10 Things Every New Mom Should Know

With Gunner's first birthday just passing, I've spent a lot of time thinking back on the days he was first born. Those days were beautiful but also tough, and there are about ten thousand different things I wish people had told me. Thus, the idea for this post was born. Here are the top ten things I think every new mom should know...
1) Not everyone has that "magic moment." I loved Gunner from the get go, no doubt, but I didn't have that instant connection with him. Some people have that emotional, magic moment as soon as their baby is born, others take a little longer to connect deeply with their child...neither is wrong, just different.

2) It gets better. The first few weeks can be rough...there's little sleep, hormone levels through the roof, and someone that depends on you twenty four hours a day...BUT it gets better! Soon enough that sweet babe will sleep longer and smile at you, and the combination of those two makes everything easier!

3) Everything takes time. Your baby sleeping through the night? It takes time. Your baby napping on a regular schedule? It takes time. Getting your own body back into decent shape? It takes time. It's okay if all of those things (and more) don't happen right away. Give yourself grace and more grace.

4) Just say "no." Visitors are great, and they mean well...but, they can be a little overwhelming too. Gunner was born on a Thursday and we chose to give ourselves a break the Monday after that and request that no visitors stopped by. We had to turn some people down and I felt a little guilty about that, but it was important to just have some quiet, alone time. It's okay to say no to the constant barrage of visitors. 

5) But remember to say "yes" too! While it's important to say "no" sometimes, it's also important to say "yes"...as in "yes" to all of the people who offer to wash the dishes, do your laundry, sweep the kitchen, take the dog for a walk. Accepting help is 100% okay!

6) Don't let people create a problem. I remember fretting about the fact that Gunner wasn't napping much in his crib. He napped best when being held or curled up in his Boppy next to me. I guess I was fretting because so many people were asking how his nap schedule was or how well he slept in his crib, but I soon realized that I didn't mind having to hold him or be near him for naps...in fact, I enjoyed it. So, Gunner didn't nap in his crib for awhile? Not a problem for me. Don't let other people's opinions or concerns (even those well intentioned ones) cause you to think there's a problem. 

7) You only need basics in the beginning. I'm a big proponent of registering for EVERYTHING. Seriously, Cody and I only had to buy our baby monitor. BUT, if you don't get it all, that's okay. You only need basics -- bottles, onesies, burp rags, diapers, swaddle blankets -- in the beginning. All of the fun toys -- bouncy seat, exersaucer, play mat -- you can buy those later. 

8) It's okay to take time for yourself. For the first few weeks I felt really guilty about leaving Gunner for any reason. I only showered when he slept and I rarely left the house. I'm not saying that there's anything wrong with wanting to be near your newborn, but it is okay to take time for yourself. Get a pedicure, take a little nap when family is watching baby, go for a drive to Sonic...just do something for you. 

9) Do what's right for you and your baby. I got some hateful comments after this post about sleep training and Gunner, but we did what was right for our family and for our son. We've altered and changed things along the way, but we've always done what we think is best. People have strong, sometimes over the top, opinions on things...they have the right to have those opinions, but you also have the right to do what you think is best for your child. 

10) Reach out. If you find yourself feeling lost, confused, or down, reach out. I have yet to meet another mother who doesn't enjoy offering advice or help to another mother in need. Sometimes it just feels good to talk with someone else who understands. But, of course, if you find yourself feeling overly depressed or down, reach out to a medical professional. PPD is nothing to mess around with. 

So those are my ten things, what would you add to the list?

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