Becoming a first-time mother often brings feelings of excitement, overwhelm, anticipation, worry, and the desire to be that perfect mom you always hear about.
Often being bombarded by advice, do’s and don’ts, and information from every angle, you can easily feel confused to know what opinions you should listen to.
Of course, you want to be the best possible mother but remember this is your baby and you need to follow your OWN instinct and do what you feel is best for your baby.
Everyone will give their 2 cents
Whether you are pregnant or just had your little bundle of joy, I am sure you have heard every piece of advice there is when it comes to raising babies, right?!
From parents to in-laws, to grandparents to friends, coworkers, and the lady in the line at the grocery store, I’m sure you have gotten your fair share of counsel.
A lot of the suggestions might be really helpful to you and others not so much. Remember you don’t have to do everything other people suggest.
“Your baby needs a strict schedule!”
“Don’t ever nurse to sleep”
“Your baby needs rice cereal in his bottle”
“Don’t hold your baby all of the time”
Often times, people share advice because those things worked well for them, or that is what they have always heard.
That doesn’t mean they will necessarily work for you and your baby.
It is ok to be grateful and say thank you but not necessarily take their advice.
You don’t have to meet anyone’s expectations
It is as simple as that. You don’t owe anyone, let alone do you need to meet anyone’s expectations.
Motherhood looks different for everyone, so embrace your own journey of motherhood and leave behind all of those expectations.
3 Motherhood no’s that it is ok to do
Motherhood doesn’t come with a how-to guide, instructions, or a list of troubleshooting options. Motherhood is more of a “learn as you go” type of thing and I guess that is what makes it such an adventure.
Here are 3 typical “no-no’s” that it is actually ok to do. I’m sure there are many others but here are the popular ones.
- Never nurse your baby to sleep
- Don’t hold your baby all of the time
- Never let your baby get off schedule
Never nurse your baby to sleep
This is one of those typical no-no’s you will hear and I hate to break it to you but there will be times when you nurse your baby to sleep.
It is just inevitable. Especially at the newborn age.
I am not saying you should always nurse your baby to sleep (unless of course, you want to), but just don’t get so hung up on never nursing to sleep.
Don’t get me wrong I am a huge advocate for teaching babies to develop good sleep skills but occasionally nursing your baby to sleep isn’t going to ruin their childhood.
Don’t hold your baby all of the time
The truth is, your baby needs you. Babies are 100% completely dependent on their mother.
Holding your baby will often provide them with comfort and offer a sense of security for them.
If it makes sense to hold them and you want to, then do it!
Especially in those early days, your baby is going to want to be close to you. Hold them as much as you want or need to.
Never let your baby get off schedule
Don’t get me wrong, I am all about schedules when it comes to babies, but DON’T let a schedule cause more harm than good.
Your baby can be on a good schedule and have good routines in place without you obsessing over every minute of their schedule.
If you are constantly worried about keeping to the perfect schedule you are just wasting your energy on something that is only going to create more stress when things don’t go the way they are “supposed to”.
If you need to follow your baby’s cues a little and their routine or schedule differs a little, that’s ok.
Be open to change and follow the needs of your baby.
Schedules are doable and are good, just don’t be obsessed.
3 motherhood things you SHOULD do
There are a few motherhood things you really should do in my opinion. If you do anything as a mother, these 3 things are essential.
- Educate yourself
- Follow your baby’s cues
- Listen to your instinct
You might already have your nose in a motherhood book or searching through different blog posts on the internet.
Do your own research and become educated about everything that you can when it comes to your baby. Even things you didn’t even know you had to learn about.
Knowledge is power, so become as knowledgeable as you can as a mother.
If you have some understanding of different baby-related things, you will feel more comfortable when it comes to decision making.
However, learning never stops so you’ll constantly be learning along the way too.
Follow your baby’s cues
No one is going to know your baby better than you, so learn to follow your baby’s cues.
Don’t ignore your baby’s cues because you feel like you need to follow the advice of someone else.
Zone into your baby and observe their wants and needs and their cues will become easier to follow and understand.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is to never let the voices of others become more important than being receptive to the needs of your baby.
Listen to your instinct
Most importantly, LISTEN to your instinct. Motherhood is a God-given talent, and a mother’s instinct is something you should never ignore.
No matter what, follow your gut.
Motherhood looks different for everyone. Don’t worry about those expectations, just create your own journey of motherhood.
The journey of motherhood isn’t easy. They’ll be all sorts of ups and downs along the way.
Just take each day at a time and let motherhood evolve naturally and enjoy each part of the journey.
Beth Meier, is the founder and creator of her motherhood blog, Heart of a Mum. She runs it alongside her husband and finds joy in writing, inspiring, and helping other mothers out there. Beth has a wealth of understanding and knowledge and hopes to help and inspire other mothers out there. Beth is usually chasing her busy toddler or raising animals on their small homestead farm when she isn’t writing. She is passionate about all that she does and hopes to make a difference in the world.