TRUST YOUR MOM GUT
When you’re a new mama, there are lots of people who are going to give you advice. This is great…and terrible. But you won’t really understand until you experience it yourself. You’ll get conflicting information, get irrelevant advice, hear from people whom you barely know, and be advised to do things that totally go against your gut feeling.
Seriously, I distinctly remember getting a long, detailed tutorial on breast feeding from one of my male coworkers. Um, thanks but no thanks. Like I said, some advice you’ll get will be absolutely amazing. So helpful, and so supportive. But navigating it all can be challenging at the beginning. Looking back, I wish someone had told me this BEFORE I brought my baby home. Here are some ways to navigate advice you’ll be bombarded with:
Listen, then research.
Ok, so there will be things you hear that make your ears perk up a little. It might be something that sounds super interesting or something that sounds a little off — regardless research it. Ask your OB or ask a mama you know and trust what her experience was. Google it. Check for blogs or first hand accounts. Read the forums. Search Pinterest. Trust me, if you want to find information on something related to pregnancy, parenting or newborns — you’re gonna be able to find it somewhere. Sometimes you’ll get great tidbits this way — or you’ll really learn how to avoid baby conversations with certain people just to be sure you don’t have to hear any more bizarro suggestions.
Everyone has different experiences. I can remember hearing birth story after horrific birth story, tales of sleepless nights, horror stories of mamas who had to do elimination diets until they were eating practically the same thing for every mean while breastfeeding to hopefully alleviate a super gassy babe, it goes on and on. But just know that every mama and baby duo is soooo different. Each and every experience is your own. You might handle something totally different than another mama placed in the exact same scenario. So, take everything into consideration before you freak out. Your baby might sleep great, you might have the smoothest, quickest birth in history. There is no need to worry or be anxious, it’s all in the hands of our Father anyway!
Stand your ground.
Don’t let anyone bully you into feeling inadequate. Ok, I know the term “bully” is kind of thrown around a lot lately, but what I mean is don’t let anyone make you feel like you don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to your motherhood journey. This is something I still struggle with, it’s not always easy. But God entrusted you to be the steward of the children you were given. Truly. He hand chose you for your child and He knows what he’s doing. So don’t waver, because when you know — you know. Holdfast to that and don’t let someone tell you otherwise.
Mom gut. It’s real.
I remember thinking “how can I remember all of this?! How will I know what to do?!” As someone who’s been around babies my whole life, I never anticipated I would feel clueless. But, babe, when that tiny human is solely YOUR responsibility, the world shifts. One thing I didn’t realize was that God programmed mamas with a mom gut. No joke, it exists. You’ll feel it. You just know. It clicks. You won’t feel it right away, but there will be a moment, and you’ll hear yourself responding to someone. You’ll think,
“Did that come out of my mouth? Dang. I sound like a boss mama. I know what I’m talking about. Psh.”
At some point you will just know what the best thing for your child is, and what they need. You won’t second guess yourself anymore, you will be confident in your decisions. But be patient and give it some time, it might take a couple months! So don’t panic when you don’t have an overwhelming sense of calm confidence when you’re handed your little bundle. Lots of mamas come into their own in time.
Basically just know that not everything that works for baby Johnny and Sally will work for you. Don’t be afraid to say that, or to contradict whatever the popular way of doing things seems to be. There is no bigger advocate for your child than you. Either way, keep your chin up, Mama. You’re doing great.