Advice for the First-Time Mom
Becoming a mom can be hard. You are inundated with advice books, blogs, other moms, doctors, nurses, experts, grocery store strangers, you name it - almost everyone you meet has advice for you. I even experienced this when I was expecting my second child. Unsolicited or even solicited advice is everywhere you look.
I was recently talking to an expectant mother when I found myself doling out a piece of advice that I had never even thought about before. It just came spilling out of my mouth like a fully formed thought. I was so impressed that I instantly knew it was going to be the only advice I would ever give to first time moms moving forward:
Do not feel bad about being a first-time mom.
Oh how I wish someone had told me this three years ago when I was scared out of my mind to become a mother. I was so worried that I would come across as a "first-time mom." I tried so hard to look and act like a seasoned pro.
But, the truth was - I was a first-time mom.
There tends to be a negative connotation given to the term "first-time mom." As if that type of mother is lesser-than the more experienced matriarchs with multiple children. Then I started to put more thought into this: What about those who only ever have one child? Who will always be a first-timer? Are they inferior simply because they don't have subsequent offspring to practice their new-found skills? Of course not.
Also, how did those mothers gain such knowledge and insight? By experience. They had to go through it the first time to learn. Their advice is valuable because they have done it and know that despite whatever missteps they took, the child will be OK in the end. But, experienced mothers: be slow to judge and offer unsolicited advise to newer moms. Try and remember how it felt for you once upon a time. It wasn't all that long ago that you were in those shoes.
My advice is simple. It is OK to be a first-time mom. You have to learn somehow. And if you judge yourself because you don't know what you are doing (none of us do, even those of us with more than one child), then you are missing out on simply being there. Be present. Stop holding yourself to unreasonable standards.