The Mamaraza: Advice
What piece of advice have you received that you would pass on to other mothers?
My mom always says, “Don’t borrow trouble.” That piece of advice can go a long way, for everyone. I think being a “worrier” goes along with being a first-time mom. I tend to let my mind wander to extremes anyway, but I can remember seeing a story on the news about a child being bit by a snake in her backyard. I instantly thought, “That could be me! What if I get bit by a snake in the backyard while playing with Amos?! And then the venom will go to my breast milk! And then I’ll have to find a milk donor for him while I’m in the hospital. But wait, he won’t even take a bottle! They’ll have to give him an IV of donor breast milk while the venom gets out of my system. And I’ll have to pump to keep up my supply!…” I’m pretty sure I said all these things to my husband after explaining the news story that day, and he probably told me to take a breath. So, I’ve learned, “Don’t borrow trouble.” There are millions of worrisome things that may happen, but chances are they won’t. Just enjoy the things that are actually happening in real life and kiss your baby a whole lot.
The best piece of advice I’ve gotten on motherhood hands down is something I’ve read over & over again and have to remind myself of just as often.
“Your child is an individual who will develop at his or her own rate.”
I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to step back during stressful situations (such as naptime or trying to get out of the house on time in the morning, let’s say) and remind myself that there are other moms experiencing this same situation or worse as well as those who are having no trouble at all. It reminds me to be thankful for all the things my child can do as well as those things he’s learning. It reminds me to relax and let him just be himself. It reminds me to enjoy time with my son rather than tweak over whatever developmental milestone he may or may not be meeting or exceeding. It reminds me to not over think our time together. It reminds me to tell him I love him and to get those hugs & kisses while I still can.
The best piece of advice we got came from my brother-in-law: know your limits and when to walk away. There will be times when you are so frustrated, tired, angry, helpless . . . just put the baby someplace safe and go away. If there is another adult, take a walk or a drive, run to the grocery store, do something to get away from the house if only for ten minutes. If you are by yourself, secure your child and then step out into the fresh air. It’s okay if they cry for a few minutes if it means you can remember that there will be an end to whatever is going on. None of this means you don’t love your child or aren’t a good parent. It means that you love them enough to take care of yourself. (This isn’t just for new babies—I have to use this with my 5-year old as well.)
Got a question for the Mamaraza? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org