There is a lot of advice that I could give to myself in previous stages of life, like the single-and-dating Sarah or high school Sarah. (There is definitely a lot of advice that I would give to my high-school self.) In every stage of life we meet new challenges and opportunities for change and growth, and I think this is why it’s so easy to look back and say, “I wish I would have…”, because we now know better.
As a mom for the past four years (still a novice), I can already look back and stay to my new-mom self, “Hey, do this,” or “Hey, don’t do that.” And whenever I see a new mom fretting over the same stuff I used to, I remember how hard it was at first and how grateful I am for the lessons I’ve learned.
If I could talk to myself as a new mom four years ago, this is what I’d like to say…
1) Worrying won’t do you any good.
The baby won’t eat. The baby won’t sleep. The baby is eating too much. The baby won’t poop. The poop looks weird! Is it normal for his tummy to stick out like that? Why isn’t he gaining weight? Oh man, he has gained way too much weight. He can’t breath with all that snot! Why is he still waking up at night? Why doesn’t he want to nap? Just stop. And DON’T google every little concern (just the major ones, right?).
ALL of this worrying just causes you to have anxiety. Rather, have faith in your baby, in yourself, in God or whatever you believe in, and just know that things will be OK. Most of my concerns have worked themselves out in just a couple days.
2) Allow yourself to learn.
It’s okay that you don’t have it all figured out as a mom. It’s also okay that you may not be the same mom as your friend, neighbor, mom, or mother-in-law. You are learning what motherhood is for you, so be patient with yourself. It’s okay to not always have the answers.
3) Don’t be afraid to get out.
Getting out of the house is good for you and the baby. Don’t worry about what could go wrong. If there is a little “chaos”, then so be it. You will both adapt and before you know it, be it store trips or road trips, traveling with kids will be no big deal.
4) Be willing to try different things.
5) Listen to your instincts.
To be honest, this order isn’t the best. Pray first and then maybe the other two steps will be much easier. At times when you feel confused, lost, and alone on how to handle a situation, God has the answer for you.
7) All kids are different.
Your kid is different from everyone else’s and even your own kids will be different from each other. Let it be that way. Don’t compare to the others and just let your kid be unique. Embrace their personalities and let the milestones come when they come.
8) Enjoy it all.
Your attitude is everything. Your mood is infectious. When you’re uptight, it affects everyone, especially your kids. When you relax and enjoy whatever comes your way, everyone loves life a little bit more. So, relax and have fun with motherhood.
What are some things that you would tell your past self?