5 Truths I Wish I Knew Before Having My First Baby
Having a baby is equal parts exciting and overwhelming, especially if you’re a first-time parent. There is so much information, so much (unsolicited) advice and just so much to know before your little one arrives. Every parent want the best for their child, and it can be easy to drown into the sea of knowledge out there. But there are some simple truths that can arm new parents with the confidence they need to bring their baby into the world with ease. Here’s hoping they help you in your journey too.
Every child is different, and difference is not just ok, it’s good.
One of the most stressful things for new parents is to know that their child is healthy, happy and meeting all their milestones. And God knows, there is enough and more literature and advice out there about what these milestones should be. However, the most important thing about raising a child is to know that each one is different. Some start turning in a month and some don’t till they’re 6 months, some babies are born with a head full of hair while others still have scanty strands at age one, some sleep through the night while others keep mom and dad on their toes. And it’s all ok. Each baby is growing at their own natural speed. And unless your paediatrician is worried, you shouldn’t be. Celebrate the little joys and wait for the rest to come your way, but do not let people get into your head about how your baby is doing.
It’s perfectly ok to be an imperfect mom
Mom’s guilt is not just real, it’s pervasive and all-consuming sometimes. But as new moms we have to realise that it is impossible to pour from an empty cup. If you’re not happy, you won’t make your little one happy either. So it’s imperative you do what feels right to you—breastfeeding or formula, working or stay at home, have help or not have help—there is no right or wrong. The only right is that it should work for you and your lifestyle, so whatever time you spend with your little one is happy and satisfying.
Post partum depression is real for a lot of women. Don’t take it lightly.
PPD is not just an old-wives tale but a reality for many women. And it does not come in the form of this deep, dark emotion as soon as the baby is born. It often is a slow, subtle feeling that builds, and can sometimes creep on you months after the baby is born. It’s important to keep an eye out for it, to keep yourself happy and to seek help at the very first sign.
Your kids will live in a different world from the one you grew up in. So everything your parents did does not work today.
Grandparents have truckloads of advice for their little bundles of joy. And while every new parent wants to take advice from theirs, a lot of things have changed in the last 30 odd years. New research, new living conditions and a new world, really. So before you blindly follow anyone’s advice, see if it feels right in your gut. From shaving a babies head to rubbing aata on them, if old traditions feel wrong, don’t do them.
Every time a child is born, so is a mother.
The most common thing new moms face is the fear of how they will handle motherhood. They question their maternal instincts all the time. But never forget that you only become a mom when you have your child, and once you become a mom you’ll just have the instincts come to you naturally. And as time goes on, it gets easier and easir.
So don’t stress. Just enjoy your journey and we wish you happy parenting.