Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Letter to Caley, a new mom, or, Beware of...

One week ago, my awesome niece, Caley, gave birth to her first child.  Beautiful "J.S." was born at a bouncing 10 lbs 2 ozs and 19 inches long.  She has a ton of hair and already has all of us wrapped around her tiny fingers.

In anticipation of Caley becoming a mom, I asked my facebook and twitter friends what words of advice they would provide to a new parent and/or what they would have done differently.  The following contains their words and for that I am grateful.

Dear Caley,

Well, you have now survived the first out of hopefully a multitude of weeks with your new baby girl.  It is an amazingly tiring thing, isn't it?  You are now somebody's mom.  You will hold this title for the rest of your life.  It is a job that never ends.  I remember thinking as we were leaving the hospital with Miss M., What?  They are just going to let us have her now?  Am I ready for all of this?  The answer is no, you are never truly ready.  No matter how old you are or how many babies you have cared for.  Not until you have your own do you truly understand this.

I know that you are getting and will get a ton of advice right now.  That will not stop.  You will learn to take what you need and just nod politely and ignore those that you don't.  I wanted to use my blog as way of sharing some of my own advice and that of some my friends with not just you but also any new mom that may stumble upon this little corner of the internet.  So here it goes.
  • Don't give up on breastfeeding, it can take a good month to get into a rhythm.  It is well worth it! (HM)
  • Swaddling blankets are your friend. (JJ)
  • Enjoy every moment.  It goes by so fast, it is unreal. (JJ) (MB)
  • Nap when baby naps.  Housework can wait. (JJ)
  • Invest in a good baby carrier like mint wrap or sleepy wrap.  They help with bonding and also freeing up your hands to get other things done. (JJ)
  • No such thing as spoiling a baby. (JJ)
  • If someone offers to help, take it. (SB)
  • Take lots of pictures. (SB)
  • Relax. (MP) (MB)
  • "Never forget you know your child better than anyone else." (MM)
  • "You'll make mistakes; forgive yourself for them and start every day fresh." (MM)
  • "Every day every moment is an opportunity to make a memory." (MM)
  • "Beware of explosive pooping." (MM)
  • "Trust your instincts as a mom and not worry so much about what the 'experts' say should happen." (JB)
  • "They won't go to kindergarten nursing every two hours." (JB)
  • Take lots of walks as the weather gets warmer. (CD)
  • "Work as a team." (CD)
  • "Write down everything they say and do...otherwise time goes by so fast you forget." (CD)
  • "It's tiring but well worth it." (CD)
  • "Trust yourself." (HS)
  • "Never wake a sleeping baby." (HS)
  • Everything will be okay.
The greatest thing that I have learned as a parent is that it is okay to walk away and give yourself a time out once in a while.  You need this and deserve it.
    I am so proud to be your Aunt.  I love you and Bryan so much and wish nothing but the best for you all. Remember I am only a phone call away.

    With Love,

    PS.  If you are curious, the letters after the bullet points are the initials of those who provided me with the advice.  My small way of providing credit where credit is due.