I get asked a few things alot one - if we will have another kid and two - my top piece of advice for a new mum. So I’m going to write it here for all to see, now let’s be clear this is my personal opinion the advise I would give a friend who asked so please be kind for realises if you don’t like it scroll past we don’t need to knit pick. Everything I share is my take on things, I get that some might not find it the right advice but I’m not forcing it on any one. I never say hey this is the right and only way because it’s what I do, I am always very clear when writing that I am sharing my experiences in motherhood and take from it what you want but it’s not bible I am not an expert but the flip side is people are giving way worse advice out there in the internet world so in the scheme of things I think I’m doing ok.
Rant done so let’s move on yo, I have a few key pieces of wisdom I will share and hopefully someone gets something from what I’m saying;
- I’m huge on advice I have spoken about it before but I love information like if another mother has advice don't poo hoo them and act like your too good to listen or that you don’t need their advice, yes some people are annoying as shit and come across quite know it all (cue the haters on this post) but seriously we can all learn something new from someone else's perspective. Be polite listen attentively and you might benefit from what they have to say, take what you want and discard the rest it's that simple! Our parenting style is influenced by our fellow parents. As you roll your eyes at old Betty Jo who is in her 70s yarning about back in my day I'm right there pouring another cup of tea because Betty Jo knows a thing or two about gardening and saving money and I could do with some of that knowledge or there's Louise now she's got some great advice on child rearing in the 80s ohh the four hourly routine god I love a good routine I'll go for another glass of wine with her but wait now your mate the same age as you is all oh I'm baby lead weaning it's so much better well maybe I could use what she has to say to form my own opinion and figure out the best way to introduce solids to my baby. See where I'm going with this you don't have to agree on every single thing that fellow mother is saying but hell if you write them off before hearing them out you might actually miss out on a piece of advice that could really help in your situation, keep an open mind and you might have a light bulb moment don't be so stubborn. The idea is that you can graciously and gratefully accept advice then take what you want and leave the rest to blend it all into your own amazing parenting style which fits your family. I don’t do co sleeping, I don’t love demand feeding and I sleep train my kids but I will happily listen to the mum next door who does the opposite because I still might learn something, I’m not trying to change her views and she’s not trying to change mine we are just discussing our parenting styles and having an open minded conversation then taking what we want from it. Shit mates I took bloody relationship advice are from Gloriavale because I asked questions I listened to what these women had to say, I was respectful and gave them the time of day then in return I actually learnt something from them which we could all put into play.
- It’s not about someone doing it right or wrong it’s about finding your groove and owning it like 100% backing yourself and parenting confidently and happily, the only person you have to answer to is your unit and if your Whanau unit is good then you are good. There is a difference in advice and opinions advice is given in a warm manner that could benefit the recipient then an opinion is sometimes unwanted and a bit pushy don’t let someone tell you that you are doing it wrong, god knows how many times someone has probably thought I was doing it wrong but I’m not doing it for them I am doing it for myself and I’m doing a pretty bloody fab job if you ask me. My right is probably someone else’s wrong and vise versus.
- If your kids being a dick dress them cute and it will make looking at them more bearable, I said this ages ago when Rocky was about one it has always stuck around I still have people commenting about it and how it totally works. Seriously chuck the cutest this you have on them and everything is better, I have done it many times in the past 2.5 years it legit works. My go to for Rocky was a Pop Factory set so matching red and white striped top and pants fuck he was cute and when he was whiny as shit and would sleep and just acted like he hated me I would whip it out for my sanity.
- It’s ok to struggle and it’s actually ok to feel anger towards your child, this is another thing I tell a lot of people because I think it’s so important to know feeling anger is normal and ok but acting on it is not. When Rocky was a tiny baby like six months or something one of my mum’s friends told me that if a mother says they have never thought about throwing their kid out a window they were lying, I know it’s extreme sounding but it’s true. It is bloody 100% ok to feel that way sometimes because kids are hard and it’s a normal thing to feel, I am all for putting your child in a safe place like a cot or a room and walking away. I have done this and I am sure other mums reading this have as well, you are not a bad parent you are an amazing parent and it is nothing to be ashamed of if anything you should be praised because you acted on a red flag and took the steps to defuse the situation, you are fucking amazing for recognizing the pressure you were under and stepping out for a few minutes. If we spoke about this more often would it help our horrendous child abuse stats? I think about this often how we as a nation can make a difference I’m sure we don’t hear about half the instances where children are hurt by parents because they aren’t appealing from a media perspective (that was the most horrible thing to write but I’m sure it’s true it’s how the media works) how many mums just like you and me snap and do something they regret and never thought they were capable of because they didn’t know to walk away or they didn’t recognize how close they were to breaking point. I had just spoken about this with my friend and I actually think there is a difference between a child being abused over a period of time for the enjoyment of the abuser and it’s calculated and disgusting but then surely there are instances where a parent wasn’t given the tools they needed after red flags had gone off to fix the situation, I read something recently how we need to build a fence at the top of the hill rather than have an ambulance waiting at the bottom. (that got a bit off topic and my opinions might not be shared with others please don’t come at me, please I’m happy for you to say actually no that’s not appropriate and I don’t agree but no attacks chur)
- Don’t stress, I know this is easier said than done but I am a true believer in a baby with relaxed parents will be an easier baby obviously bar things that are out of our hands like complications, reflux, PND and anxiety in the parent etc. Just sit back and breathe don’t get worked up because babes pick up on those things, when the kid is crying and you are all tense and panicky your off spring will feed off that anxious energy and get more and more worked up. Be confident in your selves and your baby will feed off that energy, pick your battles try not to get to worked up about things if the kid wont sleep but you think they needs to then get them up for 15 minutes regroup and try again. I’m a seriously laid pack person and so is Jared when it comes to our kids I have no doubt in my mind that this approach helped when our kids were babes.
- Take help if it's offered and ask for help if you need it, utilise your village and don't feel like a burdon. There is nothing wrong with asking a friend to come and cuddle your babe whilst you have a shower or getting a neighbour to take the babe for a walk just for half an hours sleep, pride should never be an issue.
- Seriously just do you boo.
Those are my top pieces of advice like I have said time and time before if you don’t like them ignore them I don’t need to know that you don’t like it because hopefully someone does. This baby thing is not an easy gig and support is paramount I’m well aware not all of us have support like I do but that’s where the online village comes into play, we are here with advice and virtual tissues and virtual hugs to say chin up baby girl you’re bloody doing A OK.
What would you add to the list share with us your one top piece of advice for a new mum?