My husband reminded me today that our son will be a year old in one week. I have to say this has been the fastest year of my life. I literally feel like we brought him home from the hospital yesterday, yet I cannot imagine life before him.
I’m a little sad I won’t have a “baby” baby anymore, but he’ll always be my baby right? I have to remind myself that I love the stage he’s in now. As adorable as a newborn is, having a tiny baby was terrifying for me. Plus my hormones were all over the place, I was recovering from delivery, and I didn’t really “know” him yet. Now I get smiles and snuggles and it’s the best thing in the world. I know what he likes and doesn’t like, and I also can anticipate I’ll get a decent night’s sleep every evening.
Since I have so many friends that are either pregnant or have newborns I thought I’d make a post about some new mom do’s and don’ts…you know now that I’m such a “seasoned” mother.
Don’t feel bad about changing your mind.
I had so many rules in place before Soy Bean was born. He was never going to have a pacifier or a bottle, he wasn’t going to start solids until six months, and so on. Well I went against so many of these “rules” and it all worked out for the best. Plus, I can’t imagine life without a pacifier, especially in those early months.
Do ask for help.
Other moms are your best resource here. They’ve been there. Whether it’s your mom or other mom friends they are going to know what you need help with. Husbands might need a little more guidance here…just tell them what to do…
Don’t lie to your doctor (or yourself).
This is one of my biggest regrets. Honestly, we don’t do enough for new moms when it comes to healthcare. When you’re pregnant everyone is looking out for you and the baby. Once the baby is born, all the attention is off of you. After Soy Bean and I left the hospital I had a visit with my doctor two days later to check my incision and then saw him six weeks later. At my six week appointment I was given a survey to screen for postpartum depression. I scored rather high on it, but when I was asked about it I dismissed the results. I said I was feeling better and I attributed my high score to being tired and having a new baby at home. Months later I found myself sitting at my desk at work considering driving myself to the ER because I have dealing with such crushing anxiety and depression. Instead I called my doctor and they saw me as soon as I could get in. Since then I’ve been receiving treatment for postpartum anxiety and OCD and honestly, when I talk to other mothers about this I realize I am in good company. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, don’t lie to yourself and get help.
Do have a date night.
Marriage certainly changes after you have a baby. While my relationship with my husband has always involved a child, life with a baby is quite different. It’s important to make time for you as a couple. I know there’s a lot of guilt about going out without your baby but it’s important to have time with your spouse. My husband and I are lucky to have parents who babysit for us. We’ve had a few date nights and even a night away! Anytime you can make for the two of you is sacred when you have a little one. Even if it’s just dinner on the deck after the baby is asleep. Having an adult conversation while eating with both hands free is pretty refreshing!
Don’t be afraid to take the baby outside.
My PPA probably did not help with this, but I used to be terrified to drive with the baby in the car and take him into a store. Now it’s one of my favorite things to do. Soy Bean and I love Target! If you stay home all day you’ll develop some major cabin fever. I encourage moms to get out there, plus once you get used to taking the baby out it does get easier.
Do go shopping for yourself.
Most likely, unless you’re very lucky, your pre baby clothes are not going to fit for awhile and who wants to wear maternity clothes after you’ve had a baby? (Well except for the jeans, God I love my maternity jeans) Go shopping, get some comfortable outfits that make you feel good. Chances are it’s going to take awhile for you to feel like yourself again (I’m still working on it for sure), but having a new outfit can really lift your spirits. Get your nails done while you’re at it, because that beautiful pregnancy hair is going to start falling out and you’ll need the distraction.
Well I hope I didn’t scare anyone away from having kids. It’s been the most amazing experience so far. My husband and I marvel at Soy Bean and can’t believe we actually made him. It’s amazing to watch him grow and see his personality shine. Year one has been an experience for sure!