1. SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP! If your a new mom you won't know what hit you once your sleep is all off. It's going to take a few
2. Take advice with a grain of salt. You are going to get a lot of it, which makes this post a little ironic. People are going freely offer you advice all the time. You will hear how to speed up your labor, how to parent, which carseat is best, which brand of diapers is best, that you really don't need that (even if you really want it) that breastfeeding is best or that formula is best...you are the mother. YOU get to decide what is BEST. Just take it all in maybe one day you might use that advice depending on what is happening.
3. Accept help. Like advice people are going to offer help and you should certainly take it. After giving birth you are going to be sore and cleaning the bathrooms, heck going to the bathroom is painful. Let someone do that for you. Someone wants to bring over dinner while visiting with baby, take it! I was hesitant to accept help right off the bat. I wanted to settle in as a family of 3 for a couple of days. My husband did a lot, but after a few sleepless nights we both were exhausted. By day 3 I welcomed help from my Mom with open arms. She cleaned my house, I'm sorta a neat freak and it was driving me insane that things were not in their place. She cooked us dinner, and watched our son while I took the longest shower ever. I am so thankful for all her help :)
4. Back away from Google. Google can be really helpful or have you self diagnosing your newborn with all sorts of things. You are going to have leftover pregnancy hormones and freaking yourself out will only make it worse. Take it from me, I had a few Google freak outs and my husband had to reassure me that my son was just fine.
5. Trust your instincts. Good follow up from Google right? In all seriousness trust your maternal instincts. Doctors, friends and family don't live with you and see your baby on a daily basis. Do what works for you and trust the decisions you are making and stick with it :)
6. Set time aside for yourself. This is so important. You are going to be so consumed taking care of your baby that you will probably forget to make time for yourself. In the first 2 weeks this felt virtually impossible to make happen but we made it work. My me time was polishing my nails twice a week (I am a bit nail obsessed). I felt put together with freshly polished nails and it gave me some time to just relax, nails have to dry right? I have so much more me time now and one of my favorite things to do is to read. I love blogging too, I'm working on being more consistent :)
7. Don't neglect your significant other. Somewhere around the time my was son was 2 or 2.5 months old he started going to bed at a more reasonable hour. After I put him to bed instead of my husband and I crashing the second he fell asleep, we stayed up to start watching a new TV series. It was nice to have some alone time again. Fast forward 2.5 months and we stay up late like we used to, sleep really does get better.
8. Plan ahead. Planning ahead will save you a lot of time when you are trying to leave the house. Leaving for the first time is going to feel like a production. The first time we left was to the 2 day doctor appointment. The appointment was at 9 AM and I got up at 7:30...what was I thinking?? I had to get myself ready, feed my son, get him ready....we were running out the door at 9:40. Lesson learned. The diaper bag is always packed and ready to go. I always clean it out when I get home so leaving is that much faster. Plan for the stinky diaper before you leave, or the spit up on the fresh outfit. Leaving the house will get easier over time.
9. Relax & enjoy being a mom. Yeah this one seems impossible but you have the time, trust me. I had to take my own advice several times. I am not one who sleeps when baby sleeps, I have too much energy by the time he goes down for a nap and I think of the long to do list I have. If your baby falls asleep in your arms there is seriously no need to rush to put them down the second they fall asleep. I dont believe you can spoil them! Before your baby turns 1 they will be on the move and those sweet snuggle moments will be lost. Enjoy them, there is nothing like it in the world!
10. Capture your memories. Self explanatory! I had a pregnancy journal and am so happy that I kept up with it until week 37. I am looking forward to sharing my sons journey into the world with him someday. Also take lots of pictures and videos, they change so much! But also know when to stop and just enjoy that cute moment with your baby.
Motherhood is amazing, there is no manual, or right or wrong way to do things. Have fun and enjoy the ride :)