MOTHER KNOWS BEST
The minute you announce your pregnancy you will be inundated with advice, tips and how to’s from your family, friends and the nosey neighbour. Every bit of help and information you receive is useful and no doubt will come handy in those aaaah what do I do moments but the best advice anyone can give you is to trust your own instincts, after all. Mother knows best.
Oh ye of little faith
People will offer advice because they want to feel like they are helping. Always listen to what they must say, you never know when you might need it but always trust your own instincts first, after all, you know baby better than anyone. Many mums will struggle with being given advice and see it as a criticism but this isn’t true, for example a midwife may correct your feeding position, but it might just not work for you. Feed in the position that works for you and your baby, with what you are most comfortable with, if it doesn’t pose any risks.
Push off peer pressure.
There isn’t an expectation that you have to live up too, remember that, there is no such thing as a perfect parent. Put yours and babies needs ahead of others, you and baby are what are important. There is so much pressure around parenting it can be daunting, for example mothers feel compelled to attempt breastfeeding with ‘breast is best’ splattered everywhere on hospital posters etc. If you don’t feel able to do it, then don’t. If you have chosen something else, that’s okay. Never feel pressurised by anyone or anything, you will feel the added pressure of posters and other people’s words after birth as they prey on your low mood and hormone havoc.
Thou shall not compare.
Like each baby is different, so is mum. Don’t measure yourself against other parents or experiences, write your own story. There is no point in comparing your labour with friends, so she had a natural birth and you had a C-section, it doesn’t make you any less of a mother and it certainly doesn’t mean you are a rubbish one, each birth has different circumstances.
Don’t judge yourself unfairly
You cannot control labour, it is a force to be reckoned with and you can only control life with a newborn to a certain extent, but you shouldn’t feel any bit a failure for not making it out the door by 9am or not getting through labour without drug intervention. There are all sorts of reasons as to why things don’t go the way that you want them too but as my grandmother always used to say ‘Don’t beat yourself up over it, it’s not the end of the world’ If something isn’t going to plan, take a breath and give it time, remember, you just bought a human into the world, it’s okay, to not be okay.
They won’t always go wrong
You will have bad days, there is no doubt about it and it’s easy to think you’re having a terrible day once the baby has crapped on your hands, the washing machine won’t work, and your routine sleeper wont nap on time but remember this is just one day. When you are having a bad day, you will automatically maximise the bad things and minimise the good things that have happened that day. The things that went wrong today won’t always go wrong, and if they happen again, you will now know how to deal with them and be prepared.
Live in the now not the then
We all have those aims and dreams of how we want to parent and what we want parenthood to look like but it’s not always possible or even realistic. Don’t beat yourself down on something that can’t be helped, so your trying to wean from breast to bottle and he’s screaming blue murder because you don’t have the formula and don’t have time to go to the shop, revert to breast on this occasion, think in the now - he is hungry now, what can I do now. If you brood on the past you will relive it and feel anxious, enjoy the moments and live in the now!