As new moms, we sometimes complain about the abundance of unsolicited advice we receive. We all know that can get overwhelming really quickly. But, what if there is a different way to look at it? Unsolicited or not, advice usually comes from a very personal place and is given with the best of intentions. People share the thoughts and tips that were meaningful in their own parenting journeys, and that's really something sacred, isn't it? What if I honored their willingness to open up to me in the hopes of making my journey a little easier, a little more peaceful? I might just find goodness in their sharing.
When you become a mom, you have this instant soul-connection with other moms. I've been a mom for almost six months now, and I've come out of the newborn phase feeling reflective. I’ve realized lately that my generation is blessed to experience motherhood at a time when the idea of a circle of support is so emphasized. We have a great deal of resources at our fingertips, ladies! We have access to women willing to talk about the hard stuff and be unapologetic about the joys, too. When I think about all the moms in my sphere of influence--bloggers and podcasters, my girlfriends, mentors, and the mothers in my family and my husband's family who have walked alongside me, sharing in my joy and offering encouragement as I learn and marvel at this most precious gift …Well, I get all warm and fuzzy inside. I'm incredibly grateful for these wonderful women. And the top three pieces of advice they gave me:
1) Don't worry about what you need to get done. Just enjoy your baby.
I can get into a vicious cycle of stress when I'm nursing. While my son enjoys his milk, I start to look around the room. There are dishes in the sink.The paint color in the master bedroom needs changing. There are cobwebs under the love seat I just cleaned. And on and on it goes. My anxiety level gets higher and higher. Instead, I try to focus more on my baby. I enjoy his beautiful eyelashes and his cute little nose. I pray for him. I pray for our family.
2) Enjoy and appreciate each phase. Don't try to rush them or slow them down.
I know we all naturally get a bit teary when our babies reach a new milestone—leaving the bassinet for the crib, weaning, going to preschool. I'm trying to center my heart in a place of joy as I watch my son growing rapidly before my eyes. I try to enjoy where he is RIGHT NOW and celebrate milestones with him instead of mourning the quick passage of time. For example, I try to feel thankful instead of depressed when I put away his 0-3 month clothes that no longer fit. On the flip side, I have to remind myself not to push him when it comes to sitting up, eating solid foods, etc. I want to let him set the pace. Life’s too short to rush through any of it.
3) Your baby is his own person. Instead of only focusing on the person you are trying to make him, let him show you who he is.
I love this advice! I think it will come into play more and more as my baby gets older, but our children can communicate with us from the very beginning. I want to listen better to my feisty, happy, hilarious little guy.
Kara is a scatter-brained dreamer with a tender heart, who believes variety is the spice of life. She lives in Texas with her adorable Costa Rican husband and baby boy.