut – who’s with me ladies?) she got to telling me that a lot of her friends (who also recently became a mom for the first time) were telling her all of their stories and giving their advice. Some of which I’m sure was helpful. But also some which were scary, especially for someone going through this for the first time. You know, those things you just don’t want to hear! How painful it is. The epidural didn’t work. Back labour? I mean come on friends…just because you had it, does not mean everyone else will! You really have to watch what you tell people about your own labour horror.
What I know is that the only piece of information you should share is what worked for you…in order to help the new mom. Doesn’t mean its right. Doesn’t mean its going to work for this mom and baby, but its an experience. Guidance.
And while we were having our talk, I gave her a piece of advice someone gave me. Advice that I still use 5 years later and will never ever forget. It is the only advice I will give to any mom-to-be or new mom in my life.
GO WITH YOUR GUT.
You are the only one with that maternal instinct to know what to do with your child. You are the only one who knows the ins and outs of your baby and how they act to know what you should do. Trust yourself. Trust your instincts. And if you do that, you will be fine.
It was then, after that advice was given to me, that I started to relax and become a better mom. When I trusted myself. When I listened to myself.
So when that nurse, or your mother or mother in law says “get rid of that pacifier”, or “put a blanket on the baby he’s too cold”, ask yourself, what DO I think. And do what works for you and your baby.
So while I won’t give unsolicited pieces of advice with my (almost) 5 years of motherly wisdom, I will always be there to lend a hand. That’s probably the best thing us moms really need.
Were you ever given unwanted advice? Or any great advice that you want to share?