- When your child cries and you find yourself getting frustrated, just remember that your child is not crying just to aggravate you, but because, well, babies cry. They cry when they're hungry, when they're tired, when they have gas, or just because they feel like it. They can't cry forever. They'll get tired. If all else fails, put them in their crib and go outside. They'll be okay.
- You know that age old advice new mothers always get, "Nap when the baby naps?" Ha! That is the funniest thing I've ever heard. Chances are, when the baby is awake, you are either feeding or burping or changing him or her, which doesn't leave much time to other things you need to accomplish. So when the baby does go to sleep, you feel like THIS is the time to get all that stuff done, right? Right.
- This one is pretty basic but it's sooo true. ACCEPT ALL THE HELP YOU CAN! If someone offers to hold the baby, unless they are suffering from leprosy, LET THEM! It'll give you a chance to do whatever you need to.
- Accept the fact that you will not look like or feel like your old self for a while. You will not fit into your old jeans right after having a baby, your boobs won't look the same (sigh), and if you get in a shower every day, well, I just plain envy you. In the first couple weeks of motherhood, I took a shower TWICE. I knew it was time to put the baby down and hop in the shower when I went to feed my daughter and she wrinkled up her nose at me as if to say, "Mom, you smell." I wanted to be cute and put together like those moms on the cover of the pregnancy mags, but it.just.wasn't.happening.
- Water is your friend. The more water I drank, the more I felt refreshed and ready to go. It just made me feel healthier and more energized. I also had to pee a lot, but my skin has never looked better!
- Take lots of pictures, even if you don't feel like it. You'll be so tired and drained those first weeks, but looking at pictures will make you think, Hey, that wasn't so bad. My daughter and I had "photo shoots" where I'd be the photographer and she'd be the model and I'd pull an Austin Powers-type shoot. "Yes! That's it! Goregous! Work it!" She laughed and it made me feel better....
Basically, do whatever you need to do to feel happy. The first few weeks are the roughest. You don't know what you're doing, you feel like crap, you're sleep deprived, recovering from childbirth, etc. I think all mothers are troupers for getting through it alive. I have a newfound respect for my mother for going through it three times.
Anyone else have any suggestions? Leave 'em in the comments below!