First-time moms get a lot of advice from the most well-intentioned humans. People with and without kids just want to help you on the most incredible and possibly most terrifying journey of your life. Below are a few nuggets from folks that I've tried and failed. As I'm a third of the way to being a mom of two, I've started to trust myself and #Gingerdad more. We've kept this kiddo alive so far, and we've got plenty of people (and the internet) to ask for help if we need it.
My only advice to you, mama, is to hold onto what makes you feel good and let go of what doesn't.
1. You should make a full bounce back in 12 months
When they say full bounce back, it's less of a boomerang and more of a rabid kangaroo. They do not mean you will go back to your former life before you had a kid. You will, however, have hopefully adjusted to whatever life you've bounced into. If you haven't, that's okay too. Fifteen months later, my body parts aren't at all where I left them, and I've yet to figure out how to make everything a priority all the time. When people give you timelines, kindly accept them, and then gently throw them away in secret like you do when someone hands you a Jesus pamphlet on the street.
2. Don't compare yourself to other moms
I try not to do this, but social media is a trap. Perfect pictures, updates of poop in the potty or reports of the coveted sleeping through the night, all make us wonder if we're doing it right. Does he have enough teeth? Am I talking to him enough? Should he be enrolled in baby SAT-prep? Not too many people share real-life parenting. Here's a gem from tonight:
Here's what I've found helpful while stumbling on seemingly perfect posts: Just know that the latest momstagrammer with her four smiling kids, clean house and perky boobs also puts hemorrhoid cream on her butt, just like every other mom.
3. Sleep when the baby sleeps
This was not a thing for me on maternity leave. When the baby slept, I got the f*** to work. Laundry, showering, peeing, etc. If you can figure out how to knock yourself out when your kid falls asleep, you should bottle and sell your secrets in a pyramid scheme.
4. Meal prepping will make your life easier
Meal prepping made me crazy, but again, to each their own. Chopping vegetables for them to spoil at the end of the week because no one made it home in time to cook was disappointing. Before your kid can fall asleep on his own, I'm not sure how people hold knives, cook chicken and rock a baby at the same time. I've mentioned it before, but Local Crate has been an absolute life/time/money/food saver for us.
5. You'll have more energy if you make time to work out