With new baby coming soon I’m getting all kinds of sentimental (and anxious)…
As I’ve mentioned before I was a complete mess the first few months (Ok year. Ok more) after Jackson was born. Take a Type A person, mix in some hormones, and you’ve got a recipe for an anxious mess of a mom.
I still think I have a little but of PTSD and some nights I close my eyes at night and thinking that I hear crying but I’ve managed to get to a place where I’m more relaxed most of the time. I will always be a little more concerned about his sleep, illness, and if I’m spending enough time with him than maybe other mom’s and I’m ok with that.
But as I prepare for the next kiddo to arrive in a few short months, there are a few things that I will try to do differently the next time around.
- Relax more on his sleep – I STRESSED and over stressed about Jack’s sleep (still do sometimes). Was he getting enough (that’s when the brain develops, right); is he getting too much (don’t want him not to develop by sleeping too much); Am I teaching him how to sleep on his own or enabling him to need me to put him to sleep? will he ever nap longer than 20 minutes not in a swing or in my chest? I mean, I read books from just about every sleep speciality, tried every tool I could, and drove myself batty for most of his first year. And you know what, he sleeps great. He eventually ‘got it’ and falls asleep on his own, sleeps well most of the time and has developed quite nicely (despite not napping for the first few months of his life). So I’ll try to relax this time and understand that they’ll sleep when they sleep and ultimately will get enough and be fine ( but that doesn’t mean I won’t try and help him along with the process. I mean I’m still Type A, HA!)
- Ask for more help – I need to realize that I’m don’t need to be the only one taking care of him. That it’s ok if others help out and that doesn’t mean I’m being less of a mom or not doing my job. And I’ll also ask for help with things that I can’t get to because I’m busy holding a baby who won’t sleep.. 😉
- Give myself more grace when it comes to nursing – I was very fortunate in that nursing came relatively easy for me the first time. I appreciated being able to nurse my baby and give him all the nutrients and bonding that I could. But, like most things in parenting, I put too much pressure on myself to make it fully on breast milk until the 1st year.
I feel there is a definite emphasis culturally right now that nursing is the only and best way to feed your baby and you’re somehow less of a mother if you don’t. But this is so not true and there are many wonderful women who give their baby all they have but for whatever reason are not able to nurse, or to nurse as long as they want.
I was lucky that I was able to nurse my son fully for 10 months and then only had to supplement a little after that, but I hope to stress less the next time around if I end up having to supplement.
- Find more friends! I have been so focused on being a good mom, and feeling guilty for daycare and needing to balance that by spending all my time with Jack, that I lost touch with mom activities outside of the home for far too long. A year ago I joined an online fitness accountability group and loved the community it brought. Then in January I decided to become a coach on my own and it has changed my life. I’m still at home with my son most of the time but I’m able to connect with beautiful and talented women busy loving on their families and trying to help change people’s lives. Recently I also joined a MOPS group and get to fill my friend void in a whole new way. I realize that this is a season of littles and my job is to help raise them, but I also realize that I’m not able to give that my all if I’m not giving to myself first!
- Realize I’m doing the best I can and that he’s going to be ok and to maybe even enjoy the process a little more (even if he’s not a perfect napper, sleeps through the night by 3 months, eats foods in the correct order, doesn’t spend every waking moment with mommy, falls and hits his head several times a day, he has to go to daycare, uses a pacifier until he’s 5 or anything in between.