Seasoned moms, oh, how quickly we forget. I was reminded this week how much advice is thrown at a new mom. This week I brought my baby (horse) home. We joined a lovely new barn in a beautiful town, with many older ladies who like to trail ride. They were all eager to welcome my new baby home.

A few days before Christmas, he arrived. His name was Syver, he was perfect.

Quite like showing off a brand new baby, everyone ooohed and ahhed over how cute and fluffy he was . . . Isn’t his temperament wonderful? Look how he prances! You look adorable together.

Then, came the advice. Make sure you feel all over his body. You should walk him in every day so he gets used to it. Aren’t you going to feed him grain? I wouldn’t pick his feet up like that.

I felt overwhelmed. After a healthy dose of advice from all the seasoned “horse moms,” I found myself reluctant to go back to the barn. Instead of feeling peaceful as I drove in, I felt anxiety.

RELATED: Admire the Baby, But Don’t Forget to Nurture the Mother

The insecurity crept in. The doubt. I was nervousI was making my horse nervous. It wasn’t fun.

Holy moly. This is just like having my first baby. All the well-meaning advice stole my joy and replaced it with fear. What if I screw up? What if I’m doing it wrong? What if he turns out terrible because of me? Trying to learn under the watchful eyes of all the advice-givers was nerve-wracking. 

I needed a reset and some serious self-talk.

Yes, I was a new horse mom. But in terms of bringing home a new baby, this wasn’t my first rodeo. I tapped into what I wish I could have told myself 10 years ago when I brought my oldest son home.

I will get there. He will get there. I’ve done my research, I have a trusted trainer. All of this doesn’t need to be figured out in a day. 

I drove to the barn at sunrise. It’s my favorite time to go because no one is there yet. I bundled up and hiked through the snow to his pasture. I walked in calmly. I smelled his fur. I petted his fluffy back. I quietly listened and observed as he munched hay. It was the best 45 minutes I’ve had with him since he came home. Silently watching the sun come up. No pressure, no advice. Just us.

Here’s the thing: advice can diminish joy. Advice can make people doubt. Advice can be overwhelming. 

RELATED: Advice From An Old Mom To All The New Moms: Here’s What You Need To Know

As new moms (and in my case, horse moms) we need to soak in experiences. We need to feel that joy. We need to try and fail. We need to figure things out. No advice will save us from mistakes. No advice will prevent all problems. We will make mistakes, and we will learn from mistakes. Our experience is ours alone, and there are no tips and tricks to prevent the hard parts. 

I’ll end hypocritically by giving advice: as a seasoned mom, it’s coming from a good place and it’s tempting but resist the urge to give advice.

As a new mom, it’s tempting to think those with experience know better than you, but resist the urge to become consumed with what you don’t know. Don’t let doubt steal your joy. Your best compass is your heart.

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Krystal Sieben

Hi, I'm Krystal. Minnesota wife and mom of three great kids, three rescue dogs, and a Fjord horse named Syver. Former middle school teacher turned nonprofit director. A chance meeting with a special horse changed my path, and I now run Three Little Burdes Nonprofit. Our goal is to provide adults and children of all abilities with an introduction to ponies and horses. Check us out! http://www.instagram.com/three_little_burdes

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