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The New Mom’s Guide to Parenting
Parenting. . .it’s a word that seems complicated, and sometimes downright scary. Never fear; “Hey Lexi!” is here!!! This is a blog to take the fear and intimidation out of being a mom, and bring back the joy and the fun. As a newer mom of a 17 month old I know what it feels like to find out for the first time your going to be. . .a(drum roll) MOMMY!!! It’s such a HUGE responsibility, and can be exciting and quite terrifying!
There are so many questions, because we all have different points of view. How do you know what’s right for you? For your family? I am writing this blog to assist you with the whole process from Pregnancy into teenage hood and beyond! We can learn and grow together. This is the place to find hope, help, and most importantly practical advice that you can apply to your own life, and your child. You can take what you like and leave the rest. I’ll be writing in a question and answer format, so you ask the questions in the comment section below and I’ll do my best each week to give you an answer! Let’s get started and have some fun shall we?
My Parenting Journey
My parenting journey began 17 months ago when I found out just before Christmas that we were going to have our precious baby girl. To be honest I cried when the test came back positive and not because I was so overjoyed. I was terrified at the thought of being a mom, further more was I even ready? My husband and I had been talking about this and even planning to get pregnant for a few months before this blessed occurrence, but how could I be sure I was ready…? After picking myself up off the bathroom floor I decided the best way to face this journey was one step at a time.
I kept this secret to myself for a week or so, firstly so I could figure out how to tell my husband, and secondly so I could make up my mind to be happy about this. Finally I decided the most fun way to “tell” him would be to wrap the pregnancy test up and give it to him for Christmas. He was so completely overjoyed at the news which was the complete opposite of how I felt about the whole thing. His sheer joy and enthusiasm helped pull me along, and eventually (after the first tri-mester and all the sicky-ickies went away) I was finally fully on board, and a little excited even!
But now what do we do? Where do we go for help? There are SO many resources, books, and websites out there! Not to mention parents, friends, church family, Drs., Nurses, Midwives. . .even strangers. . .who do you turn to? How do you decide what type of mom you’re going to be? What’s right for you and the family you’re creating? This blog came out of my own necessity to find answers to my questions. I know you’ll find something of use here that will hopefully encourage you when you feel lost in the sea of advice and opinions that are out there.
What is Parenting?
If you listen to all the buzz about parenting now days, at least in my experience, there is a lot of negativism associated with becoming a mom. In our society now being a mom has almost become as bad as being a wife. Both of which are perfectly normal things to want and to strive to be or have. I have heard things like “you’ll never sleep again once your baby comes!” or “get ready to never eat hot meals again!” from well meaning women as I’m out and about with my daughter.
Why do we as a society feel it necessary to warn pregnant women of all the things their going to have to “give up” in order to “be a good mom”? In my personal experience I have gotten back to a place of some sleeping normalcy AND I have hot meals on plenty occasions! 😉 It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, or a saint, or a perfect person (as there is no such thing) to be a good mom. It just takes common sense, and a little determination, along with your quirky personality and a lot of faith!
You can rest easy my friends, Parenting is not as hard as it’s made out to be. Are there challenges? YES! Is it worth it? DOUBLE YES!!! 🙂 If you’re like me, and you’re wondering am I ready? Can I do this? Well the answers I have found are, you’re never really ready, and you can totally do this! So let’s get started!!!
Tools to help you Find Your Parenting Style
- Your “self”, all the quirky things that make you unique and fun 🙂
- You’re Tribe-i.e. Your Partner, Grandparents, Siblings, Friends Etc.
- A trusted Healthcare Practitioner & Pediatrician
- The Internet-Here is my favorite Parenting website: Babycenter
- A Few good books (I LOVE BOOKS!!! Here’s one that was recommended to me: Parenting with Love & Logic by Dr. s Cline and Fey)
- Some Good Old Fashioned Common Sense!
Tips for Success
- Realize you’re going to make some mistakes- and mentally prepare for them.
- Accept that you’re NOT the Perfect Parent, and your Baby isn’t going to be perfect either!
