Dear new mama or mama to be,
I think of you as my sister and friend….after all, as mamas we are in this together. At least I hope. We need each other’s encouragement in this crazy world. From my own experience I will encourage you; Almost 8 years ago, I became a new mama;I panicked, I read books… tons of them on what to expect, what to do…I needed advice from anyone in any form or shape I could get it…Even though perhaps some of the writers didn’t even have experience in this department of life.
I got depressed especially about my new body changes ranging from weight gain to stretch marks!!!!……Even though I was smitten by our new baby, I sure wouldn’t stop thinking about my body.
Since then though, and two babies in, I have learned a lot. Things I wish I had known back then and with you new mama, I would like to share
- Don’t compare yourself with unrealistic magazine pregnancy model mothers. While you are pregnant, nourish your body enough for you and baby and don’t get tempted to starve yourself for the “unrealistic looks”.
- Don’t think about weight right after your little one is born. It’s very frustrating to see how much pressure is put on us mamas to lose weight as quickly as possible after we have babies. It’s so bad that according to magazines, we should shed that baby weight off the very next day. New Mama, I tell you please relax and eat enough for the nourishment of you and the nursing baby if you are able to nurse. That is the best thing to do.
- “If God wanted us to have instructions on how to raise our babies, He would have sent them with an instruction manual” a friend once told us and I believe this to be very true after acquiring many, many parenting books that are now sitting in a box somewhere in the garage. He sure gave us the Bible; a manual for both young and old, so go ahead read it and you will be guided.
- Accept to be loved on; with my own experience and from talking to other moms, isolating ourselves from other moms or the rest of the world seems to be one of our biggest weaknesses. Usually as new moms our hormones are at their peak….They are everywhere and it’s bad. By isolating ourselves, we easily end up depressed (which is no joke!!). So new mama, if there is an opportunity to have lunch with a friend, take it (it doesn’t even have to be at a restaurant) it can be as simple as sharing a sandwich at your house.
- It’s ok to share your struggles; there’s nothing more beautiful than sharing our struggles as new moms with another mama that’s willing to listen. You may both end up in tears (at least from my experience). It’s ok and it’s beautiful, for we are not alone. And believe me, there’s always another mama willing and desiring to listen or be listened to. In this case, “the grass is not always greener on the other side”.
- Stay in prayer; I remember feeling so overwhelmed and so consumed in learning every detail I needed to in order to be “the best mama” I could be that even reading my Bible or in this case taking time to pray became a struggle. But, all of us mamas need to remember that amidst this chaos, we need to be in the word, we need to pray and pray without ceasing.
- As a friend mentioned, “be all there”; even though it’s hard on us, we need to be sure to intentionally stay present. Our little ones need us. Try not to be on your cell phone while nursing or feeding your little one. Take your time and allow your baby to look into mama’s eyes, let them feel your undivided presence.
- Let the baby cry! I know, I remember being told to let or rather allow my baby to cry. It sounded insane right?…..I will confess that I would hold my little one (our first born) to a point of not eating, showering or using the bathroom until my husband came home. This did not make my postpartum depression any easier and in the end it was not helpful for the baby either. So, for as long as the baby is fed, has a clean diaper and is not sick, allow yourself a break (put them in their crib, or let them have some tummy time). You truly need that for the good of both mama and baby.
- Rest; don’t be like me; I worried about keeping a clean house right after my babies were born. So in this case, you know for sure my mind wasn’t rested at all. The point here is whenever you can, get some much needed rest and you will be thankful you did.
- No one is perfect; With a baby in the house, things will be a mess for a while as you adjust having the little person around along with extra stuff that come with that(diapers, baby bottles and on and on……you know all the little million things). So don’t try too hard to keep up with keeping a perfect house. And most definitely, allow yourself to slowly learn at your pace through mistakes. Even after 8 years of being a mom, I feel like I am still learning.
I hope and pray that this will be an encouragement to you and hopefully you can be able to encourage another mama as well.