Thursday, November 5, 2009

Family Matters Seminar: Baby Shower

What: A Baby Shower of Advice
When: Right Now
Who: Everybody
Where: In the Comments Section
Why: Because we're all full of wisdom!

Aren't you dying to give some advice??

Sit over here and have some lemonade while we visit.

Heidi made the cheesecake,
with hot fudge and raspberries!

Think about what you'll's my turn first.
  1. Remember that YOU are the expert on your own baby.
  2. You will learn together how to nurse. He's new at it, too.
  3. Don't worry when he cries.
  4. Don't worry when he sleeps.
  5. He won't starve to death if he only gets a drop or two before falling asleep again.
  6. Everything will eventually fall into place, but give yourself six weeks.
  7. Decide that you're on an adventure in a different time zone. Sleep whenever he's asleep. He'll figure it out, and you'll return to normal in a few weeks.
  8. If you feel like crying, just let yourself go. You'll feel relieved and relaxed (after your headache and puffy eyes go away.)
  9. He brought his personality with him--it's eternal. You're not going to ruin him by your inexperience or little mistakes. He came to teach you the real facts of life!
  10. In today's world the greatest blessing a little child can have is parents who love each other.

Now, share your insight!
What have you learned or observed about new babies and new moms?

"Invest in a great crock-pot and recipes. It saves a lot of stress at dinner-time when babies are cranky to have dinner already done!"

" Recognize the post partum blues and forgive yourself the mommy moments. When you're sleep-deprived and your body is surging with hormones, it can be a confusing time, but you will get back to normal--in about eighteen years."

"Trust your mommy instincts. Don't feel dumb when you rush to the doctor and find out it's nothing. Better to be reassured than worried."

"Everybody warned me that adjusting to marriage is hard, but it wasn't. So, having a baby will be easy too, I figure. We don't wait very long to get pregnant. I am wrong about this adjustment. We bring Christian home from the hospital and I love him and fear him all at once. I take a drive with Ryan a few days later when my sister offers to babysit. 'I don't want you to think I'm a bad person,' I say, 'but WHAT HAVE WE DONE?' We figure it out together, day by day."
"My best advice is to relax -- it's not rocket science and you don't have to be perfect."

"Pick your battles, starting when they are really little."

"Parenthood (like pregnancy) will change YOUR life more than your husband's life. Don't expect parenting to be a 50/50 deal."

"Don't compare yourself to other mothers. Don't compare your baby to other babies."

(In case some of you are wondering when you gave this great advice, they were comments on a post I wrote August 18, 2008. I remember everything.)

Crissy has a class presentation on labor. (This is edited. Click on her name for more.)
"Not every birth is the same. You'll likely only hear about the awful ones, because they make better stories. My best advice in that arena is to avoid those stories like the plague, or swine flu. If someone tries to tell you a new one ask them not to, and if they don't listen walk away. Their experience will not be yours.

"Take a birthing class . . . There are a few different classes offered these days, you can pick from Lamaze, the Bradley method or HypnoBirthing. Personally, having tried it, I highly recommend HypnoBirthing.
"Be educated, but don't overdo it. You don't need to read every single pregnancy or parenting book or magazine. Find a few that share your hopes and ideas for how you want things to be, and stick with that.

"Make sure your OB or midwife is on board with what you want for the birth. If something your care provider says doesn't sit right with you, don't be afraid to find someone new who will be more accommodating.

"Be happy. Through sickness and overwhelming tiredness, aching joints and growing belly, you are carrying a life inside of you. A precious spirit, a gift from God. If you want it and will it to be good, pregnancy (and birth) can and will be good."

Misty wondered about becoming a mother. (Click on her name for the unedited version.)
"The first time Adam seriously brought up the idea of marriage, I'm sad to say I went a little berserk. I had been at college in Colorado for a semester, and my first summer home, he brings up that m-word. The horrible, stifling, old fashioned m-word. I was livid. I wanted to finish my education. I wanted to finish my softball eligibility. I wanted a career. And I definitely didn't want to be stuck "at home" doting over a husband and who knows how many children; completely forgetting my dreams, my ambitions, and ultimately myself. And I told him so. How could he be so selfish to ask me to give all of that up?

