A few years ago I wrote a post to new moms on my regular blog. I came across that post and decided to update it and share here because I need the reminders myself in the midst of yet another new baby! From my not-that-old (I’m 30, that’s not old, right?) but mother to many little children perspective I want to tell you some truths and secrets I’ve learned. Please remember, I am not a perfect mother (just ask my kids!). I am still in the midst of diaper changes, having babies, and teaching little ones to use their fork instead of their fingers. My oldest is only 10 so I have not yet hit teens or tweens but I have given birth to 7 children, made it through potty training 4 so far, taught several to read, and many other points along the trail.
Truth #1: Babies grow up quickly. Those first days and weeks and months can be a blur of feeding the baby, changing the baby, holding the baby, sleeping with the baby, and repeating the same actions all day and night. Remembering the last time you showered, much less the last time you ate food while it was still hot, is sometimes hard to do. Sometimes when the baby cries so do you. I promise they grow quickly. Time hits fast forward when you have a child. You wake up one morning and that baby who needed you so much is gone. They are a toddler, a preschooler, or a child. Don’t be in a hurry for sitting up, crawling, or walking. Treasure every moment – including the hard ones.
Secret #1: You are the mommy. This may seem obvious, but bear with me. From the moment you told someone you were pregnant advice started coming. With the birth of your baby that advice will multiply. Most advice is offered in love but you are the mommy so feel free to ignore any advice given. The best place to get advice on raising your child is from Heavenly Father. He chose you to be that child’s mother, and He promises to help you.
Truth #2: Being a Mommy is hard. Just like our rosy pictures of marriage, we come to motherhood with a ‘picture’ of what life will be like. That picture is sadly imperfect. Motherhood has is wonderful moments. But it is filled with many ordinary moments, some hard moments, and lots of challenges! Remember not to compare yourself or your child to others. That mom who looks like she has it all together has her share of struggles too.
Secret #2: Love multiplies as the children do. When you have your first child you can be overwhelmed by the love and protectiveness that you feel. You may start to wonder how you could love another child as much as your first. I promise you, you will love each child as much as the first, and every day you’ll love them all more! There is no such thing as too many children, each are a blessing from God.
Truth #3: Reading your scriptures will give you more energy than sleeping in. Find ways to make scripture reading happen. Read first thing in the morning, at midnight feedings, and in the bathroom. Post verses above the sink and keep some scriptures near your favorite place to feed the baby. Napping is good(something I highly recommend doing with the baby!), but read a few verses first.
Secret #3: The best way to love your baby is to love your husband. I find it easy to put my children ahead of my husband in priority. I have learned, however, that the most important relationship you can strengthen, after your relationship to God, is the relationship with your husband. In a world where families are falling apart and children are caught in the middle you can give your children a refuge in the storm. Take time to talk, to date you husband(even watching a movie at home while the baby sleeps works), dress nicely for him, and touch him. I know you’re touched out! I understand that you have spent 23 of the last 24 hours with a child in your arms. Believe me, I know(imagine that times 7! I really do understand). Take a minute to put the baby down and hug your husband. Hold his hand when you are both gazing in wonder at that sweet baby.
Above all, remember that time never stops. Savor each moment, good and bad. This season is yours to hold a sleeping baby close while others must hurry about. Don’t ever feel guilty for that! You are God’s hands.