First-Person Friday is a new beat in which I will showcase writings from #HoCoMd parents, grandparents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, you name it, on the joys, challenges, and experiences of parenthood and family life. Please contact me with questions and your submission.
- Be proud of your birth story. Even if it was the pits or if it was a breeze, you created a life and that is worth celebrating.
- Crying is OK. You could say I’m an emotional sap but from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy to baby, I’ve got a lot of emotions to deal with and no one likes to be emotionally constipated – let it out. You’ll feel better afterwards good or bad.
- Never judge. Everyone has a different outlook on life and how to live it. Whether it be natural birthing, bottle feeding, co-sleeping, or any other life choice or need along your journey, respect everyone’s decision and learn from them. You’d be surprised the facts that are out there vs what you assume.
- Fool yourself. What? You heard me… Pretend like you know what you’re doing and people will be none the wiser. I had a family member tell me how calm and collected and motherly I looked the other day (while I was in the middle of trying to calm my terribly upset 3 month old). Ha! Fooled you… or did I fool myself? It’s all a mind game and the more calm you try to be the more calm you somehow seem. Science! (Note: this has no scientific backing of any kind whatsoever… Or does it??)
- Embrace your new body. Go ahead, rock those mom jeans. Enjoy every new curve you’ve got. Do you know why it’s there? Cuz you rocked at growing a human inside of you. Yes, back boobs suck. Yes, you may still look 3 months preggo. Yes people may still ask when you’re due. Yes other moms may be able to shed the weight. But the more you try to understand that your body will never be exactly the same, the better you will feel. Once you start a new routine with your child (ha! Like they’ll ever give you the same schedule twice) you may even find some time to get back into working out and eating smart… One day. One day.
- Share. There’s no such thing as TMI. Especially with other parents. Let the drama of the terrible sleeper the night before vent out to anyone with ears. Sympathy is always appreciated and getting that off your chest instead of bottling it in is gonna be a lifesaver for your mental health. It’s a good thing I have a group of badass mamas to reach out to whenever I need to vent on an issue, big or small. So make sure you can share your drama with people who will support you or someone who’s just a good listener.
- Don’t be a people pleaser. Once you have a child, that mentality is only going to stress you out. You HAVE to be selfish. Because let’s be honest, anything you do for yourself is going to do wonders for your state of mind which in turn will help your baby too! Win/win! Although it always sucks to have to cancel plans last minute or leave an event early, just know that as much as it may hurt someone else, they’ll get over it.
- Take a breather. These little ones are frustrating! Why won’t you just tell me what you need?!? Oh. Right…. I’ve had many a moment where no amount of soothing and feeding and changing can stop my little guy’s wails. If the hubs is around I will do a hand off and take a moment to collect myself. The worst is when he stops crying when I hand him off. WTF mate? I’ll need to take a breather just to handle that! P.S., I love my child and don’t want you to think he’s some demon baby but hopefully you catch my drift.
- Communicate. There’s nothing worse than thinking someone understands that while they hold this fussy baby, I’ll clean the horrendous kitchen, only to find out that they think you’re being an a-hole for just “doing my own thing” while they deal with Mr. Meltdown. You gotta be specific. It’ll do wonders for everyone. Say exactly what you’re thinking.
- Stay connected. There are so many social media sites and community groups that are out there and they’re literally right at our finger tips. It helps me so much to know that there are people out there with similar questions and concerns as me. Or even that I can keep in touch with friends and family after a 2am feeding and I can’t fall back asleep. Granted I find it hard to put this darn phone down sometimes so maybe I should note that while staying connected through social media is great – make sure you set aside time for it and make sure you have undivided attention to your cutie-patootie.
- Love unconditionally. That one’s pretty easy huh. But gotta save the best for last. This new kind of love that you’ll have for a child is like no other love you’ve had before. Did you ever think something this tiny would be completely and utterly (ha utters…) dependent on you?? You’re a mother now and that is a major life changer. One that may wear you out and bring you to the brink of exhaustion but man… once those smiles start showing, everything else just melts away. Worth it.
KellyDS is a new mama living in Columbia, MD who loves singing (especially harmony), animation, and anything cinnamon.