- Reach out for Help when you need it (http://www.postpartum.net/)
National Hotlines: Postpartum Support International: (800)944-4PPD (4773) OR PPDMoms: 1-800-PPDMOMS (1-800-773-6667)
- Give yourself plenty of Grace and Mercy, and your Partner and Child as well
- Take things One at a Time-Don’t Sweat the small stuff
- Ask yourself “How Important is it?” OR “Will this physically harm my child?”
Remember at the end of the day your Baby wants YOU. You are the right person for the job, you CAN do this!
Common Questions/FAQ About Parenting
Question 1 How do I know I’m ready?
Do you want to have children? Or have the slightest inkling that you might want them in the future? Have you thought about how you would take care of a child? Are you trying to get Pregnant? What about the financial factors of having a baby and raising a child?
If you’re having these thoughts they are good indicators that you’re on the right path , and the truth is there will never be a perfect time to have a Baby. Even if you think you’re definitely ready you’ll never be fully prepared for the adventure that is Motherhood. As my husband says, a lot of it you just work out organically. The beauty of any journey is the process. Planning is great, and the destination will be fun, but in my humble opinion it’s all the little stops and detours on the way that make it truly fun! 🙂
Question 2 What if I mess up?
Welcome to the Club! Every Mom makes mistakes, even if you have the BEST mother in the world (like I do) the best she will ever be is human, and humans are fallible. I find it helpful to view my mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow into being a better person and a better parent. My daughter teaches me way more than I have taught her so far, and from some of the more experienced moms I have talked to this trend doesn’t stop! 😉
Question 3 What if my Child doesn’t like me?
If you are like me this is a real fear! The best encouragement I have gotten from so many of my wonderful Mommy friends that has truly helped me to tame this to manageable levels is as follows.
- You’re Baby has an innate sense of wanting to please you
- Your baby wants to love you.
- If you foster an environment of love in your home, it will come back to you naturally.
Question 4 How do I find a good Healthcare Practitioner?
For me I was lucky enough to have several friends who have had babies before me, so I asked them about their doctors, and birthing experiences. The Internet is another good place to do research. You can also ask your Primary Care Physician for recommendations, they will happily oblige you! 🙂
Question 5 What are the best Baby Products?
This comes down to personal preference, for me I like the multipurpose items. i.e. the crib that becomes a twin size bed, the Forever Car seat by Greaco, and so on. For specific things we did a lot of research, for others we went with what was available/recommended in the local Baby Store. Just keep in mind that the most expensive price tag does not always equal the best product.
Question 6 How do I prepare for a New Baby?
Preparation for a New Baby starts from the moment you see the Positive Response on the Pregnancy test. You’re brain chemistry starts changing, you start looking at yourself, at the world differently. Here are some steps I took Once I had confirmed my test was positive:
Ten Tips for Preparing for Your New Baby
- Call your Dr. and Schedule a first appointment
- Decide How and When to share the news with your partner (this can be really fun, get creative!)
- Get some books on Pregnancy, Here are a few I recommend: “Ina Mae’s Guide to Childbirth”; or ANY other books from Ina Mae. “What to eat when you’re pregnant”;
- Find a Pregnancy Tracker you like and learn about your baby as it grows. What to Expect when you’re Expecting has a good one! ( I really enjoyed this, and it helped me to feel connected to what was going on inside my body.)
- Decide with your Partner how you want to share the news with your Family and Friends
- Prioritize Tasks in order of most important (i.e. do you need to buy the car seat in the first tri-mester?. ..Probably not)
- Start a Baby Registry -HAVE FUN WITH THIS!!! There is no need to rush 🙂
- Embrace your Nesting Instincts, trust your gut, and don’t stress if EVERYTHING you want to do doesn’t get done.
- Take things as they come, don’t try to do everything all at once. Remember you have 9 months to plan for your little bundle of joy.
- Let people be generous to you, and pamper you. This can take a lot of the stress off your shoulders and let others feel involved in your journey. 🙂
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Parenting
- At the end of the day Parenting is all about being yourself and trusting your natural instincts. It is a beautiful journey, and you’re not alone. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Hey Lexi is here to help. 🙂
- I would love to hear from you if you have any questions you would like answered from nursing and sleep schedules to what toys to buy for a new born I’m on the job! If you find this post in any way helpful or encouraging please share with your friends and leave a comment below.