"That was the biggest fight we ever had in our two years of dating. He left, frustrated and a little bewildered, no doubt. I went to bed in a huff, rehashing the conversation and reassuring myself that I was right, and he was dead, dead, wrong. I even thought back to when I first started dating Adam and a guy I had been interested in told me 'if you keep dating that guy, you're going to end up married and pregnant with a bunch of kids and no life of your own.'

"I tossed and turned that night, unable to sleep. And something miraculous happened. I started thinking with my heart instead of my intellect and worldly desires. There were a few very special experiences I had over the next few hours, and by lunch time, I knew that I didn't want anything else but to marry Adam.

"I have never regretted my decision . . . In the last 7 years, I have come to treasure the expectations placed upon me as a woman, a wife, and a mother. I relish the interactions I get to have with my children, and the role I play in teaching and nurturing them. I can truly say I 'find nobility in motherhood . . .'"

Hey, you guys are wise!


~Leave some advice for a new mom.

(P.S. Sorry this is late. I guess I forgot to click publish!)

*If you do any part of this assignment on your blog, please link it back to TravelinOma and provide proper attribution. Leave a comment here (with a link to your homework if you want to share it) and/or a link to your blog (so we can get to know you.) School Days has open enrollment so join anytime. No make-up work required! If you're new, click here for an orientation.


crissy said...

ah! There you are! I was worried about you, glad it was just that you forgot to hit publish and not something more serious.

My advice: hold and cuddle your brand new baby all the time. Who cares if you don't get anything done around the house?! Babies go from cuddly to can't-sit-still in the blink of an eye. Take advantage of the cozy times.

diane said...

I have learned that it is important to get help if you feel post partum depression. When I had my 2nd child 20 years ago no one talked about it and I suffered needlessly. It is hard when you look around you at your beautiful healthy child and yet you are so sad. There is a lot of help out there and sometimes just talking about it helps.

University said...

Going with the flow is great advice. That’s what I’ve done my entire life, and it’s paid off. Going with the flow allows you to extend your highs and get through the lows. You start to take on life and enjoy the ride, instead of riding the emotion of your expectations.

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~Kristina said...

don't be scared to ask for help. let someone do your dishes, vacuum or put away laundry. It's ok if someone else holds your baby. Soak up every second - even the hard ones - because in too short a time, it will all change.

Katie H said...

Can I call you Oma? :)
I love this. It was much needed as we contemplate bringing little ones into this crazy world. We have recently had some extended family problems that underscore just how evil this world is becoming, and this post has touched me more than you know. Thank you for what you do!

dalene said...

i was starting to worry as well. glad it was just a technical issue.

i may have said this before--and this applies not so much to newborns as to toddlers on up--but the best thing i learned was to choose my battles. it's good to be able to let little things go and put your energy, strength and passion into those which really matter. i believe it's better for you and it's better for your kids.

i also second the notion to enjoy the ride. i'm grateful for the people who gave me that advice from the start and i tried, but i still wish i'd done it better. those babies grow up way too fast!

that said, i will say i am really getting a kick out of having teenagers and--wow, i still can't believe it--adult children. i'm just not sure how it's possible for them to have grown up while i'm still a kid myself.

Diane Linford said...

My first advice to a brand new mom: Keep your bathrobe by your front door for a month. Anytime you answer the door, first put the bathrobe on over your clothes. Then people will not have high expectations of you being able to do anything besides take care of your baby (children). Then you can take that month to recover, and rejoice in your new little one. It will change your recovery. Rest any time you can!!!

Diane Linford said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Grandmother Here said...

Don't get constipated.

Misty said...

Count your blessings! It took us five years and a lot of medical help to have children, and it's amazing what those five years of wanting does to our grattitude (and patience!) level. I think if I would have gotten pregnant right when I wanted to, I might not appreciate my little ones as much. If you look at your kids as the little miracles that they are, even your hard times will be much easier.

And sing to them! Even if you have a horrible voice, rock your babies and sing to them and love them. It helps them and you.

Kristen said...

