As a new mom, I was surprised by the amount of advice that came my way. It seemed like there was advice coming from every corner of my life; friends, family, Pinterest, Facebook (is there parenting advice there or just parents complaining about other parents…hmm…sometimes I wonder) and random grocery store clerks.
After I made it through the first few months of having a newborn (and caught up on some sleep) I realized that the advice was coming from good, well-intentioned places.
It just seemed so overwhelming because I was experiencing everything for the first time. I also had to make decisions about every aspect of my son for the first time too.
Cloth or disposable?
Rock to sleep, nurse to sleep, or cry it out?
Plastic or glass bottles?
Paci or no paci?
Exclusively breastfed, some formula, rice cereal, oatmeal….
Oh my goodness the decisions are ENDLESS!!!
Sometimes I wondered how any child –ever— made it out of infancy with such dire decisions on the line!
Then I realized there are as many ways to raise a child as there are different children in the world. What works for one mom with one child may not work with another.
I’m particularly interested in the end-product of parenting. Sure your 3-year-old might be rocking out on letters but what kind of adult do they become?
The only people that can answer that question are those who have raised children into adulthood (and sometimes the jury is still out on those too).
That’s why I love to hear advice from grandparents (of course my mom will tell you I don’t always follow it). So I asked some wonderful grannies to give advice for new moms. Here’s what they had to say:
- 4 children
- 2 grandsons
“The best advice I received was you can’t spoil a child with affection so my kids got lots of hugs and kisses.
To new moms I would say take lots of pictures, go to lots of games, give millions of kisses and hugs because before you know it, they have grown up.
I do believe people follow too many ideas from other people to impress. Every family, kid, spouse, grandparents are different. What works for one family…. May not work for yours….”
- 1 daughter
- 1 grandson
“Do the best you can with a child with special needs and don’t resent the extra time it takes. Don’t feel guilty about not doing better. The main thing is love him/her but also set boundaries.”
- 3 children
- 7 grandchildren
“I always cleaned everything every week. Same routine, I now wish I would have been more spontaneous and skipped the weekly ritual of cleaning. Does anyone even remember or care that my house was clean? Enjoy the time you have with your little ones. It goes so fast. Don’t get caught up in the minutia of day-to-day life that distracts from what is really important.”
- 4 children aged 30-35
- 7 GRANDbabies 3 months to 9 years.
“Best advice I received, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Many times I didn’t know what the small stuff was until later!
Stay involved. Put your phone down, turn tv off, invest your time. It will honestly be the best investment you will make!
Cleaning my house too. I read that from one of your moms! Everything does not have to be perfect.
Something else…Try not to be too judgmental on yourself or others for their parenting skills. There is no one right way. And you never know how things will turn out. Do your best in the moment and forgive yourself. Don’t be afraid to say you are sorry to your kids!”
- 3 sons
- 6 grandchildren
“For new moms I would advise to remember that this too shall pass. There will be many stages!
The best thing that I have been able to do is watch my Grands while their parents work. My mom did it for me when my boys were little too. I was blessed to do it for my older 2 Grands and now for the 4 little ones. (9 months, 15 months, almost 3.5 yrs and almost 4)
At first I kept a daily journal so that the mom’s would feel like they didn’t miss anything while at work. Then I also try to send pictures throughout the day of the little angels being ornery and cute. I can’t be more blessed to be a part of their lives this way. I can always go back to a job later but for now I’m where God wants me to be. With my Grands!”
- 2 daughters
- 4 grandchildren
“Enjoy the journey. Don’t let the gurus influence your intuitions. “Mother knows best!””
- 4 children
- 3 grandchildren
“The greatest advice I ever received was to discipline my children so others would treat them kindly.
Advice to a new mother….Give everything time; yourself and those around you.”
Here’s to you new mama! You were perfectly created to raise this amazing child you have. You and your baby are a match made in heaven (literally). You’re already equipped with everything you need to raise your baby in just the right way. Trust yourself, you can do this!
Comment below to tell me great advice you have for other new moms.