Five tips I wish I knew before my first two weeks of parenthood
There is a magical spot that touches a woman’s heart when she finally meets the bundle she has carried in the womb for nine months or so. A fulfilling yet nervous feeling of how to face the first few days of motherhood. That was me a year ago when I gave birth to my son Kings. Having read plenty of “how to bring up newborns" books and articles as well as watching all sorts of YouTube clips, I was cork sure the motherhood journey would very smooth.
However, when I finally met my son, the world seemed very strange to me. I seemed like I was not ready to receive my angel. Worse still, the first two weeks with baby Kings were all a nightmare. All in all, those 14 days left me equipped with information that I should share with other moms-to-be. If only I had these tips, my experience would have been very different.
Don’t shy away from asking for help
Never pretend to be a super mama when you can’t. You will have plenty of visitors in the first few days. Don’t kill yourself trying to cook for them, cleaning dishes or washing clothes. Your body is still not healed. Save the energy and ask for help from the visitors. Trust me, some of them are more than willing to help, but all they need is to be requested to do it. I only wished I had asked for that help when I developed a back problem.
You can never be perfect
No matter how many books I read and advice I got from my loved ones, I still realized I couldn't be perfect. Why? The tips given by your mother and sisters might have worked for their children, but remember yours is different. So, try your level best to be a good parent but not a perfect one. You will undoubtedly make a mistake here and there. Don’t feel guilty when your colicky baby cries all night long and your soothing efforts have bore no fruits. Or that moment you fastened the diaper on the wrong side. Remember, mistakes are there to make us learn. Just embrace the errors.
Enjoy the first days
How on earth can a parent enjoy the first few days with a colicky baby? I am now a mother of a hyperactive toddler, but I just wish I enjoyed those first few days of his life. I miss holding that small, fragile baby, looking into the innocent eyes and most of all taking plenty of pictures. The best pictures ever are the cute newborn photos taken from the day the baby is born to around six weeks. Right now, I have hundreds of my son’s pictures but among them, I value those few that I took in the first two weeks. So, snap! Snap! and snap! every pose and funny look they make. You will be glad to make a reference to them in future.
Breastfeeding is not that easy
Should I just laugh or cry on this one? Now, all over my life, I thought breastfeeding was the most straightforward task in motherhood. I could even give the whole process when sleeping; take the baby, put him on your lap, get the full breast full of milk and put it in the baby’s mouth. Woe unto me when I finally became a mother. It was just a nightmare. First I had no milk in the first few days and secondly, my son could not take the breast the way I wanted. As a result, I developed sore nipples that made me dread breastfeeding. Luckily, my friend recommended a lactation consultant who came to my aid. I will forever be grateful to the consultant; she saved horrible breastfeeding moments. If only I knew this, I would have received the help before leaving the hospital.
You are the best parent; not the internet
Technology is one of the best things that ever came to us, however never trust random people, or 'experts' on the internet for all matters about parenthood. Every child is different and so is every parent. The internet will give you plenty of good advice especially when you are freaking out about those rashes on baby’s forehead. However, you should not trust all that is said. If you feel there is something wrong with your little ange, get real immediate help. Trust your instincts.
I shared this information to help parents out there who are anxious to receive their bundle of joy but afraid of the mystery stories about the first few days of parenthood. It is not as bad as the world puts it. If only I had the above knowledge, my experience would have been smoother. Embrace the first two weeks with your newborn.
Written by Peris. A wife and mom to one handsome boy. I love blogging on my site hellomommablog.wordpress.com and writing in general. When not staring at the screen, I find pleasure in playing with my son, cooking and trying out new things.