Today's post topic makes me laugh out loud because I really need to be reminded of this advice. If you follow me on instagram (or you heard it from my mother) you might know we are expecting baby Canning #6! New life in our house is a really exciting thing- I love what God is doing in our lives with this new baby.
But of course, pregnancy and child raising isn't always an easy task. This time around- very much a first- I am so incredibly nauseous at night time. Night time, incase you aren't aware, is sacred time for moms with small kids! It is QUIET, SANITY RESTORING, NO ONE IS WHINING TIME. So to feel sick when I typically recharge the batteries has been a bit of a transition. And a big time challenge.
So if you are a new parent- or are currently pregnant and exhausted- I am with you. And you are awesome. And today's post is particularly aimed at new parents who are feeling overwhelmed- from a fellow mom of soon-to-be 6 who needs these reminders all the time. I hope these small tips help to reduce your overwhelm.
1. BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF
I think a big challenge that comes with being a new parent is feeling like you are in such unfamiliar territory. There is no rule book when it comes to parenting- but when you go online or join a motherhood Facebook group SURPRISE! there appears to be a million rule books that you somehow missed the memo on.
Another big challenge today is that comparison is so easy in the land of digital perfect-ness. I find instagram particularly dangerous for this- as while everything might be glamorous and oh-so-put-tgoether in 9 little squares, it can be easy to forget that there might very well be a whole other story unfolding behind the camera lens.
Parenting is a skill- and like any other skill, can take time to develop. Some people fall into parenthood with ease. For others the learning curve might be higher. The key takeaway here is to be gentle with yourself and not compare yourself too much to other people. You can do this.
2. FILTER THE ADVICE
You will get SO MUCH ADVICE as a new parent, or newly pregnant person. Don't eat this, don't do this, this will harm your child, this will harm you, you're not doing enough, you're doing too much, blah blah blah blah blah blah. And while there is a lot of really great advice out there- I really recommend you filter it. As I mentioned above, when you are a new parent you are in unchartered waters. You don't have the confidence that comes from doing things with experience. So while advice is great and can often be helpful, my suggestion is to filter it. Take the advice, welcome the advice, but then filter it on your own.
At the end of the day it is YOUR child you are raising, and YOU, not a collective group of people, are responsible for their safety, development, and character at the end of the day. So the decision to act on advice is yours, no matter how loud the voices.
3. TREASURE THIS TIME
The very early days of new parenthood can be a bit of a groggy mess. Your body is getting used to a new normal, your schedule is totally different, your entire existence has changed- and this is a great thing. You are now a mom. You MADE A PERSON. And that is pretty incredible and such an accomplishment.
I remember talking to a friend of mine who lamented that they felt like all they did that day in terms of productivity was changed a diaper, took and shower and unloaded the dishwasher- and what a stark comparison this was to the fast-paced productive life they lived prior to having their first baby.
Boy can I relate to this- as someone who has Acheiver in my top Strength Finder strengths I can attest that it can feel like your level of productivity goes way down. But this is simply not true. The mere act of bonding with your baby, being present to them, giving them the security, the comfort, and presence ONLY YOU CAN GIVE THEM AS THEIR MOM is being productive. Sure, it can feel like you did not do anything all day but let me assure you that being this babies' mother is the most important thing you are doing right now AND ONLY YOU CAN DO THIS.
So treasure this time- it is so special.
This is stuff I wish I had heard when I was a mom for the very first time. If you found this helpful I would love to know in the comments below.
KEEP YOUR SANITY