As a new mom, you don’t always know what to expect when it comes to raising your son or daughter. As absolutely joyful as this time is, motherhood, can also be fraught with frustration, confusion – and even regret.
While you ultimately have to find your own path as a mother, caretaker, and provider, I’m happy to share a few lessons I learned along the way. Looking back, here’s what I wish I had done differently:
Worry less about milestones
Any parent wants to ensure that their child is developing properly and will be concerned about whether or not they’re meeting significant milestones. But you’ll find later that they don’t really matter. Babies may not be ready to start solids at four months or learn to crawl by eight, but there will be other things they meet before they’re “expected” to. Don’t be so worried about milestones and let things happen naturally.
Read more: The new mom advice I wish I’d received
Travel more with your children while they’re little. Sure, they won’t remember the trip to New York or Chicago, but you will. Spend as much time doing as many things as possible when they’re little because you they won’t be this small forever. Plus, taking advantage of perks such as free flights for the babies before they reach age 2 is a benefit you won’t regret. Try to take a family vacation every year as your child ages so you can introduce them to the world.
Buy fewer toys
While it can be hard to not browse the toy aisle every time you go to a baby store, avoid buying so many toys. Not only will this take over your living room or play area, but children often find other things to play with that aren’t their toys, such as the water bottle you just set down on the table or the the straw they pulled out of your drink.
As your children get older, you’ll find that you should have done things such as stopped thumb sucking sooner or ditched co-sleeping and put them in their crib before they became touch-dependent. If your little one likes their thumb in their mouth, try weaning them off before they get to be in first grade and still sucking.
Take care of me
Although you need to be the ultimate care provider for your baby, make sure you’re taking care of yourself. With the first child, we all too often forget to take care of ourselves because we’re so worried about the newborn. Don’t forget to give yourself some quiet time each day. Pass baby off to dad or a family member so you can be alone for a while. But ultimately, make sure you embrace and enjoy being a first-time mom – it only happens once.
Now it’s your turn: Take to the comments section below and let us know – what’s one thing you’re hoping to do as a new mom?