A few weeks ago I asked our Little Mash friends on Instagram what was the best advice they received that better prepared them for parenthood. I have included their answers below and a few of my own too.
MY TOP 3 PARENTING TIPS...
Depending on your circumstances, you may benefit from doing couples counselling sessions prior to the birth of your child to ensure you and your partner are on the same page. Having someone to mediate these conversations can be helpful when topics get a little touchy. For example: Will our child be raised in a religion? Who can and cannot babysit our child? How will we discipline our child? What elements from my childhood do I want to bring to my parenting - what do I want to leave behind? How will we navigate household chores and finances moving forward? etc. There's no denying that parenting can get stressful. Throw lack of sleep into the mix and things can spiral quickly. Avoid the arguments and make a plan with clear expectations ahead of time.
Some of the best advice I received during my pregnancy was to dress babies in things you genuinely love. This is especially important on the hard days - it makes them extra cute and weirdly easier to parent (a useful tip for toddlers and big kids too). I know it sounds silly but it really works. With this in mind I recommend you purchase items that fit within a specific colour scheme or aesthetic and ditch everything else. Yes that includes the pair of shorts your mums-friends-nanas-cousin gave you (you know the ones). There really is no point in holding on to anything that will be difficult to style - you won’t reach for it, trust me.
Get. The. Help. When I think about my first year of motherhood I just want to go back in time and give myself a great big hug. I was so overwhelmed, beyond sleep deprived and terribly underprepared. Prepare yourself for the 4th trimester - I urge you to research the signs of postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety (remember dads can experience this too) and treatments available. Renata has developed a fantastic face-to-face workshop which is held in our wee shop monthly but is also available online. Visit Lila Jasmine Nutrition to learn more.
TIPS FROM OUR LITTLE MASH FRIENDS...
- Not parenting - birth advice. Be open to changes in your plan. Do what's safe
- Put your baby down awake!
- Go with your gut, you know your baby best
- Follow your intuition - trust that you know what's best for your babe
- Not a mum but a midwife - you CANNOT spoil your baby by cuddling them "too much"
- Breastfeeding can take a long time to establish - 6+ weeks! BE PATIENT AND PERSISTENT
- Don't force routines, babies fall into their own natural rhythm, so if it's working don't mess with it
- Don't listen to anyones advice! Carve your own path
- Always follow your gut instinct, if it feels right then you're doing it right!
- Don't compare your baby with others. Do what feels natural and the rest will come
- Don't feel guilty for not doing the washing, dishes etc and just spend time enjoying the newborn bubble
- I guess after 6 kids the best advice I've learnt is to go with your instincts. Also don't compare
- The more love and cuddles you give the more well adjusted kids become
- Your journey is not like anyone else's, it is your own! Embrace YOUR journey
- Good or bad. Nothing lasts forever!
- You don't have to be perfect! It's ok to not be okay!
- If you visit the baby and mum, do a job or chore to help or bring a meal
- Sleep when the baby sleeps. Accept help
- You are the expert on your baby
- Listen to peoples stories and take on board what you like. If it doesn't resonate, forget it
All the very best!
Tania of LMB. x