Guest Post: Free to Be Lea

Hello friends of Michelle! I'm Lea from Free to Be Lea, and I was thrilled and honored when Michelle asked me to guest post on Lovely Little Things!

This year I became a first time mommy myself, and I'm so excited for Michelle to meet her baby girl and experience the magic of motherhood. I had my baby boy (Tommy) last November, and it has been a beautiful ride, so I thought I'd share a few SIMPLE and helpful tips that have helped me along the way.
My son was born 3 months early. YES you read that right, 3 months! Thankfully he is happy, healthy and thriving. I can remember looking into that incubator and thinking two things. First...... I love him so much and second.... I wish he would hurry up and GROW so I can take him home! Well, guess what? He did grow, and he's been growing at a lightning speed ever since! I look back at old pictures and can't believe how much he changes from day to day, which brings me to my first tip.

Tip #1 
Everyone tells you to enjoy it, because they grow so fast and it's true! Document it as much as you can. You don't want to miss a thing, so grab your camera, iphone, whatever. You'll be so glad you did.

Tip #2 
Sleep when the baby sleeps. Seems easy enough right? It's what EVERYONE tells you to do! This was a tough one for me, because I love to take care of my house, cook, blog, facebook, whatever! I had to remind myself that to be a good mother to Tommy I had to take care of MYSELF first. Here's the secret. Babies sleep a lot, especially at first, so even if you sleep during just one of their naps you will feel refreshed and revived to not only be a good mother but to do the things you enjoy. I chose to sleep during my sons first morning nap. That way, I had more energy for the rest of the day. I'm also a bit lucky to have a husband who works from home. He takes Tommy for 2 hours in the morning so I can sleep in. I know. I'm a lucky girl!

Tip #3 
It seems like people have a baby, and they forget their first babies. The animals! True, it's hard to give the same attention you used to give your pet when you have a new baby in the house, but they should be included as much as possible. Having a new baby is an adjustment for everyone, even your pet, so make sure to include them. Afterall, pets are part of the family too!  Even if it's just laying next to you on the couch while you feed the baby, make them feel included. Pets are great for children. Pets teach children to be gentle, loving and more compassionate adults. As you can see Tommy loves my little buddy Jake!

Tip #4
As I said above, my baby was a preemie. The road has been a rollar coaster of challenges and emotions, but at the end of the day, I am blessed to have a healthy and happy baby boy! Being a new mom can be stressful at times, but I keep reminding myself to go with the flow. Trust your instincts. Every mother has them and they will never steer you wrong. Get rid of the baby books, limit the googling, appreciate other moms advice but listen to your baby! Every baby is different and you learn as you go.
Most of all enjoy every single moment. It's the toughest but most rewarding job you will ever have in your life. Don't get me wrong, I've had my days where I fantasized about having a nanny but then I realize I am blessed that I don't! I have the luxury of staying home with my son to be a full time mom. It's ME who gets to see all his firsts and not some nanny! I get to see his first gummy smile, giggle, roll, crawl, kiss, transition to solids, everything!  And I wouldn't trade that for the world! 
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