Being a mom is the single most incredible, amazing, beautiful, blessed, rewarding gift that I have ever been given. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the top 10 Things Motherhood has Taught Me. I know without a doubt I could add to that list, and consequently it would go on forever and ever. When you are a mom, you learn SO much from spending time with and caring for your sweet babies! In my opinion, there is NO better job, and I am so blessed and lucky to be on this journey we call motherhood.
Gerber® Good Start® Gentle has asked me to share my formula for happiness with all of my readers in terms of keeping yourself and baby happy, especially during those first few weeks. Gerber® Good Start® Gentle believes that the Formula for Happiness™ can be a lot of things, and moms have different ways of enjoying the journey through motherhood. Today, I am going to share with your what I believe to be our #FormulaForHappiness.
1. Trust your motherly instinct. You know more than you think you do!
So many first-time-moms (and even veteran moms) can easily get caught up in reading articles, books, and magazines that tell you how you should be doing certain things in regards to your baby. The same goes for advice from friends and family. While I certainly have learned many useful and beneficial things from literature I’ve read or conversations I’ve had with other moms – don’t ever squelch your innate motherly instinct. Everyone is an expert when it comes to their baby, which means – what works for someone else may not work for you…and that’s okay! Do what feels comfortable for you and baby, and never feel guilty for not doing something the way another mom does. You know your baby best!
2. Stick to the basics.
There are so many products for babies on the market these days. It can be so overwhelming. I remember standing in the middle of Babies R Us with the registry scanner literally not knowing where to even begin. I think it finally took a little elbow nudge from my husband to dive into the task ahead of us. Truthfully, your baby only needs to be fed, clothed, changed, cuddled and loved, and a safe place to sleep. The rest? That’s just extra – and while some things are game changers (we never would have slept those first few months with our boys if it weren’t for the Rock n’ Play), a lot of things can be overwhelming and quite simply, unnecessary. Don’t forget the basics!
3. Focus on routine rather than a schedule.
This one was a hard one for me to learn. I wanted so desperately to be on a strict schedule. It was a little easier to do with our oldest, but when baby number two came alone – all schedules went out the window. It’s possible to have a routine rather than a schedule. Don’t stress yourself out over times – just do what keeps baby happy! Both of our boys followed the eat, play, sleep routine pretty closely. I assure you it wasn’t because of something we did or didn’t do as parents – it’s just the rhythm they fell into naturally and it worked for us! Luca is 9 months old and still follows this routine. Some days one cycle takes 3 hours, and some days it takes 5 or 6 hours to complete a cycle of eating, playing, and sleeping. We roll with the punches and try not to stress about sticking to specific times and schedules.
4. Sleep is a necessity for everyone.
Sleep when your baby or babies are sleeping. I know how hard it can be to do – especially when there are dishes to be done, or there is laundry to be folded, or your house looks like it was turned upside down and shaken. I get it. However, I have come to realize that I am more productive in doing those things when I am rested – even if it is just a 30 minute nap. The same goes for babies! When your kiddos are tired, you KNOW it. Sleep is great for everybody, and especially important for growing babies!
5. Don’t be afraid to accept offered help – or to ask for it!
Whether you are bring home your first baby, or your second, third, fourth or more – you are a new mom all over again, and you are EXHAUSTED. You just birthed a baby. A baby that grew inside of you for 40 or more weeks. A baby you carried within your own body. You should never be ashamed of asking for or accepting help from your family and friends. If you find yourself needing help beyond what your family and friends may be able to provide (such as help from sleep consultants, lactation consultants, or nutritionists) feel free to click here for a FREE appointment that will get you the help you need. These services are provided by Gerber® Good Start® Gentle.
6. Snuggle your sweetie pie!
I still can’t believe that Jonah will be three in December. Luca just turned 9 months – and I can’t believe that either! Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle! Cuddle, cuddle, cuddle! If you have to choose snuggling or cuddling your little one or housework – choose your baby. They are only little for so long. One day, you will rock them to bed for the last time. You will wash their hair in the bathtub for the last time. You will dress them for the last time. You will change a diaper for the last time. Cherish every moment you can while those moments are around and plentiful. Someday they won’t be, and you will miss them dearly.
7. Create adventures and memories!
You don’t have to spend money to create memories with your little ones. Eat lunch outside under the maple tree in your yard. Go for a scavenger hunt on a crisp Fall day. Go to the zoo. Collect sea shells on the beach. There is nothing that makes my heart swell more than watching my children discover something new for the first time, and having them genuinely enjoy it. Seeing them smile makes me melt into a puddle. Memories are made by simply being present and taking the time to get one-on-one with your children. It isn’t about how much MONEY you spend, but how much TIME you spend with them. Cherish every moment, and take lots of pictures!
There you have it – our #FormulaForHappiness. What’s yours? Feel free to share with me in the comments below, or use the hashtag #FormulaForHappiness on Social Media. Thank you for reading!