1) Follow your mommy instinct. You will be given advice from anyone and everyone that comes your way, kindly take the advice and then set it aside. You are the mommy. God gave you mothers intuition for a reason. Trust that. If something doesn’t feel right, odds are it’s not.
2) When you hear that cry at 4:00 am and all you want to do is stay warm and comfy in bed, remember, this is temporary. This won’t last forever. In fact you will miss this. You will miss that fuzzy little head close to your chest and their soft breath on your shoulder. So smile. Smile each and every single time you reach for that sweet baby even on the nights you’re so tired you can hardly open your eyes. Smile, knowing that baby only wants you, and that you are the most important person in their tiny world.
3) Don’t forget your husband. Oh yeah, remember him, the guy that helped you make that sweet bundle of joy in your arms. Remember him. Remember that he still needs you too. Remember he is not used to sharing your time and attention with another person and he will struggle with this. He may not admit it, he my even feel guilty for feeling this way. So show him you remember him. Still kiss him hello and ask him about his day before handing over the crying baby out of exhaustion.
4) On the days that you feel like you did nothing but fail, look into your babies eyes and ask yourself a) are they breathing? b) are they fed? c) are they clothed and in a clean diaper? d) are they loved? If the answer is yes to all of these questions then you haven’t failed. You are doing okay, and tomorrow’s a new day. Because let’s face it, some days that’s all that seems to go right. But as long as you try your hardest again tomorrow they will be just fine. In fact they will be more than fine, they will be amazing little human beings that will one day thank you for all that you did.
5) Stop worrying so much. Stop worrying about every single feeding and every single cry. Stop stressing that they aren’t crawling at 8 months old, and that you have yet to hear their first word. Stop worrying that someone else’s baby is already walking when yours hasn’t even begun to sit unassisted. All children are different. He will do things in his own time.
6) Pray often. Don’t forget to pray. Even when you are so tired you could cry, pray. Prayer will give you strength when you need it and peace that will surpass all understanding.
7) Love your new body. That’s right, I said it, love it. It maybe be heavier than ever before, it may have stretch marks that resemble road maps, and it may have breasts that look like something out of national geographic, but love it anyway. You grew another human being in that belly and gave him the exact nutrients needed for his body to develop and grow from nursing him all those months. Embrace the new you.
8) Savor those moments of rocking or singing your sweet baby to sleep. Breathe in that baby goodness and treat every second of it as if it were you last. Because before you know it, it will be. They will start sleeping on your chest less and less, they will start to wiggle around curious about their surroundings and eventually getting down to play will be more important to them then spending the afternoon cradled in your arms. So rock, hold and snuggle that sweet baby without the fear of “spoiling them”.
9) Take a break. Don’t feel so guilty for admitting you need some “me” time. Taking a little time each day to just be you, to collect your thoughts, to take a nap, to get out of the house, to write or read a book is okay. In fact if you don’t take that time you are not only doing yourself an injustice but also your family. A burned our mommy who is at their wit’s end is no good to anyone. So take that break. You’ve earned it.
10) Trust. Trust that God will take care of your babies even when you can’t. Trust they will always be safe in his arms and that he gave them to you for a reason. Trust he made you the exact Mommy they will need throughout their entire lives.