Originally posted June 5, 2017.
As the mom of a 22 year old, I wanted to just say “Heeeyyy!” to all you new moms out there and throw you some love and encouragement!
You don’t need to be perfect! You just need to be good-enough and you and your family will be ok.
I became a mom when I was 37 years old. My world had consisted of working on Wall Street in the IT field for years before my son was born. I would get calls in the middle of the night and be on-site at the database department all the night and into the next day, working to get the systems up. It was definitely an adrenaline junkie kind of place. I was confident in my work.
So, at 37, inexperienced with children, I was.
But taking care of a baby was another skill I just had no practice with! I had never changed a diaper. Unlike other girls, when I was younger, I wasn’t much of a babysitter. I was a nerd. I read widely and went birdwatching…activities not too enticing to younger kids!
Things won’t be perfect or without pain, but it will be ok.
The breastfeeding thing: People told me that I was spoiling him, that I needed to say no to frequent breastfeeding, and that I should schedule breastfeeding. Well, of course we all know that’s not how it works. Research indicates that human breast milk varies in content and bulk according to infant needs, and you need to follow your baby’s lead to maintain enough milk.
The food thing: People told me that if he didn’t eat a wide range of foods as a young child then he would NEVER eat a wide range of foods. Well, another load of crapola. We’ve traveled over the world and he eats all sorts of stuff, including a wide range of ethnic foods and loves and sushi as well. So, whatever.
The co-sleeping thing: People told me if we practiced co-sleeping he’d NEVER sleep alone. Well, one night he just went to sleep in his own room and that was the end of that, no crying, no big deal. Another parenting myth busted.
The not-tough-enough parenting thing: Despite copious research based evidence that spanking increases aggression, anti-social behaviors and depression and that there is not one credible university in the United States that includes spanking as part of a parenting curriculum, people who practice this type of discipline love to talk about how tough they are with their children. And indirectly, (or directly) how wimpy you are if you don’t do what they do. As a new mom, I felt overwhelmed when people brought this subject up. Eventually, I found I couldn’t be friends with this sort of people as we just didn’t have anything in common, really.
So, moms, I encourage you to follow your heart, do some research and care for your children in loving ways. The people who tell you to do this, to do that, …well, they won’t be in your life in the important ways that your children are now and will be for the rest of your life.
Relax and love yourself and your family.