Common new mom mistakes that aren't mistakes at all
Posted September 26
When a new baby comes into your life you may feel overwhelmed, overjoyed and under qualified for the job. There is so much to learn and so many new experiences you will go through. You may make some mistakes, and that is okay. But not every mistake needs correcting. Here are five mistakes that are not mistakes at all:
Mom’s worry. It’s what we do. We are now responsible for another life. These little ones are 100% dependent on us for their care and survival. It is natural to worry we may be doing something wrong, or that we are not interpreting a cough or sneeze the right way. Don’t feel bad for calling the doctor 5 times a week or Googling every symptom your baby is exhibiting. It’s okay. Every new mom does it.
2. Not buying everything on the must-have list
As a new mom, you may not be sure what you do and do not need on the recommended baby registry list. Are you really going to use a bottle warmer? Do you really need a play mat, bouncer, jumper, exercauser and swing? It can be a bit overwhelming when you look at the list of items and feel like you have to buy them all or your baby’s life will not be complete.
Don’t worry about. You can always buy these items after the baby has arrived. You can also find gently used items or have a neighbor or friend loan you theirs to see if your baby even likes/needs it before forking over a large sum of money on something your baby will use once or twice or not at all.
Ask around for what people felt were their must-have items, and then decide what is essential and what can wait. Don’t beat yourself up for not having every item on the list. I guarantee you don’t need 5 different kinds of entertainment systems for your newborn.
3. Not breastfeeding/not using formula
Nowadays it seems that if you don’t breastfeed your child then you are not giving them the best start. Or, you hear without breastmilk they will have problems later in life, and it must mean you are a lazy mom. Don’t listen to these claims!
Everyone has their own story and set of circumstances. You do what is best for you and your baby. I tried breastfeeding my twins, and it did not work out. Everyone was miserable and no one was getting the rest and nutrients they needed, so we switched to formula. It was the best decision ever. Did I feel guilty that I wasn’t breastfeeding even though it was not by any fault of my own? Yes. It wasn’t until I had more experience as a mom, saw how they were thriving on formula and realized in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter how they were fed, as long as they were fed.
On the flip side, I was able to breastfeed my third baby. It just worked. But, I would get looks and feel like I was being indecent when I was breastfeeding out in public (if I used a cover or not). I started to wonder if I should be bottle feeding in public instead of using my breast. Bottom line: no matter what way you decide to go, someone will have an opinion and issue with it. Just focus on what is best for you and your baby. Ignore the rest.
4. Flooding your social media with pictures
It is natural to take one million pictures of your baby and of course want to share them with the world. A lot of moms apologize for flooding their social media accounts with pictures of their baby, and they shouldn’t be sorry. As long as you are being careful and have the correct security settings, go for it. Your friends are following you because they care about your life and if they really are tired of seeing pictures of your baby, they can choose to unfollow you. Years from now you will look back at those pictures and be sad that you didn’t post more!
5. Not leaving the house for 3 months
New moms may feel guilty that they are saying no to social obligations and not accepting many visitors those first few months of a baby’s life. Don’t. This is a very special time for you and your newborn.
You are getting to know each other and adjusting to a major life change. Cherish that time. Be selfish with your time. Five years from now you will not miss the opportunity you turned down to help with the PTA, but you will miss being able to gaze into your baby’s eyes and see them recognize you for the first time. Spend as much time as possible with your newborn, the time goes quickly and you’ll never get it back.
Welcoming a new baby into your home is an amazing and trying time. Of all the things going on, worrying about these “mistakes” is not worth the time and energy you will put into it. Just enjoy your time and soak up every moment, good or bad.
Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in Anthropology and a masters in Psychology. She lives in Orange County, CA and is a mother of twins. Contact her at Meganshauri@gmail.com