Waco Mom, Maggie Moore reflects on her first year of being a new mom:
The minute I announced I was pregnant, the advice started flowing.
Everyone I knew, parents and non-parents alike, suddenly had an opinion about if I should send my baby to daycare and what bottle we should use. Don’t get me started on how many times I heard, “Just wait for (fill in the blank)!” It was as if they knew how I would be as a mom before I had even decided for myself.
Now, I’m not knocking the recommendations of strollers or the tips for how to get a baby to sleep through the night, BUT there are so many things I needed to hear more of than that. There are pieces to the puzzle of motherhood I wish I had received earlier in the process; things, I feel, would have made my journey all the smoother and sweeter.
So here is what I wish I had heard when I was prepping for my wildest ride yet.
- People want to help. Let them. If you are an enneagram 2, like me, this will be a challenge. But hear me when I say this – we are not meant to do this alone. Soon afterPoppy arrived, I realized there was no way I could juggle it all. So, when your co-worker offers to set up a meal train, say yes. And when your bestie comes over to see the baby but starts folding laundry and washing dishes instead, don’t stop her. Their help with the most mundane tasks makes more of a difference than you realize.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps? That’s unrealistic. I found 100 things to do every time Poppy went down for a nap. But I learned pretty quickly that the only time I had a moment to myself was when she was passed out somewhere besides my arms. So, I chose from that list wisely. Whether it was eating a hot meal in peace or mindlessly scrolling Instagram – I looked at the 100 things and picked something I enjoyed. My advice? Enjoy the time the baby sleeps; whatever that means for you. If you enjoy a quick snooze, put on those pjs and zonk out. But if you’d rather enjoy a good Friends rerun, take that minute to laugh a little.
- You are still you. Just better. It can be challenging to look in the mirror and recognize the woman staring back at you. Dig deep – the phrase “out with the old, in with the new” doesn’t need to be applied here. Nurture the pieces of your life that you love and remember to give yourself grace in the process. It won’t necessarily be easy to merge your before baby life and your post baby life; maybe you will struggle with feeling selfish, as I have, when doing things for yourself. In the end though, pouring into those things, whatever they are for you, will help you feel refreshed which will in turn make you a better mom – likely better human in general.
- Be the teacher. But more importantly, the student. Knowing I bear the responsibility to teach Poppy how to walk and talk doesn’t scare me nearly as much as the responsibility I have to teach her how to be kind and God fearing. Sometimes I wonder how I could possibly help her learn so many things in what feels like a short amount of time. Then I remember all the things she has already taught me. Certainly, I’ve learned boatloads about swaddles, fevers and baby-led weaning from Google because of her, but that isn’t what I mean. Kids teach us patience, kindness and unconditional love. Kids re-ignite our joy and help us see the world through a different lens, one of wonder. Kids make us laugh and remind us to be kids again ourselves. Be receptive to what your little one is helping you learn. The lessons they teach us are more priceless than anything a .com can provide.
- Time is a thief. And a gift. You may have heard “time is a thief”. They’re not wrong. I’m writing this and thinking back to last year on this day – I was hours away from meeting my girl – and tomorrow she has her first birthday. So I couldn’t agree more that time passes too quickly. But you see, while fleeting, time is such a gift. Every day that passes with your little one will be one more memory to bank, one more hug and kiss you share, and one more, “MAMA”, you hear from the other room. Time steals but it also gives graciously. Don’t fret about what has passed – take the gift.
I hope this encourages you as you step into your new role. Remember to take every piece of advice you hear with a grain of salt; YOU are the only one walking your path to motherhood!
Love y’all BIG. MM