Thursday, May 6, 2010

Letter To New Mom's: Myself Included

I'm participating in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop this week and I chose to write Prompt #1:  An Open Letter to New Moms.  Why?  Because just the other day I uttered the words, "No one ever told me..."!  I'm still a new mom and sometimes it's helpful to remind myself of some of these.

Dear Myself and all the other New and Newer Mommies:

There are so many times that I have to actually say to myself, "It's Ok" because really, it is.
  • It's ok if your child is perfectly content in his/her dirty clothes.  If they are having fun, let them! 
  • It's ok if you can't breastfeed.  I beat myself up for a long time but formula was the right choice for me and Abby.
  • It's ok if you go off schedule and feed your baby to accommodate your schedule.  You need to keep living!
  • It's ok if you put your baby in their crib/swing/bouncy seat/whatever so you can shower.  Even if they cry, it's ok!
  • It's ok to not want to get up in the middle of the night and to let them whine a little to see if they go back to sleep.  Sometimes they do and that is more than ok!
  • It's ok to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon when your little one is napping.  Enjoy it!
  • It's ok to have clean floors but messy countertops.  As long as there are no hazards on the floor your house is in great shape!
  • It's ok to take advantage of all the help you receive when your little one is first born.  You need it and there will come a time when the help isn't there.  
There are also so many things I wish someone would have told me.  Like:
  • When a baby starts walking they become a total handful:  my little one doesn't sit in the tub anymore, likes to be chased when she is supposed to be getting dressed, is not happy playing in the living room because she knows there is a whole house to explore, no longer wants to be carried anywhere... the list is endless!  As exciting as it is to see her grow, I sometimes long for the days when she was virtually immobile!  Don't teach them too fast.  Everyone learns how to walk eventually!
  • There will come a day when your sweet angel will put up a fight the whole time you are changing their diaper.  Resulting in poop fiascos and tears!
  • Doctors now draw blood at their 1 year visit... I had no idea until I took her for her appointment.  Very traumatic day (more so for me, I think!).
There are also a lot of things that sound like great ideas when your pregnant but are unrealistic/impossible when the baby is actually here  (This is from a previous post but I think they fit nicely in this letter).
  • Routine:  Is there really such a thing?  The word routine is defined as "a detailed course of action to be followed regularly."  This definition would lead me to believe that once a baby establishes a routine it remains that way for an extended period of time.  Not so! Abby has grown and changed so much in the past 11 months that her 'routine' changes every few weeks.  Basically, as soon as I become accustomed to the routine, it changes.  Welcome to mommyhood... there is no such thing as 'routine'!
  • Homemade baby food:  Before Abby was born I thought "how hard could it be make baby food? I won't be that busy."  Not busy... boy did I not have a clue!  Not only could I not imagine making baby food with an 11 month old biting the backs of legs... why did I ever want to?  There are perfectly good baby foods brands out there!
  • Baby Slings/Carriers:  One of the things I was most excited about receiving at my baby shower was the now infamous Infantino baby sling (yes, the one that was recalled!).  I also had a wrap and a carrier made by Jeep given to me.  I always pictured myself getting some housework done or walking through a store with Abby tucked away safely in my sling.  Problem was (and thankfully in regards to the Infantino sling) Abby hated each and every one of them!  When I did put her in the Jeep carrier I was hot and uncomfortable and much preferred to carry her.  If your out for the day a carrier is just one more thing to take along and it didn't make carrying her any easier.
  • Cloth Diapers:  Yes, I thought about it.  I would love to be more Earth friendly but it's just not in me to be that 'green'.  Think about it... before they're washed, those dirty diapers need to be stored somewhere.  Too stinky for my small apartment!
Overall, my advice to new mommies is to relax and roll with it.  There's always therapy when they're older!


  1. It's funny to read this now that my kids are older (10 and 7). The things we stressed over when are children were infants seem so silly now, don't they! I chose this prompt too.
    :) Lo

  2. why werent we told these things beforehand? sometimes i wonder if the people around me enjoyed seeing me all frazzled, unshowered and tired...

    well, new challenges await as they get older. i also beat myself up for not being able to breastfeed.

    wandering in from the workshop :)

  3. I love this!!
    I told Averi the first time she was put in my arms "Hi. I'm just as new to this as you, so lets learn together, ok?". Oh how that's still so true. Every day is a twist and turn in the crazy world of mommy-hood. Even at almost 3 she still amazes me and teaches me things i never knew i could do.

  4. I totally agree! And even though I am a new mom, I was pretty relaxed and I just laughed and laughed at the other new moms that I knew and the things that they FREAKED OUT about. (they would probably say that I am too relaxed) Love it!
    Visiting from MK

  5. The whole guilt related to breastfeeding is huge. I nursed my first 4 kids, and it was great. But my 5th was such a struggle. His tongue was tied and hurt. Like REALLY REALLY bad. So we pumped for 6 months. BUT the guilt...It about made me loony...(okay, it did make me loony...that or the whole 5 kids thing.)
    Breath in breath out. Nursing isn't the only way to bond with your baby.

  6. Hi Kasey!
    I have a Sunshine Blog Award For you! Please stop by my site to pick it up!
    xo shelly
    ps happy mothers day
    Keep up the Good work ;)

  7. How true! My big pre-pregnancy philosophy, no pacifiers. Ha! We are still trying to take it away from her but when we officially do, I'm the one who is going to need the 'paci'. Great post Kasey!



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