Motherhood is, hands down, without a doubt, the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. It is also one of the most challenging.
The learning curve that comes with new motherhood can feel a bit steep, but it is so worth it and the journey is a big part of what makes it so beautiful. There is just something so rewarding about growing into this new role as a mama – with all the ups and downs it brings – that gives you a greater understanding of just how sweet the name “Mama” can be.
Having walked through this new motherhood pilgrimage, I am thankful to be able to share a few things that helped me navigate it all with a bit more ease, in the hopes that it can help another mama who is just starting out. Here are a few of those things.
1. Practicing my technique
One of the most helpful things I did in preparing for new motherhood was practicing my technique. I took a breastfeeding class, practiced all the “holds,” practiced swaddling, and diapered my friend’s babies. I learned that I loved these easy swaddlesand ended up stocking up for when our baby arrived.
2. Having a mama tribe
I started connecting with other moms even before my baby was born, whether it was striking up a conversation at church, the grocery store, or via social media. I was able to enter motherhood surrounded by so many other mamas who had gone before me and had wisdom to share. It made my new journey feel so much less lonely.
3. Baby distraction gear
If there is one thing that made the transition to new motherhood more smooth, it was having what I have lovingly come to call “baby distraction gear.” Swings and bouncy chairs (like this one) were completely invaluable for allowing me to set my baby down for a moment so I could run to the bathroom or make myself lunch. I’m not sure I would’ve done nearly so well without the help of these items.
4. Preparing the nursery
Those early days of first time motherhood can feel more than a bit overwhelming at times, but having a space set up where I could just go to rock and snuggle my baby in comfort and quiet was so wonderful. Even if it’s not big – just having a small, dedicated corner can be just as great.
5. Giving myself grace
Knowing that this was a new journey, I gave myself room to learn and grow and make mistakes along the way. I truly believe that giving yourself a little bit of grace is one of the best things you can do as a new mom. The pressure can be a lot, but reminding myself that there is no single “right way” to parent and that I was doing my best helped tremendously.
This journey as a parent is wonderful and difficult and exhausting and rewarding all at once, and growing into that role will be one of the biggest and most magical adventures of your life. Enjoy the ride!