10 Things I Want To Tell New-Mom Me

I ran across a question the other day that made me stop and think:

"What would you tell yourself as a brand-new mother, if you could go back in time?"

I have so many friends who are new moms and I'm still one myself. I was absolutely obsessed with doing everything "right." I have NO IDEA who made the list of what was "right," and I still don't (because there is no freaking list, can someone who's not a total jerk make one, please?).

I quickly learned that the first year is a very, very long episode of Survivor, Fear Factor, and The Biggest Loser, all rolled into one. Every day comes with its own set of struggles and hopes, goals and disappointments. And also a ton of dirty diapers. As a result, I've learned more in the past 14 months than I have in the past 28 years. So, June 21, 2014 Lindsay...here's what you need to know:

1. You're so amazed by this new creature and everyone is going to tell you that every moment is a blessing. There are some moments, a lot of moments, that won't feel like blessings. That's okay. Not everything can be perfection. A lot of things won't even be close.

2. That 4am screaming fight with your husband about whether or not to give the baby a pacifier? Just give it to her. She's going to be fine. You'll appreciate the rest, and I promise she'll gain enough weight. She also won't go off to college with it, so don't lose sleep over how you'll break the habit.

3. I know everything feels like the end of the world if it doesn't go the way you planned. After all, you're 100% sure you've thought of everything. You haven't. Not even close. Just go with it. Your instincts will kick in; you'll know what to do.

4. Don't overthink things. There's nothing wrong with pumping and bottle feeding. If you needed to, there would be nothing wrong with supplementing with formula. Just make sure the baby eats enough and your body doesn't feel like it's revolting against you every time she tries to latch.

5. Schedules are important. Don't let people try to convince you they're not. They're not the ones not sleeping through the night.

6. If you don't always use the cloth diapers, you're not a failure. Some days require disposables. That's why you bought the flipping extra disposables.

7. The dog barking will, at some point, wake the baby. The baby's brain will NOT be irreparably harmed by the shortening of a nap. Get a grip and don't get too frustrated with the pup. That postal worker actually might be a serial killer.

8. The dishwasher is your FRIEND. Stop hand-washing everything, you nut.

9. Napping is your friend, too. Get that in where you can.

10. At some point, you will get a cold and the baby will, too. It's not your fault, as all humans have immune systems that can't fend off every little bug. This will make her stronger, so stop feeling guilty.

The moral of the story is to roll with it. Roll with all of it and know that this new normal won't always be quite so intense.

What's your first-year advice to yourself? Tell me in the comments!


Lindsay Sweeting was in the world of Marketing and Publicity in her previous life. These days you're more likely to see her running after her toddler than running a meeting, but she does her best to find time to create new recipes, come up with fun activities for her daughter, and write about the craziness that is life in the Sweeting house.

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