I have wanted to write a post like this for a while now, but haven't gotten around to it until now because...well you know...#mumlife. While going through this newborn phase for the second time, it has reminded me of when I went through it with Piper, and everything I felt then.
I wish I could go back and tell myself these things during that period because, while it's such an incredibly special time, it is also incredibly difficult. I hope any mother who ever feels like she isn't doing a good enough job knows that she IS. If you feel overwhelmed and worried, then chances are you are an incredible mother because it means that you CARE. And that's what babies need the very most.
#1 TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
Your way is the best way. There are thousands and thousands of books out there about how to raise your child, but a mother's instinct is so real, and YOU know what is best for YOUR child. Of course, read and study so you are informed, but don't ever let anyone make you feel bad for doing something if you feel like it is right. I have had so many experiences where I felt like I needed to take Piper into the doctor, or I needed to start doing this or that, and even though people did't agree or told me not to worry about it - I was right every.single.time. Trust yourself, and trust your gut feelings.
#2 YOU DON'T NEED ALL THE MOST EXPENSIVE THINGS
When I was pregnant with Piper, I was working full-time, and Jordan was a full-time college students working part-time. We did not have a lot of extra money, but we still felt like it was right to start our family. I worked part-time from home after I had Pipes, so money was even tighter, but we made it work. I think social media can make you feel like you HAVE to have all these things for your baby, when in reality, you don't. Obviously their basic needs must be met, but you don't HAVE to have a crazy nice bassinet, or super trendy clothes. They'll probably poop through them anyway! Guess what, your baby isn't going to know if their nursery isn't designed with the fanciest decor. They don't care haha. Now that Jordan is working full-time, we aren't so tight, and we've been able to venture out and buy a little nicer equipment, but it isn't necessary and both you and the baby will be JUST FINE without the latest items.
#3 THE NEWBORN PHASE REALLY DOES GO SO FAST!
I used to laugh every time I heard a mother say, "how is my baby already X months???", until I had a baby of my own, and then I was like, "HOOOOW?????????". It goes by faster than you'll think. Soak up every single second of that newborn phase. EVERY second. You'll feel like you're not being productive, and you need to get things done, but don't! Everything else can wait. There is nothing else in the world like those first few months. They are so special, and so fleeting. Take advantage of every cuddle.
#4 IT'S OKAY TO ASK FOR HELP
I don't think anyone particularly likes asking for help, but DO IT! It's such a challenging time, because you WHOLE life suddenly changes from literally one second to the next. You're trying to get to know this new baby, figure out breastfeeding (a whole different struggle in itself), let your body heal, and also try and stay on top of regular day-to-day things, BUT you're now also 100000x more exhausted than you've ever been before. You don't have to do it all by yourself. Let your husband, family, and friends help you. You'll need it.
#5 NO ONE HAS IT ALL TOGETHER
And if they seem like they do, they're great at hiding it. There are days when both babies go down for their naps, we get out of the house and do fun activities, I get a workout in, I make a homemade dinner, blah blah blah...and then there are days that it's just like, "WHAT THE CR*P IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?!?". There are days Jack just won't go down, Piper is crying while clinging onto my leg, and it's 3pm and I still haven' been able to even brush my teeth. There are days Piper smothers me with kisses, and other days when her ONLY response to everything is "no way". I don't think any mother really knows what they're doing - they're just figuring it out as they go! Don't ever compare yourself to another mother and her situation. We're all just doing the best we can!