Every day I am thrilled to see my little one grow and take on new traits of Mike and I. It has been a world wind journey of motherhood and the past four months have truly flown by. It feels like just yesterday that I was pregnant and wobbling around and yet here I am today with a little baby on my hip and family that has grown.
I am blessed, honored and excited to see what the next four months, four years, four decades will bring us. It has been a journey of learning and while I wish my little one came with instructions, I have to say I’m not sure that would have helped.
Parenting is a job that you learn as time goes by, as the little quirks of your baby develop so will your skills as a parent.
I can remember people telling me over the past few months, “you will see it will get easier with time” or “she will be on a schedule soon, don’t worry”. While I wanted to believe them at that moment, I knew it would take some time for me to get adjusted to having a baby and for the baby to get adjusted to life outside a cozy, warm belly. At times it was so frustrating, because I didn’t know why she was crying or why she wouldn’t nap and being the “type a” person that I am, that was very hard for me to come to terms with. I am the type of person that needs to know what is going on and why at all times and frankly having a baby quickly taught me to go with the flow and life doesn’t always work out so easily for you. Once I let go of trying to control every situation, my anxiety and unease quickly went back to somewhat normal.
The first three months of life is what I like to describe as an adjustment period, especially if this is your first baby. Some things that helped me get adjusted sooner rather than later were writing down when she ate and slept and trying to keep her on a schedule. Now, I am sure some of you are thinking – writing it all down and trying to keep on a schedule – isn’t that contributing to anxiety? Well, maybe, but for me it helped me to figure out what was coming next. If she napped, ate and had a clean diaper, than maybe she was just bored or wanted some more stimulation.
Also, when I say I tried to keep her on a schedule, it doesn’t mean at 4 weeks old I tried sticking cut and dry to a schedule, of exact times of when to eat and sleep, what I mean is, I followed the activities of the day – bottle, burp, book, play and bed. I repeated them throughout and tried not to get them out of order, but of course, sometimes it obviously happened. This seemed to work for me, but I am sure there were probably other things that could have.
That being said – to the new moms out there – how was the past few months been for you? What stressed you out and what helped to alleviate it? Did you find sticking to a schedule helped or did it make you more stressed?