No matter what you think you know about pregnancy, childbirth, or parenting nothing will end up the way you expect it to. But as hard as it may be, you can always take comfort that things do get easier as time goes on and you will start to figure things out. Becoming a mom for a second time, you have some experience under your belt and can draw from your past experiences when navigating parenthood again.
That’s not to say motherhood the second time around is easier, just different. You may have experience under your belt but you also have another child that’s demanding your love, attention, and care too. In fact, I can't quite decide which was more difficult the arrival of my first daughter or the second. Even between babies in the same family, no two are exactly the same so you’ll have to be flexible and trust your gut. Kids are programmed to keep you on your toes but I came up with 3 Tips for New Moms I wish I had learned when my oldest daughter arrived.
3 Tips for New Moms
- Accept help. People want to help…let them. I pride myself on being independent and maybe even a bit of a control freak at times. My type-A personality sometimes makes life more difficult than it has to be because I like things just so. But when I was recovering from my delivery with my youngest and getting the hang of parenting more than one child I learned to accept help. You’re not weaker because of it – things will still get done, it doesn’t matter how they’re done it’s that they’re done. And really, in the grand scheme of things is it worth it to stress over how the dishwasher is loaded? Any volunteers to clean my kitchen?
- Focus on being the best mom you can be. Don't compare yourself to other moms, books, or even your own expectations. Good or bad, everyone has a different different circumstances and challenges they face. There are so many debates on what makes a good mom from your method of childbirth to feeding, diapering, and the choice baby products amongst expecting parents but these are also very personal decisions. Whether you agree or not, most moms makes the decisions they feel are best for their baby.
- Time speeds up when you have kids. This stage will be over before you know it. Take lots of pictures, videos, and make notes. This precious time goes by way too quickly and you’ll want to look back on all of these moments one day. First smiles, growth statistics, and when they begin talking the silly things they say are things you might forget but writing it down or taking a picture/video will help keep things alive forever. And don't forget to make time for play, to be silly, and smell the roses. Your child needing you the way they do when they're young won't last forever, the other stuff can wait.
I've only been at this parenting thing for four years now but it seems like there's something new to learn or experience every day. While it's not always an easy road, it's a journey that I would do 100 times over because it is so gratifying and continues to fill my heart with love and joy.