Whether you have a ton of children or are expecting your first, you are bound to get advice (wanted or not) from everyone and their mother. Some of this advice will be good and some will be not so good.
One thing you'll hear over (and over and over) is 'sleep when the baby sleeps'. That's great advice and I strongly encourage you to follow it as much as possible; however, I don't think it's the most important bit of advice. Plus, to tell the truth, sleeping when the baby sleeps is a grand idea IF you only have one child. Also, although you may benefit from a nap, sometimes it feels better to sit on the couch in the quiet, enjoy a coffee and catch up on smut tv or blog reading.
After having a recent visit from a friend of mine who was recently in the same position as me (new mom with a toddler at home) I realized how important that visit was for me. How much it helped me feel somewhat refreshed, even if all I did was complain the entire time.
I've also recently connected with one of my daughter's friend's moms. She also has a newer baby at home and is trying to cope with life with a headstrong two year old. Our weekly play dates aka mom vent sessions, have become something to look forward to each week, something to keep the children busy and us a little more sane.
So, what's the most important thing new moms need to know AND follow?? I will tell you.
TALK TO OTHER NEW MOMS!!!!
Sure, you've got your spouse, your girlfriend with 4 older kids, your mom and your neighbor but unless one of them has a newborn or a child relatively close in age to yours, it's just not the same.
There is something immeasurable about being able to relate to and commiserate with someone who is or has recently been where you are right now.
When you feel like you're the only one in the world going through what you're going through, your mommy-friends will be able to tell you they are right there with you.
When your house is a mess and you feel like all you do is sit around with a baby on you, your mommy-friends will tell you 'don't worry, my pile of dirty dishes is way bigger and I too haven't folded laundry in two weeks'.
When you feel like you're losing your mind, your mommy-friends will remind you, that unless you're all nuts, this is normal.
When you feel like you can't handle another sleepless night or another cluster feed, your mommy-friends will either cry with you or ensure you that 'this too shall pass'.
Motherhood is great, awesome, in fact. There are so many moments that are so breathtakingly beautiful. Motherhood is also hard. New motherhood especially. It's hard and it's overwhelming at times. It's normal and okay to struggle, to worry and to cry. You'll get through it, but you'll feel a lot better going through it if you've got at least one mommy-friend to chat to and to remind you that everyone goes through this.
If you don't happen to have any peers in the same boat, FIND SOME!! I joined a new-mommy group when I had mini-me and we supported each other through some rocky times and felt so much better after comparing stories. I also had (and still have) a group of online moms who were an invaluable resource and source of support for all things baby (and then some)
So new mommas, get chatting, you won't regret it!
**photos c/o MillerEllis**