Being a new mom can be
scary down-right terrifying. It doesn’t matter how ready you are for a newborn or how much experience you have; that first initial trip back home is one filled with nerves. I was the oldest of six children and because of my experience with my own siblings, I thought that I wouldn’t have even a single moment of fear. However , despite my families help and my experience, that first night home with my newborn was still one of the most nerve-racking nights I have ever experienced.
I wasn’t ready.
I thought I was. All the boxes were checked on my list and I had read all the pregnancy books I could get my hands on. But, I was not ready.
The nursery was decorated for our little newborn and meals were stacked in the freezer but I was not ready.
The infant car seat was installed and the suitcases were packed but I was not ready.
You see, I had put too much focus on what other things say motherhood should look like. Magazines told me that I needed the most expensive products for my newborn to stay happy. Pinterest told me that I needed a beautiful nursery to be ready. Instagram told me that I needed to have an exercise plan for losing weight before my baby came out.
I was so excited for my little girl to come that the only movies I wanted to watch were one’s that featured comedy, pregnancy, and birth. Soooo movies like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” and “The Back-Up Plan”. But you know what? The movies were no better! They told me that I needed custom strollers, a huge college fund already building up, and a glorious baby shower.
With social media always updating me on other people’s lives, it was hard to focus on my own and remind myself as to what was really important.
However, I learned a lot of things my first week, month, and year of being a mother. I am still learning new things and will probably always be learning! I can’t tell you that I am perfect or did everything right but what I can tell you is that there is hope.
You do not have to have the perfect nursery, the perfect equipment, and the perfect clothes to have a beautiful, wonderful life! If you have love and joy in Jesus, you have everything.
You will be overwhelmed at first but this feeling WILL pass. It will get better. You will learn and you will find out stuff that works or doesn’t work for you. So, I wanted to make a small list of a couple of things that worked for me. Things that helped me get through that first week of initial terror and things that I found convenient to have. I don’t have many tips — six to be exact — but these six things are literally what kept me afloat.
Let me know what you think and if something saved your life the first week.
Tip 1: Have extra help around the house
Extra help was my biggest sanity saver! I am an independent person so of course I had a hard time asking for help. However, having the help around my home was such a huge relief! Because of the extra hands I was able to get sleep, meals, and quality time with my husband. I will never feel guilty asking someone to come over to help again!
Tip 2: Co-Sleeper for the win!
Another life saver was my angled co-sleeper. My daughter was born with a bit of colic so having something that kept her at an upright angle was amazing. I wanted to have an emphasis of bonding together through sleeping without sharing my bed specifically — rather be safe than sorry.
So, I was thrilled when I opened my new Rock ‘n Play Sleeper at my baby shower! Of course there are more expensive popular sleepers such as the Infant Lounging and Bed-Sharing Cushion but I found the other one a cheaper, effective option.
Tip 3: Freeze some meals before having the baby
This is a tip I wish I would have utilized better when I was pregnant. Having said that, I am SO grateful I made a couple of meals before having my daughter. My grandma made my meals for the first week. However, when she left I had to learn how to balance homemaking on top of having a new baby. Having a couple of meals in the freezer saved my sanity as I tried to adapt to my new life.
Check out THIS PAGE from the Young Wife’s Guide for a list of amazing information on freezer meals.
Tip 4: Lean on your husband (spouse)
My husband was a fantastic help when our newborn came home. In fact, he probably would have done even more if I was not such a control freak. Our spouses are our helpmates; we take turns, we lean on each other, we support each other. That’s how marriages work. My husband was the shoulder that I needed to cry on — and trust me, I cried a lot that first week (hormones)!
Tip 5: Have reading materials in reach
In those first weeks, the newborn is up a lot during the night nursing and wanting to be held which means that you’re up a lot. It’s during those wee morning hours when I really start to get overly tired and let my mind beat myself up. And, it’s during those wee mornings that I learned to take up reading Christian inspired self-help books. The very first Christian self-help bok I read was Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. Fantastic book and is what inspired the fire in my heart for Jesus. Anyways, what I like to do is stock my tablet or phone with reading materials. They are always in reach and they light up so it’s easier to read in the dark. I also downloaded Bloglovin’ and a Podcast app for those times that I didn’t want to have a heavy duty read.
Tip 6: Make time for God
This one is so hard to do when your head is spinning with worry and your eyes can barely stay open. But, with a whole lot of prayer for energy and for a two-minute distraction free interval, it’s totally doable. God wants us to be in His word whether it be for two minutes or two hours, He won’t complain.
All I know is this: God can give us the strength we need to get through this confusing/tired/stressful time. God also can give us His eyes so that we may see the joy/beauty/and love in our lives. The first couple of weeks are stressful but they are also filled with measurable joy. Lean on God, your spouse, your family, and your help. They all want to be there for you and they all want to support you.
You can do this, momma! Just have faith and know that it’s only a short season of your life so cherish it.
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