Guest Post: The Things We Would Blog

A Letter From One New Mother to Another from Teresa of The Things We Would Blog

When Michelle asked me to contribute a post to her blog while she is out with her new baby girl I was enthusiastic but not at all sure what I should write. As a first time mom to a five week old baby I'm hardly qualified to be doling out advice to new mamas! I asked my own mother what she thought I should write and she suggested that I write a letter to Michelle, so here it goes...

Dear Michelle,

Congrats on the arrival of your new baby girl! I'm only a few weeks ahead of you but I guess I can still say welcome to the club. :) These first five weeks have been simultaneously the most exhausting and wondrous of my life. When people called the first three months of baby's life the "4th Trimester" I really had no concept of what that meant. I knew I was being naive to think my maternity leave would be a nice summer vacay but I guess I didn't know how all-consuming newborns really are. I'm currently writing this on my iPhone with one hand during a quiet moment while breast feeding! Here are a few pieces of advice (mostly tried and true from mom's throughout the ages) that have kept me sane over the past few weeks. 

1) Don't go it alone. The number one thing that has kept me going through the long nights of feeding and days of crying has been getting help from others (especially my incredible mom). Don't be afraid to have a friend or family come and just hold the baby so you can have a break. 

2) Listen to everyone's advice and then choose what's best for you. During our five night hospital stay after Myles was born we had the privilege of learning from over 10 nurses. Each one had their own advice about everything from breast feeding to visitors. It could have been overwhelming to have so many opinions but instead I thought of myself as lucky to have so much wisdom to choose from.

3) Make time for yourself. This is the most cliche advice there is but that's because it's SO important. Take a bath, go to the store alone, have a cup if tea in the backyard, get a pedicure with your best friend. 

4) Find camaraderie. I have really enjoyed reading about others experiences online. When I get to the end of my rope it's great to read other people's advice and experiences with breastfeeding, sleeping, crying, etc. Feeding baby is very time consuming but leaves a lot of room for surfing the net on your phone! I've also loved spending time with other new mothers, there's nothing like being with someone who is in the same boat. 

5) It's okay to be honest. If you're over the moon about that little smile that just came across her face, if you're going crazy from sleep deprivation, if you're not sure about how well you're bonding with the baby, if you're love watching her sleep... it's okay to be honest. Patrick has been so great about encouraging me to embrace every moment and be okay with both the highs and lows. It's freeing to be honest. 

That's it from me, I look forward to getting some advice from you soon! Can't wait to see photos and hear stories about your new baby girl. 

xo, Teresa


Alexa said...

This is a perfectly honest and wonderful post. I was totally unprepared for newborn life after having my daughter. It's a whirlwind and it is wonderful and it is the hardest thing ever! It gets so much easier as time goes on and everyone adjusts. She's now 2.5 and I have a 2 month old son. It's amazing how much I forgot I loved to sleep...because here I am again in the newborn fog. It's both wonderful and exhausting. The days are long but the years seem very short. Enjoy your little one! :)

heather{land} said...

Theresa - I love your honesty. Obviously I am not there yet, but I enjoy reading the stories of how challenging it can be (or just plain IS) -- while the sugar-coated wonderfulness of some stories are great, it can really isolate those who don't feel the simultaneous love/want-to-cry-and-pull-my-hair out feelings that many women experience!