I don’t know what it is about a bulging belly that makes everyone and their uncle approach you with the “best advice you’ll ever receive” about parenting. I am not one to share advice with another mom unless she asks me for it. And I do not have a list of “you need to know this” tips that I think all moms need to know.
Personally, I think mothering is fluid. What worked today will not work tomorrow. The answers regarding the best products and practices depend upon your needs and values. Mommy’s intuition is often the most important factor in a parenting decision.
The advice that I have to share for new or young moms is beneficial for you as a woman and will, therefore, be beneficial to you as a parent. But, it’s not about parenting or picking products.
Keep your passions alive and fueled. Too often in motherhood, moms surrender their personal needs in order to meet those of her family. Even if it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, it can be difficult to find the time to take a class, pursue your career, or explore your passions. My advice is – do it! I know you’re tired. I know you have more important things to do. But, just do it. It’s important to stay connected to the things that make you feel excited. Always know the answer to: “What do you like to do?”
Identify your values. This is important for everyone but especially for moms. It’s important to know what you value so that you can ensure you are raising your children in accordance with those values. You’d be surprised how easy it is to stray from your values when you are exhausted, busy, or occupied with children. If you spend time identifying what is important to you, it is easier to stay aligned with your designated standards.
Create healthy outlets. Stress is part of motherhood, and it’s essential to have healthy coping techniques. It is easy to indulge on sugar, caffeine, or even alcohol to relieve stress. When you have a list of healthy stress relievers in your toolbox, you will be less inclined to lean on some of the less healthy choices. Try something new – like meditation, muscle relaxation, or exercise. Yes, you can find time to exercise.
Build a network. I think that moms are afraid to reach out to each other for help. They are worried they will look weak and be judged as a bad mom. Moms who create a web of support find just the opposite to be true. You are not alone. Others moms are very willing to be leaned upon if you need them. Find moms who have children the same ages as your children but also find moms who have older children. They, too, will be great sources of wisdom and support.
The bottom line message for new and young moms is to stay connected with your Self. It requires a bit of effort, but it is vital to your sustained happiness and your successes as a parent.