12 truths and tips for first time moms

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Don’t let the demands of motherhood get you down. Consider these truths and tips for first time moms to have more joyful, less-stressful moments with your baby.

Motherhood and raising a child do not come with a manual.   But you can relish the ride more and make it less bumpy if you keep in mind these truths and tips for first time moms.

1. Motherhood is not a competition.  It’s not a contest to see who looks best in night clothes with only three hours of sleep in two days, or whose baby cries less or crawls faster. Resist comparing your child to your neighbor’s and yourself to another mom. Each of you is on a unique journey.

Also, ignore big time “toxic” people like that maddening mom who keeps bragging about her baby’s feats and how she can cook, clean the house, and burp the baby all at the same time.

2. You are not bad or doomed if you don’t breastfeed.  This is probably one of the best tips for first time moms ever given. What’s important is that you are giving your baby the best that you can. If breastfeeding doesn’t work, there’s always formula.

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Always have extra clothes and diapers on-hand when travelling with a baby or a toddler.

3. Extras are essential.  Spills, spits, splatters, leaks, and other startling and surprising occurrences are a given when you move around with an infant.

So, always have extra diapers, extra wipes, extra clothes, extra water, extra milk, extra toys, and extra doses of patience on hand especially when traveling.

4. Advice is good but you don’t always have to accept it no matter how sincere, well-meaning, and close to you the giver is. Keep an open mind but don’t feel obligated to agree or follow, especially if an advice is unsolicited and adds to the confusion.

5. It’s okay to say no to invites, requests, and other activities that will wreak havoc on your baby’s schedule and make you even more worn out than you already are.

But do say yes to offers of help and babysitting even if only for a few minutes. A break from the baby every now and then is beneficial especially if you look after your child 24/7.

6. You are not clueless.  It may seem so at times and certain situations may overwhelm or befuddle you (Why is my baby’s poop green? Why is there no milk coming out? Why is my baby crying again??!!), but other moms have gone through these as well.

You have instincts and you love your child and want the best for him. These will guide you in making sensible decisions.

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As fun as being a mom is, sometimes it can be exhausting. Go ahead and cry out your frustrations.

7. It’s okay to cry.  We are all human and crying can be cathartic. Just don’t do it every day and no wallowing in self-pity. Make sure that you never take out your weariness and frustration on your child either. You will snap out of that blue funk soon.

8. “Selfies” are not allowed.  “Selfies” here mean self-diagnosis and self-medication. If your child is behaving oddly, is ill, won’t feed, or is in distress, bring him to the doctor without delay. Same goes for you if you’re not feeling well. And please, if you truly value your health and your baby’s, do as the doctor says.

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Stressed out? Ask your husband for help.

9. Involve hubby in diaper duty and other baby-related endeavors.  This will give you more time to rest and sleep while allowing dad and child to bond and get to know each other. In addition, you can hire a nanny or a part-time maid to assist you in household chores and other tiring tasks.

10. Be kind to yourself.  “To survive and thrive as a Mom, you will need to be very, very kind to yourself,” says Amy Tiemann, Ph.D. in her book Mojo Mom (Nurturing Your Self While Raising a Family).

Like your baby, you deserve some TLC. Have an occasional massage. Allot time for exercise, reading, and other leisurely pursuits. Reconnect with friends or former office mates. These activities will keep you invigorated and will restore your sanity amid the chaos and changes of motherhood.

11. Enjoy your baby and being a mom.  Children are only young once so spend and savor as much time with your son or daughter as you can. Take pictures and videos to preserve these precious moments.

Do not be a worrywart who overanalyzes every move and blames herself pointlessly. Parenting is not a perfect art.

12. You will become a better and wiser person, thanks to all your mommy escapades and misadventures.

What other tips for first time moms would you like to share?

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