New Mom: Feeling Clueless About Parenting? The Good News...
Clueless New Mom: What The Heck Am I Doing?
Want some good news? Most first time moms are clueless, some just fake it better than others. After I had my first child, I realized how little I actually new about kids and parenting.
I felt confident while I was pregnant that I would be a good mom, that baby sleeps, eats and dirties their diaper and that was about it.
I looked to the most random people at first for advice - like family members or friends who did not have children. Once you are a mom, you get this sudden news flash that no one could possibly understand what it is like having a child, until you have one. At this point in parenthood, I literally laugh out loud if anyone without kids tries to give me advice.
Want Some Good News?
I soon learned that even the most confident and put together mom friends I had also confessed to me that they, too, were totally clueless.
So funny that we get so much training in our early life about geography and history and advanced mathematics and not one class about parenting or raising children. I can tell you the capital of almost every country in the world, but did anyone ever teach me how to feed another human being? Nope.
Strange isn’t it? Our society seems (at least to me anyway) to undermine how hard it really is for first time moms. It is our human nature to reproduce and raise the next generation and we, as women should use our nurturing ways to raise kids and make it look easy.
You Will Not Know All The Answers
Parenting is a life long learning process. You do not get an A+ because you read all of the “what to expect when expecting” books. You do not get qualified because you babysat when you were younger or have a little brother who’s diaper you used to change. Trust me, the real thing is much different.
The Truth About Being A New Mom
So if you are a new mom and are feeling totally clueless (which is normal and OK) what will make you feel better? I am about to say something not everyone is going to like....
Time. Time is what helps. When you’re baby is a year old, you will just start to feel like you got the hang of raising an infant. When your toddler is 3 years old, you will just start to feel like you’ve mastered raising a toddler and so on. Unfortunately, this is the reality of parenting.
My point is, yes you feel clueless. You give yourself thumb calluses googling all of the answers to your millions of questions and wonder when parenting will seem easier. Please. Stop. My best advice? Pick your battles.
Pick Your Battles
Pick your battles what? You are not going to have all (or even some) of the answers as a first time mom. If you constantly stress about every little question or concern or worry or do I see a tinge of green in the Babies poop. Is that green? Quick grab my phone, what does green poo mean? Could my baby have an allergy? Does that cause green poo? Google allergies. You get my point.
Take a deep breath and save that anxiety for the important questions. Is your baby eating? Is your baby having bowel movements? Is your baby showing signs of distress or illness? Those are the important questions. Everything else you will learn in time. And like I said, by the time you figure out and understand the green poo, your baby will be ready to start solids and that’s a whole ‘nother poo changing experience.
It is OK
Know that it is OK to not have a clue what you are doing. Know that you shouldn’t feel comfortable parenting just because you have all of the lady parts to make a baby. Understand that most (if not every) other mom feels the same way that you feel right now. Also know that one day you will think to yourself “ok, I got this. I feel more confident now and I know what I’m doing”.....until tomorrow, when you don’t.
I am a strong believer that we should all be in this together. Life isn’t like it was back in the day when it actually took a village to raise a child. Nowadays, people are spread too far apart and our sense of “community” has diminished to what city to put in on your craigslist app. We need each other.
Find The Right Support
Being a military wife that lives hours from everyone I know and trust, we must help each other. I can promise you that another moms first hand experience is going to be more much more anxiety reducing than a google answer.
Ask questions...you need to learn the answers to grow and feel confident. But ask the right people, and have conversations with like minded moms.
Do not try to turn yourself into a mom encyclopedia while drinking your 4th cup of coffee at 2 o’clock in the morning worried to death about green poo. Pick your battles.
And as always, I am here. Not to judge, not to criticize...but to completely relate to you and provide the support that we all need and deserve as new moms. Let’s grow together!
If you are struggling with a colicky baby, find some answers in this article: Worry Free Guide To Treat Baby Colic.