My advice that I give to new moms now is to pretty much ignore everyone else's advice. Just do what works for you. Whatever that may be. And be assured that however you decide to do things, you are not the first to do it that way, you are not alone, and you can probably find an expert to back up whatever philosophy feels right for you and your baby.

I spent way too much looking for the "right" way, the "best" way, etc etc - from nursing, to getting baby to sleep through the night, feeding solids, discipline and so on and so on.

Now, 4 kids and 10 years of parenting later, I am finally letting myself accept that I may or may not do things like most everyone else does, but I have to do what works best for me.

There is simply no right or wrong in parenting.

Everyone is so different, and so is their experience with babies, and each baby is different. Validate your own experience and unique combination of yourself and your child, and things will really work out much better for everyone.

Alisha Stamper | Photographer said...

First, must say I'm REALLY glad about what you said about avoiding other people's birth stories, because so many are scary....

My best advice is from a god-centered perspective (at least i'm relatively god-centered in some area! haha): God made your body to be able to have a baby, to be able to breastfeed, to be able to deal with the lack of sleep. There is nothing WRONG with your body. Don't forget that. You are his perfect design. Trust in the power of his creation. You can do it.

Yiota said...

Hear what other mums have to say but do only what YOU feel right.

Heffalump said...

My advice is to take the advice that works for you and use it. Advice that doesn't feel right to you, is okay for you to discard.
Every baby is different, and every Mom is different, and you don't have to fit some mold of exactly how things will be.
It's okay to hold your baby a lot. It's also okay to put them down or let someone else hold them if that is what you need.
ENJOY each stage, because the time will fly by and before you know it you will be missing some of those stages!

Mrs. Organic said...

Three words: Milk of Magnesia.

polly said...

just hug them, laugh with them and at yourself, babies are the best part, their problems are just like they are...small.

gab said...

Don't say, "My kids will never..." because they most certainly will.

audrey said...

Appreciate advice that others give you since they do so either because they love you or because they are trying to be helpful - but don't necessarily take their advice. When my second son was about 8 months old, he had some major health problems and many people had lots of opinions to share, all because they wanted to help. I felt at peace about the decisions we were making but each time someone else had something to add, it made me feel so anxious again and I kept second guessing what I had felt was right. After I learned to appreciate that they cared and then tried to see if I felt that God wanted me to change the direction we were going, I was able to maintain peace, even through some very trying times. I believe this applies to all the decisions we make in raising our children. A phrase our family often uses in situations like this is, "Thanks for the suggestion!"

Misty said...

Ha ha ha, Gab -- too true!

Alana said...

ah, the greatest ever is #1. YOU are the expert on your own baby. So true! When it comes down to it, only YOU know your own child best.

kenju said...

The only thing wrong with this post is that I didn't have it to read in 1965 when I was pregnant for the first time!! It would have saved me a lot of angst!

Sarah N said...

there is so much good advice here - and my contribution is waaaay late. i echo most of what these other gals have offered but here is one i've learned and encouraged my friends to practice - when you are ready (or maybe a little before), find someone you trust to watch your child. maybe just for an hour the first time. maybe just so you go grocery shopping by yourself. or for a haircut. you will miss your child but you will find that even walking leisurely through the frozen food section looking for dinner without your child along can feel like the most glamorous, freeing experience. and when you get home you are refreshed and ready to go again. you return home super-mom! same applies for dates with your hubby - don't forget about your relationship, go on a date and dote on each other for a few hours when you can. its magic~

MoDLin said...

Babies are beauatiful and so exciting, but I never saw one that came with a book of instructions attached to it. We all learn as we go. Remember, you're smarter than you think, especialy if you ask for help when you need it. Advice is great, but remember you don't need to take any of it, especially when it isn't asked for. Trust your instincts.

KJ said...

snuggle those babies. love those babies. sing to those babies and hold them tight and smell their angel smells and memorize their angel sounds and just keep snuggling them. you think you'll remember it without trying very hard but you will be wrong. everything else can work itself out. just keep snuggling them.

debby said...

this was a good one for me to do at this point in my life. i am 35 weeks pregnant with my second daughter. here's my advice:

advice to look back on in a few weeks