It happens to all first time moms and it’s a tale as old as time. The second you announce to the world that you are pregnant with your first child, every single person who has ever carried and birthed a human being has advice they dish out whether they are asked for it or not. I always knew my day would come but I guess I wasn’t prepared for the amount of unsolicited advice I would receive.
Most people offer advice because they genuinely want to help and I am the kind of person who will listen gracefully and smile my way through it because I know it’s a natural conversation piece when you become pregnant for the first time. This doesn’t mean it isn’t a little frustrating at times.
I will be 32 in August and my little Bambino is due August 1st. I am the oldest of four and I played a huge roll in their infant to childhood upbringing. My youngest brother is 16 so I had all kinds of fun practicing my mom skills on him. I have been surrounded by moms and babies since I was a little girl. And the older I have gotten, the more family and friends have gotten pregnant before me and some are even on their second and third children. I have spent more time at Baby Showers and Kid’s Birthday’s than I have bar hopping. I have always loved kids and I am the first one to offer up my babysitting services to anyone who will hand their little bundle of joy my way.
All of that isn’t to say I am an expert on all things baby and pregnancy. I’m not. But I don’t think anyone ever really is. I have a lot of experience with babies and children. I have changed hundreds of diapers, fed many hungry mouths, been up all hours of the night (baby brother was a screamer), dealt with snotty noses, and even some snotty little brats (they were still cute though). Babies, toddlers, kids, teens… They are all unique and each one carries their own personality and needs. Having a child is definitely like a box of chocolates. You really never know what you are going to get. So I often find it funny how parents think what worked for their children will work for every other single child that comes into this world. It just isn’t realistic.
I have been very mindful over the years to not offer up my two cents or words of advice to expecting mothers or mothers trying to survive their demonic threenager. One, because I didn’t have children of my own yet so why would I list all the things they should/should not do. And, two, because I knew that I would someday want a child of my own and that I would not appreciate anyone telling me what I was doing was “wrong” or “not necessary.” I have carried the same motto over the years when it comes to moms and their children: “Whatever works for you and your babies is all that matters.” And I wholeheartedly stand by that sentiment.
I am well rounded enough to understand that every single one of us are different and that means the way we choose to parent will be different. I think this is a beautiful thing. Your family is your family and as long as you have a happy and healthy child, that’s really what is most important.
Of course, having mommy friends to help you along the way when things seem overwhelming and bleak is also something to give thanks for. I am the first person to ask a question if I have one and there are times I reach out for some wanted advice/mommy faves so I have another perspective. Because perspective is key! If I have a list of things that I want to follow for my child/pregnancy and every single one of those items on my list is a total fail, going to one of my trusted mommy friends for another take on how to do something is a blessing in disguise.
All of the aforementioned applies to first time pregnancy as well. Everyone has an opinion on what you should or should not be doing during pregnancy. And there are so many women who think that what they experienced during pregnancy is exactly what every woman experiences. Like how their body reacted or changed is how every woman’s body reacts or changes. This one has made me LOL a few times. I just nod and smile.
So what do you do as a first time mom-to-be? I say take everything with grace and a grain of salt. Some advice will work for you, and some of it will just make you laugh… or shake your fists in a fit of rage while you sit in the Target parking lot crying. The beauty of advice is that you get to pick and choose what works for you, and then let the rest of it go.
This is your life, your pregnancy, your motherhood. Whatever works for you and your babies is all that matters.