Relaxing Into Motherhood: Advice for any new parent!
Updated: May 30, 2019
Be honest: how many of you have said, ‘when I have a child, I will never do X, Y or Z’?
How many of you have quietly judged the actions of a mum you know, vowing to be better when you have your own?
We all do it. And then we have our own child, and suddenly, everything changes.
‘I won’t ever sit my child in front of a TV’.
Listen Susan, judge all you want but Baby TV is the best baby sitter ever. I can actually eat at the same time as my partner!
‘I’ll definitely give up breastfeeding by the time he has teeth.’
Janet, once you have figured out that breastfeeding solves almost problem instantly, you’ll dread trying to parent without it! And I enjoy the bond so much, I’ll do it for as long as it feel right for us.
By all means, plan for parenthood and prepare where you can. You may feel there are some non-negotiables. But be open to your baby leading you. Yes, I thought my baby would sleep in a crib from day dot. When he didn’t, I panicked and I moaned and then I learned to just go with my instincts. I never dreamed I’d bedshare, but that’s what my daughter needs - to be close to me and to breastfeed in the night. Yes I thought my partner and I might actually have an hour together when my child slept upstairs alone, but this baby had other plans. And I secretly quite enjoy these snuggles because I know one day she won’t need me to cuddle her anymore.
Relax yourself into motherhood. Follow your instincts. I didn’t know what this really meant until I had a baby because I assumed I needed to learn how to be a mum. I turned to the internet to ‘learn’ what to do. But if you are a responsive parent who believes in forming strong attachments with you child, you will know what to do. If your child cries, pick them up. Comfort them. Don’t worry about this mythical ability to ‘self-soothe’. They’re too young to be manipulating you! They just need you! If they want to be close to you at night, let them be. They were literally attached to you for 9 months - of course they don’t want to sleep on their own!
Of course be safe and careful; follow the safe sleep guidance for example. And do not ever feel guilty for needing 5 minutes to yourself. But don’t ever let a random online article or another person dictate how you parent if it goes against your instincts. You know you child best and what they need - and yes, that might look very different to how you expected, but that’s what will make you an amazing parent because you’re willing to adapt your life to them. And it will be so worth it. They will change your life and your outlook.
What is the biggest lesson you've learned as a parent? What advice would you give a new parent? Comment to let us know and like the post if you enjoyed the read!