Thursday, March 25, 2010

What Every New Mom Needs

Reality Check:  It isn’t like the glossy magazines!  Before becoming a mother you see all those pictures of new moms holding laughing babies.  Those women have perfectly styled hair, rosy glows, and impeccably ironed white shirts.  The reality is, you will feel lucky to get a shower in those first few days of parenthood.  All those onesies you spent hours folding and stacking in the drawer will soon be scattered about as you hurried to dress a baby that just had another diaper blow out.  So try to go easy on yourself as you embrace a new reality.  It might not look like the magazines, but there is still beauty in it.

Ask for Help:  No ‘super mom’ ever did it all on her own, and you shouldn’t either.  Being good to ourselves, and our family, means asking for help when we need it.  The PMC offers a wonderful service called Meals In A Pinch, which is just perfect for new moms.  Our wonderful volunteer moms will bring your family dinner for an entire week!  You might also consider asking your extended family for a hand around the house.  They can help with sweeping, mopping, dusting and cooking.  You might also consider hiring a housekeeper, at least for that first month or two after baby arrives.    

Join A Playgroup:  Playgroups aren’t just for babies.  In fact, until your kids are toddlers, they are more for the moms.  We need support, and there is nothing like talking to other moms going through the exact same thing to make you feel good.  You become comrades very quickly, and can share everything from messy house stories to new baby food ideas.  Stories of strangely colored baby poo become something to laugh about, rather than worry about. 

The PMC always has open playgroups, but consider starting your own if a current group doesn’t fit your schedule.

Comfortable Clothes:  In those first few weeks of motherhood, your old jeans still won’t fit.  Try having a few comfy, stretchy outfits available.  You might not make it out of the house much, but you will want to look attractive and feel comfortable when running to the grocery store, or to those first doctor appointments. 

A Good Baby Carrier:  While this is a personal choice, many moms are enjoying the option of carrying their baby and having their hands free.  There are many options when choosing your baby carrier, but if you think this might be something you will enjoy, try spending the extra money for one that will last.  Look for the best back support, and one that will hold your baby’s ever increasing weight. 

Rest:  At the heart of being a patient and happy mom is getting the rest we all need.  A new baby will wake you up multiple times a night, and feeling well rested may be your biggest new mom challenge.  Do what you can, even if it means staying in bed that whole first week, to get the rest you need.

The Petaluma Mothers’ Club doesn’t endorse any single theory or "right" way to parent, but exist to create an atmosphere of support and camaraderie so that each member may find what she needs to grow as a parent. We are a network of families supporting families.  Our online forum is a great way to ask questions, even anonymously, to get support and more satisfaction from being a parent.

Please leave a comment if you have any new mom suggestions!

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