5 Lessons In Our First Month as Parents!
It’s 11 PM, and I am currently pumping for the 4th time today. Just got done feeding a very hangry little girl (she’s an insatiable little monster when she’s hangry… just like her daddy). I’ve done my 10th diaper change of the day. I’m also not entirely sure if this spot on my leggings is Tati spit-up or spilt milk but I really don’t care… hello motherhood.
This past month has been a whirlwind of change in this house. Tatiana Loren Vance moved in and officially turned the Vance house upside down!
Tati was officially born August 10, 2020 at 9:48 PM. We brought her home 4 days later an it’s hard to even imagine what life was like before she was here. It’s like this is exactly how it always should have been. Our home finally feels complete, and my heart is so full.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our share of meltdowns (both Tati and myself) over this past month. Now that it’s been a month, mama has really found her stride. Here’s the rundown on what I’ve learned as a new mom this past month!
Accept the Help!
They were not lying when they said it takes a village. So when someone offers to do ANYTHING to help you, even if you COULD in theory manage yourself, the answer is always YES.
Yes, I’ll take dinner.
Yes, I could use a hand with cleaning that.
Yes, you can hold this baby while I lay down for a minute or take a shower.
Yes, I could use a hug.
YES. YES. YES.
I’ve learned that there’s no Nobel prize for doing this alone… so accept any and all help, and your sanity will thank you for it.
I’ve also learned that some things just really do make life easier.
For instance, does Tati NEED warm wipes for her little hiney? No, she doesn’t. But did I quickly learn that a wipe warmer made her far less fussy during diaper changes, and hence made this mommy’s day much easier? Oh yeah. Do the wipe warmer.
Did my parents have that fancy bottle warmer that warms up my bottles to the perfect temp in less than 3 minutes back when I was a baby? No. Did I survive just fine? Sure.
But does that bottle warmer come in CLUTCH at 3 AM so that I can quickly and easily get that bottle ready without touching a stove? YES MA’AM IT DOES.
You get the picture. Some of my other big MVP’s this first month have been:
- A bottle sterilizer – it sterilizes everything without me having to do anything but add water. Brilliant
- A Swing – we got this one + the newborn insert and it’s been a savior for relaxing baby girl to sleep.
- A portable bed – we LOVE this one and use it DAILY.
- PLENTY of pacifiers – Tati’s favorites are these.
- The bassinet – our priciest purchase but so worth it! It really does work!
- This baby bathtub is the BOMBBBB.
- Baby carrier – this one came really natural to me and I love it for some hands-free snuggles.
Do the Self Care
This one is HUGE. After two weeks of doing nothing for myself, I was finding myself on the express train to postpartum depression.
It’s a lot learning how to take care of a newborn, learning how to breastfeed, healing from a c-section, (oh, and I got mastitis that first week home – it was greaaat).
No wonder, I forgot to give myself a little TLC with all that going on. But when I realized that my sad mood was getting out of control, I decided to take my power back and turn my thoughts around self-care from a “nice to-do” into a “NEED to-do.”
Self-care looks different for everyone but for me it looks like:
- trying to walk or move my body every day (taking it really easy until I’m aloud to work out in a couple more weeks)
- putting some effort into my hair and makeup, every day, even if it doesn’t get done until the afternoon (mornings are lit around here)
- run an errand and leave the baby with dad for a few hours!
AND FOR THE RECORD – a shower doesn’t count as self-care. That is a basic human right… you deserve better. Don’t fool yourself.
Lean on Your Partner
This whole motherhood thang is a lot… and leaning on my man has been so comforting. He’s been a saint when it comes to reassuring me that I’m a great mom, that I’m beautiful, and that he loves me more than ever.
Keeping those open lines of communication and talking through those vulnerabilities has been a biggie in keeping us a strong and unified team for Tati, and also keeping our marriage at the forefront.
The maternal instincts everyone talks about are REAL.
I never babysat growing up.
I never changed a diaper until I was like 5 months pregnant and got a practice run on my niece.
None of my close girlfriends have had babies yet that I’ve been able to watch.
But let me tell you, as soon as Tati came along, my body, my heart, my intuition just knew exactly how to be a mom. Truly.
Take all the books, the blogs, and the advice with a grain of salt. Use what you feel works for you, and then toss out what doesn’t. Honestly, Karen doesn’t know your body, or your baby, or your family dynamic as well as you.
So my biggest lesson this past month is just trust YOURSELF.
The moment I let go of those feelings of judgement or disapproval if I didn’t do things the same way as that person who gave me that advice – or every book that claimed this is THE ONLY RIGHT WAY, was the moment I became the best mommy for Tati.
It was the moment Tati really began to thrive and we as a family began to find our stride.
At the end of the day, God chose me to be Tati’s mommy for a reason – and He equipped me with everything I need to raise her into a healthy, loving, happy, and beautiful girl… so to the Karen who told me that pacifiers are frowned upon, take this: