You will never be judged like you will when you are a new mother.
This is what I wish I knew beforehand because it caught me completely off guard. You will never receive so many unsolicited opinions and advice as when you have a new baby (even more so than when you are pregnant- which I also found surprising because the constant advisories during those nine months were excessive!) People will pry and practically interrogate you.
It seems like everyone, from maternity nurses to your next-door-neighbor, has an opinion of what’s best for your child. But, this seldom takes into account that by and large new mothers are trying their absolute best with whatever their particular circumstances. This point is what I wish people would consider: (most) moms are really trying their best.
My strategy for handling unwarranted criticism of your new motherhood: pull out the GFY card (Go F*@K Yourself) often. I am seriously considering doing the free 250 business card deal at vistaprint just so I can have the letters “GFY” printed up. This way if someone is sticking their nose in my mommy business, I can excuse myself to change my baby’s diaper and say, “I have to care for my child now… but here, please take my card.”
You will also receive much well-meaning advice to which I don’t believe in automatically discarding. I actually enjoy gathering different perspectives and parenting techniques from other people provided that it is coming from a place of sincerity. I believe it helps to have a lot of information so that you can make informed decisions.
In addition to first hand accounts from friends and family, I also comb voraciously through parenting books for “expert” advice and techniques. But this too is all done with a discerning eye. What it all comes down to for me is making informed decisions that also align with my intuitive leanings as a mom.
Before I go, please try to help other moms out. We have to stick together. Seriously, we should start a club.
Did you get 30 newborn onesies at your baby shower? Pay it forward. Did you receive two swings? Help a mommy out. The world will be a better place because you did.
#newmoms #helpamommyout #payitforward #GFY