Tips for New Moms

  1. Give yourself a break. First and foremost, don’t take yourself so seriously. You are human like the rest of us. There is no perfect mother. I used to feel frustrated that I could only “knock it out of the park” in one area of life each day. If I was a good mom and spent time playing with the kids, I felt like a failure in my role as housekeeper- dishes left undone and toys strewn everywhere. If I was a great wife and made a delicious dinner I felt lousy that the kids spent too long watching TV while I was being Betty Crocker. My husband reminded me to pat myself on the back more often and kept telling me what a rockstar I was until I changed my outlook. Now, I try to flip the script and take pride in what I did well that day. You can pick up the slack in the areas you failed at another day. I know so many moms who just need to give themselves more room to be human and quit beating themselves up so much. I know it’s easier said than done but if you can give yourself a pass from time to time, it’ll make this whole mom life thing a lot less stressful!
  2. Prioritize your life. We’ve all heard it said, “you can’t do it all!” and nobody can. I think it’s important to pick and choose the things that matter the most to you. It’s important to realize that the things topping your list may be at the bottom of mine. Moms can be so judgy these days and we’re all just doing our best. We all have different ideas of what’s most important in motherhood. Anyway, learn to let the things at the bottom of the list go when you need to. That doesn’t mean you never clean your house or you give the kids your full attention all day long. Find a balance. When you feel overwhelmed remind yourself what’s important for you. May be the laundry can sit in the dryer one more day. May be getting take-out for dinner won’t signal the end of your reign as domestic goddess. Stay focused on the list toppers.
  3. Learn to be okay going your own way. Ugh- this is a hard lesson sometimes. I’m surprised that motherhood has taught me this one more than any other time in my life. When I first became a mother it was like a constant barrage of mom voices in my head: “Oh, new research says this is actually what’s best for your baby… I only do this because it’s best…you really need to do this…try doing this…don’t do that because… if you do that you don’t love your baby…your going to scar your kid for life by doing that…” It’s hard to tune out the opinions of ALL the moms on the internet or in your circle of friends. It doesn’t mean you close yourself off from good counsel but you need to make boundaries. You’ll never be able to please everyone or follow each person’s advice. Learn to be okay with doing something differently than Aunt Susie did or even your best friend. Make choices based on your feelings, research, prayer, and experience between you and your spouse. Follow your gut and be confident in your choices. You are their mom for a reason and God’s given YOU the grace to mother your children.
  4. Practice makes perfect. A lot of friends have asked how I get out and about with the kids so much and it honestly wasn’t always that way. Back when Emmy was a baby I was going stir crazy but totally overwhelmed by the idea of getting out. A wise friend told me the secret was practice. She said, “Even if you only make it to the Target parking lot before having to turn around and head home, at least you’re one step closer to being better at it”. I really took her advice to heart and tried to get out and even if it was a fail I knew I had that much more experience on how to be more “successful” the next time. I’ve found that this applies to so many areas of mom life. Everything is a learning experience! If you want a certain aspect to go differently, start taking steps towards implementing those changes. Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not “good” at something right away. Instead, see everything as practice.
  5. Always be thankful. I’ve heard it said that gratitude is the antidote for greed or sadness. If you’re feeling down about all the spit up soaked shirts piling up in your overflowing hamper, think about something you’re thankful for. The more you shift your focus from the tough stuff to the wonderfully beautiful parts of motherhood, the more content you’ll become (preaching to the choir here!).

And if your looking for less “big picture”, more day to day read on…

  1. Stop buying fancy household items
  2. Three words- walmart grocery pick-up. You’re welcome.
  3. Stock up on Dreft stain remover
  4. Stock up on boxfans.
  5. Stock up on snacks.
  6. Suckers are the secret to shopping and traveling with kids.
  7. Buy the Thermos Funtainer brand of water bottles. Everything else spills. They’re expensive but just do it.
  8. Don’t make riding in the shopping cart or walking a choice. Cart every time. Sorry pal.
  9. Flushable wipes for big kid poopies- need em’.
  10. If they don’t actually have a choice then don’t ask them if they want to do something. They’ll say no. You’ll feel like an idiot.
  11. Ketchup stays in the kitchen. I should really follow my own advice here seeing as I just hired a carpet cleaner for this very issue.
  12. Keep extra diapers and wipes in the glove box.
  13. Drink coffee.
  14. The shower + tupperware cups = peace for you, entertainment for them.
  15. Go on dates and have fun with your spouse. It’ll make you a nicer person to be married to and parented by.

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