There is no doubt that being a new mum is life altering. And for most of us, from the moment we find out we are welcoming a child into our lives, we are suddenly hit with the overwhelming weight of our inadequacies. It often feels like you’re standing on the edge of a cliff ready to jump.
The more I read the more stressed I got.
When I was a new mum 11 years ago I listened to any and every piece of advice that came my way. While a lot of it was great, I tended to walk away feeling overwhelmed by all the changes that were coming.
So I’ve put together a list of things that I wish people would have told me in order to put my mind at ease about becoming a mother. I hope it empowers you!
New mum encouragement
1. You don’t need to read one baby book in order to be a good mother. One of the first things I did after finding out I was pregnant was grab a copy of “What To Expect While Expecting”. It’s full of amazing information that is without a doubt helpful!
But I found that the more I read the more stressed I got. We all have a different threshold for information we can absorb. For some that might mean you read every book you can get your hands on. While others it means no books at all and you research as you go when questions arise. The important thing is to do what brings you peace.
You are going to blaze a trail in motherhood.
If more information puts your mind at ease then research away! But if all the possibilities and information stresses you out, put down the books and get off the internet. Find peace in knowing that your instincts as a mother will guide you to what you need to know when you need to know it.
2. Take advice from other people with a grain (or the whole shaker!) of salt. It’s important to know that most people when sharing advice are really just sharing about their own experiences. None of us will have the same path as mothers. So receive the advice as a gift that someone wants to share with you about their own story. Feel free to take from it what you need but don’t get caught up in the details. Details of people’s stories are as individual as the people giving them.
When my son was 16 months I knew something was wrong.
3. Don’t compare yourself to other mothers. This might be one of the most destructive things we do that ultimately holds us back from being the best mother we can be. No matter how many more kids they have or how much longer they have been a mother, remember: no one will ever be as qualified to be your child’s mother than you are in this very moment!
You are going to blaze a trail in motherhood because there is no one exactly like you or like your child. So stay open to learning from others without it informing you about your own path.
4. Don’t underestimate your instincts as a mother. Those instincts are a God given gift that comes along with having children… and it is powerful! When my son was around 16 months I knew something was wrong. I listened to my gut and did some research and talked to friends and family.
I went in to talk to my pediatrician who had been a doctor for 20 plus years. He was not convinced my concerns were something worth looking into. He explained, because of his years of experience, I really didn’t have anything to worry about. But I knew.
You are your child’s biggest advocate and many times their only one
It wasn’t because of what I had researched or what others had planted in my head. I knew as his mother something was wrong. So I pushed him to be tested. Now that instinct wasn’t something I trained in. It wasn’t luck. And I’m not extraordinary for sensing something was wrong. I knew because I was his mother.
That instinct was given to me the moment I became his mother. And it has been given to you too. The trick is to start to listen to it and act. You are your child’s BIGGEST advocate and many times their only one.
So, to all new mums out there, if you’re looking to be a good mother (which I already know you are!) then find peace in knowing the best way to achieve that is to be yourself. Free yourself from the guilt, comparison and shame that wants to creep in. You were born to do this!
I’m Karla and I’m a wife of 16 (going on 17…you’re singing it right?!;) years to my college sweetheart. We have an 11 month old girl, Lucy, a three year old girl, Charlotte, and an 11 year old son named Jack who is on the autism spectrum.
I started styling outfits for daily Instagram posts around 5 years ago. After having my girls it has slowly shifted more into a lifestyle feed where I share everything from fashion, to sharing about products we love, to spilling my guts about how hard this mum gig can be.
There’s nothing more powerful than coming along side someone and saying you’re not alone. Especially other mothers!