I still can’t believe that I have three children. It seems like yesterday that we were struggling getting pregnant with our second, unsure if we were going to be able to grow our family. Now we’re a full family of five which is so fun, but it does feels like a total circus at times! I’ve been through newborns three times now, yet I’m still texting my girlfriends daily trying to get their advice on the latest baffling phase. Although I still feel a little clueless at time, there are a few things I’ve learned along the way that I wish someone would have told me before. Today I’m working with Seventh Generation to share a few of those bits of advice for any new moms and moms to be out there…
1. Nursing kills at first. Yes, your body is made to feed this sweet newborn but it’s not a perfect system. I wish someone would have told me that nursing hurts for about 10 days (like OMG ouch ouch ouch for the first few seconds), but your body toughens up and soon your bionic nipples will appear!!! Just hang in there. Nursing is so convenient and so good if you can make it work. But it’s not easy for everyone. Oversupply, undersupply, clogged ducts, mastitis. I’ve had it all. It’s not as simple as you might have though but isn’t it amazing that you can feed you baby with your own body?!? More about the realities of nursing with a few different mom’s experiences on this post.
2. You don’t need half of the clothes you’re buying. It’s hard to not buy full closest of the sweetest outfits but they need so little! Onesies and footed pjs are about it for the first few months. Save your money on those cute dresses you’re eyeing until they’re walking. Then you don’t have to worry about those adorable dresses being dragged across the floor. And there is nothing cuter than a 18 month old wobbling around in a sweet dress.
Buying a few quality baby care essentials is key. That’s why I’m happy to have partnered with Seventh Generation and their line of baby care products I love like their natural diapers (simple patterned like Dot is wearing, or plain brown like Edie is wearing), free and clear wipes, the new Seventh Generation Coconut Care™ care lotion (smells amazing!) and Seventh Generation Coconut Care™ diaper cream. I’m happy to find such great products that are natural, and free of latex and fragrances for our new baby. I’m all about simplicity, high quality, natural products during infancy and happy that Seventh Generation makes so many of them that we love.
3 Find a group of like-minded moms and start a group text. I can’t tell you how often I group text my girlfriends looking for pieces of advice about various baby-related topics, favorite products, or even when I’m just having the worst day and need a little pick me up. Or sometimes random, funny stuff like surprise pictures of nursing boobs cleavage! Because it’s still shocking the 3rd time around and there are only so many you can send your partner!
but here’s the thing…
4. Try to avoid comparing. Mother’s guilt is hard enough. I’m a pretty laid back mother, especially with baby #3. I’ve never been good at figuring out why babies act the way they do, it’s still so mysterious to me! BUT some people have that stuff dialed in which is amazing and I’m jealous. But try not to beat yourself up too much when looking to the right and left. There are so many things to feel guilty about and everyone is doing the best they can. It’s hard enough as a new mom emotionally, so give yourself a break! We’re all kind of clueless. Others are just better at covering it up, I’ve learned.
5. Embrace the season. You’re probably not going to drive around a cool vintage car right now, wear crop tops all summer, or enjoy cooking a relaxing dinner with your spouse. You’re a new mom, your body is different than it was before, your priorities are different now, and the dinner to bedtime sprint is the hardest part of the day so put down that fancy new cookbook. It doesn’t have to be a permanent change, but it’s impossible to live the same life with little kids ruling the coop. I always try to remind myself to embrace the chaos of it more during this time. I already know I’ll miss these years when I’m older.
6. Sometimes you need to hide out in the bathroom for a moment of peace. It’s a hard job and it’s a rewarding one but it’s not easy. Sometimes you’ll be frustrated and annoyed at the world, wishing for just a moment of peace. Taking time for yourself is hard but so important! Maybe it’s a pilates class or a date night every week with your partner. I wish someone would have told me that it’s totally okay to close that door of the bathroom and give yourself a little pep talk while you paint your toe nails (try to ignore the toddler banging on the door demanding goldfish).
7. You can handle it. I wish someone would have told me that you may not think you can handle the chaos of a newborn and toddler but you can! Something in you adjusts and steps up to the challenge. I didn’t think I was one of those moms that could manage chaotic kids. Just being around a lot of kids used to stress me out, but now I kind of roll with it. And honestly? A crying baby in the car or on a plane barely registers for me now (although I’m sure other airline passengers do not feel the same).
I asked my two assistant editors Ashley and Erica to share what they wish they had known before they had babies too. Here’s what they said…
8. The power of white noise. If your baby is fussy and won’t calm down turn on the faucet or a white noise app. Works every time! -Ashley
9. You might not fall in love with your baby instantly. I had always heard mothers talk about the instant connection they had with their newborn baby right after birth. It was something I look forward to and felt instantly with my first born. With my second baby I didn’t have that instant love and connection and I felt so guilty. After a few weeks I felt my love and connection with my second born blossom. I feel incredibly bonded to her now, it just took a little longer than I expected. – Ashley
10. You will become all the cliches. I had told myself SO many times before I had a baby that I wasn’t going to become one of those moms. You know, the ones who’s social media is 99% pictures of their offspring, their voices get all squeaky when talking to their babies, and they stare at pictures of their babies after rushing to get those little ones to sleep? I don’t think it took two weeks before I joined the ranks willingly, but how could I help myself? My baby is just so cuuuute! She is my instagram feed, and I don’t even care. All I need now is the hair cut. -Erica