Four Months in: What Motherhood is Teaching me.
When it comes to first time mothers a lot of advice isn’t helpful. I’m still confused a lot. I still doubt myself a lot. Having a child erases everything you thought you knew and reverts you back to a clean plate. There is no definitive way to raise all babies there is no one answer to breastfeeding, to getting your baby to stop wailing in the middle of the afternoon. Every baby is different. Every motherhood experience is different.
My sister is a mom of a one year old, she breastfed. She went back to work after six weeks. Now she stays home with her toddler and is apart of everything that she’s doing and experiencing. She is one of those people who gives advice readily whose opinion about any and everything is always right on the beginning of her tongue even if it is unwarranted. I know she means well but a lot of her advice is ridden in her beliefs in her own experience and doesn’t fit with what I’m experiencing.
So, motherhood is trusting your own gut (even when you’re doubtful) over someone else’s advice.
Another thing is I’ve had to teach myself not to wait on or expect help. Majority of the time people don’t really want to be around a baby for the crying, changing diaper and teething. They only want to be around a well fed, clean happy baby. And that is okay.
Establishing a routine with my daughter Sage has helped even though it’s a loose schedule every morning I try and play a playlist of happy feel good songs while she has her morning nurse. This helps me to start the day off positive even if it’s 7 am and I’ve woken up four times throughout the night to nurse her. After she’s fed we usually read a book or two and I eat breakfast. It also allows me to spend quality time with her from the very start of the day.
Every day I’m reminded to listen to my daughter. Really listen to the sounds she makes, the different pitches of crying or whining to figure out what she needs or wants at the moment. Watching her body language in new situations gives me insight on how she feels about big groups of people or super loud noises. I think people forget (I do at times) that babies are just like everyone else but smaller. Bright lights irritate them, loud noise scares them. They are experiencing everything for the first time. Being as gentle and as kind as possible with them helps them feel safe and secure.
The most important thing I’ve had to learn though is to be gentle with myself. Self care is very important as a mother. Taking even a 2 minute shower in between short cat naps my daughter has helps me to feel refreshed for the rest of the day. Being a new mum I have to be gentle with myself. I’m going to make mistakes and have to figure out things through trial and error and probably make the same mistake again before getting it right but that is ok. Motherhood is a trying experience but more so it is a freeing experience. Enjoying the moment. Feeling and expelling in love always.