Every time I interview a 40-something woman for 40:20 Vision I ask them what 3 “gifts” would they give a 20-something if they were a “Forty-Godmother”. Today, in honor of a friend who just had a baby and to all new moms, 3 wishes for a new mom:
Confidence that you will be a fine parent. Know that kids are amazingly resilient. They can fall and be fine. They can be fine if you work late. They can be fine if you miss one or two things. Just don’t put so much pressure on yourself for every single little thing. There are a lot of ways to be a good parent.
Don’t think the first 6 weeks are what it’s going to be like forever. I remember thinking when I was holding this crying baby. Oh my God, I change my mind! When is his mother going to come pick him up? A friend of mine said something so true but I don’t know if I could hear it. In the huge, grand context of your life, this is such a short time when you have the crying baby. This is just a tiny, little sliver of your life. Yes it is miserable to not know how to make it better. A little baby cries and you can’t ask them what’s wrong. And that made me feel like a total failure. Know that that’s normal. Babies cry, but they will grow up really soon and just enjoy the little tiny baby squishy parts. It really is over in a heartbeat and it just keeps on getting better. Once you hit that 6th week or 8th week mark when the baby starts smiling and interacting with you then it’s totally different. So just hang in there.
Friends. Lean on friends and family. That’s a really big deal. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, accept help. Find other new moms. People who are going through the same experience as you. They will be your lifeline.