Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Mommy Survival Kit

Random Google searches send a lot of new visitors over to Save the Phillips. Sometimes I laugh over what leads people to this little spot in the Internet world ("Horton Family Christmas Ornaments") and sometimes I am a tad fearful of what people are typing into search engines ("Ducks dying with rings around their necks"....and yes, the duck is still around and yes, we avoid him at all costs).

The search topic that generates quite a bit of blog traffic for Save the Phillips is "New Mom Survival Kit". It appears my post about diaper bag essentials is directing this hit.

Until today.

Because today, dear readers, we are going to develop our very own "Mom Survival Kit." Toss your to-do list out the window and plop the kids in front of Sesame Street because we are going to have a brain-storming session.

When Isaac was a sweet little newborn, fresh home from the hospital, I remember the glamorous portrayal of Mommyhood quickly fading as I came to understand the reality of being a new mom. Frankly, I was a tad scared of the 7 pound, 10 ounce little boy who now resided under our roof. One day in those early weeks, a dear friend whose Mommy skills I have always admired called to check on me. In the course of that conversation, she shared the most lovely sentiment I have ever heard since bearing children. She told me the first night she and her husband brought child number one home they looked at each other in desperation and said (above the wails of a newborn), "What have we done? This is the biggest mistake we have ever made."

Some of you are likely wondering how this was the best thought I have ever heard about parenting, but she went on to tell me things get better. After she confided in me that in her land of Mommy things are not always happy times and adoring gazes at her children, I realized that just like everything else in life, Mommyhood has its ups and downs. And that is okay.

So, to the New Mommy Survival Kit I would add an understanding that being a Mommy isn't all tender moments and intense waves of love for this little creature. There are some really icky moments when the baby is crying every hour on the hour in the middle of the night and you wish to be anywhere but in that rocking chair making feeble attempts to silence those pitiful cries. And there are some amazingly great moments when your child reaches up and pats your face lovingly or runs up and hugs the back of your legs for no reason at all other than you are "Mommy." The bad times get better and the good times are 100 times better than Hallmark ever portrayed them to be.

And those 7 pound, 10 ounce little creatures grow so quickly into 27 pound boys who inform Pastor Randy at preschool that he cannot sing "Jesus Loves Me" today because he no longer likes that song. We are quite proud.

What would you add to the "New Mommy Survival Kit"? It can be some tangible, a sentiment, a piece of advice.....anything that every New Mom might need.


Shelley said...

My advice would be, "Sleep when the baby sleeps." I use to try to get all kinds of things done when the kids napped... such as laundry, dishes, dusting, cooking, but then I learned I need to just slow down and take it easy when they are resting.

Kelly said...

I already feel like I've blocked so much of that time out of my head! :)

I guess my big over-arching advice is to go with your gut. Every baby is different, but no matter what the books say or what people around you say, you quickly learn what works for your baby...go with that and don't doubt or compare.

In the middle of the night when everything seems miserable, know that every mom has been there and did survive.

The gadgets/tools I loved in the early days: bouncy seat, Bumbo, Medela's microwavable steam bottle cleaner bag, something to make white noise, and the book "Happiest Baby on the Block."

Erika said...

My advice is get to know and love the people of Mylicon. A gassy baby is not a happy baby! Those gas drops were liquid gold. We should have bought stock in the stuff. I had asked Steven's uncle who is a Dr about it and he said use it as much as needed it won't hurt. So we did.
Also know if you breast feed, what you eat can create a gassy baby. I had to cut all dairy, beans, and broccoli from my diet. I just didn't know any better as a first time mom.
Last bit of advice--Wear your baby. Not only does it create a special bond between you and baby, you can get things done with your free hands. A multi tasking Momma is a happy Momma! :)