When you’re a new mom, especially a first time mom, every one sort of feels the need to impart parenting wisdom to you. Whether you wanted it or not. So here are some of the wisdom people have shared with me so far.
1. Sleep when the baby is sleeping. Yeah, that’s the idea but really doesn’t work that way. When you have no one to help you out with the baby (ex. Mom, in-law, aunt..) you can’t afford to just sleep all day with the baby cause chances are you won’t find time for anything else. In my case it was eating. During the first weeks, all I did was sleep. I don’t know why actually but I always felt tired for some reason. I would wake up to feed the baby (I was exclusively breastfeeding then) and then fall asleep right after. The husband would have to remind me to eat and in other cases he’d have to drag me out of bed just so I eat something. It got a lot worse for my husband once he started working again because not only does he come home to find out that I had nothing but a pop tart all day, he also has to cook himself dinner and clean up after me and baby.
2. Let the baby sleep in his crib. Again, that’s the idea but doesn’t work that way. I had the baby’s crib moved into our bedroom after we arrived home from the hospital cause I really wanted the baby to sleep in his crib and not in the bed with us. Not because I didn’t want to but because our bed isn’t that big, my husband is a heavy sleeper, I don’t trust my husband when he’s asleep not to roll over the baby and because we were told over and over again in the hospital to do so. For a good three weeks the baby was sleeping in his crib every night. Even if he’d fall asleep in bed during feedings we could move him to his crib no problem. But then one time I asked the husband to watch the baby while I catch some sleep, he fell asleep right after he was able to put the baby to sleep so when I woke up they were both in bed with me. It kept happening every time I ask him to watch the baby until the baby would start fussing or waking up whenever I put him in his crib at night.
3. Take shifts watching the baby. Yeah right! Again, we had no one to help us with the baby so the division of labor around the house was the husband with the house chores and me with the baby. Mornings aren’t the problem. It’s at night that all bets are off. A newborn usually wakes up every two/three hours to eat so no matter how much sleep-while-the-baby-is-sleeping nap you take, it’s never enough you’ll always feel tired. And if your husband is as a heavy sleeper as mine, you’ll end up changing every diaper at night because the crying won’t bother him. The cherry on top of the wonderful cake would be you’re husband sleeping in the morning so you’ll end up working overtime with all the solo parenting.
4. Sometimes it’s okay to let the baby cry. My husband is a big fan of this one. Crying is the only way of communication a baby knows so they cry whenever they’re hungry, need changing, feel cold/hot or whatever else it is he needs but sometimes baby’s cry just because.. Is what the nurse at the hospital told us. But when you’re a first time mom who’s sleep deprived and hasn’t had anything to eat all day, you’re baby crying just because isn’t acceptable. The husband keeps asking me to just let the baby cry it out but I can never do so. I mean the baby doesn’t cry for no reason, there’s always a reason.
5. Breastfeed the baby! I’m not arguing that breastfeeding isn’t the best for the baby but it’s just pressuring how people would shove the idea up your throat as though it’s not an option not to. Also, everyone expects you to not only do it but be good at it. I salute all the moms that are exclusively breastfeeding cause breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. From day one, I was so sure that I wanted to breastfeed my child. My mom did it with all of us; if she could do it, I could too. I was 100 percent determined to breastfeed until I actually did it. Labor and the contractions couldn’t compare to how much pain I was in while I was breastfeeding. At first, I though it was because he couldn’t latch on properly but even though he learned how to he started biting my nipples. It gotten to the point where I’d dread feeding and cry whenever I’m actually feeding the baby. We tried pumping but I couldn’t pump as fast as he needed milk. My mom gave me such a hard time for deciding to mix feed saying I didn’t try hard enough well in fact I did.