When you are pregnant people are not shy to offer advice. I have to admit, sometimes I wanted to run and hide from it, mostly when people offered it without my asking. However most of the time I welcomed advice with open arms, especially when it was from those whom I loved and trusted. Here are the top 5 best advice I either did or wish I had listened to! (In no particular order.)
I often feel like I’m bragging when I say this because I know many women don’t experience birth like I did, and I often refrain from telling people about it because I don’t want to jinks myself in some odd way. But I need to give Glory to God because my experience giving birth was fabulous. I am truly thankful to Christ for holding my hand through it because without Him I couldn’t have endured pain or pushed my 8.1 pound baby out!
Now that I’ve praised The Lord, back to the best advice I received…
#1.”Make a plan, but don’t be hard on yourself if it doesn’t go as planned.”
This advice actually brings tears to my eyes. Because if you knew me you would know that I plan out everything. And if I had not been given this advice my birth experience would have been very different. Most likely I would have planned exactly what I wanted my birthing experience to be like and if it had varied from my plan I would have been very disappointed in myself. And guilt would have taken over the best day of my life.
My plan was no plan….
Now I’m not saying don’t plan at all, because I realize that everyone of us is different. So if you’re the type of person who has to have a goal in mind to accomplish something, then by golly, have your birth plan set out and do your darndest to make it happen!
But what I am saying is, if your plan doesn’t work out, be at peace with it. Realize that you did not fail at giving birth or at your plan, but instead you brought a beautiful baby into the world the way that he or she needed to be brought into this world. And sometimes we don’t get to decide how it’s going to happen, and that is okay. You are no less if a mother because you had an epidural or a c-section. In fact you are more of a mother because you did what was best for your baby. What a wonderful way to bring a new baby into the world.
Don’t let guilt rob you of the best experience God is giving you. Praise Him instead of shaming yourself.
#2. “Laundry doesn’t matter.”
Seriously, it doesn’t.
Let someone else do your laundry… or just don’t do it for a few weeks. Laundry will always be the same, your little one won’t. He/She will grow so fast it’ll make your head spin.
I failed miserably at this one. But if there is a next time I will succeed at this like no other!
I was so caught up in trying to “do it all” the first few weeks of Ila’s life that I missed out on some of the most precious moments. I can’t go back and get them. But I certainly understand now, I have to live in the moment, every moment with my daughter. When she needs or wants my attention I now try to give it to her 100%, fully engaged. I don’t want to miss a moment… and there will ALWAYS be laundry to do.
(Add meals and cleaning to this too. Let friends/family come help you as much as possible, that way you can spend more time with your baby…or go take that shower!)
#3. “Be happy each time you see your baby.”
I NEVER would have put much thought into this had I not been told it was a must when parenting. But it really does make things so much more pleasant. Not just for your baby but for you too.
I found that if I actually said out loud “Oh, Ila, I’m so happy to see you!” each time she woke up from a nap or in the middle of the night for a feeding or diaper change, it would really make a world of difference on whether or not I enjoyed getting out of bed or stopping what I was doing to pick her up after a nap.
Let’s face it… waking up 10 times in those first few weeks, or when they are teething isn’t always fun. Or telling your mom who lives 500 miles away that you have to get off the phone because the baby is crying, when what you really want is to just hear her voice for a few minutes longer, isn’t always easy to do either.
But reminding yourself and reassuring your little one that you REALLY are happy they are yours can change the situation greatly.
It’s okay to not always be in the best mood, it’s not okay to take it out on your sweet little bundle.
#4. “Watch Happiest Baby on the Block.”
All I can say is “GOD SEND!”
We were absolutely desperate to make the crying stop about two weeks into Ila’s life. We would have tried to walk on water if someone told us it would calm her down.
Thankfully, I found a blog post on one of my friend’s Facebook pages that gave me a great suggestion to watch “The Happiest Baby on the Block.” I had heard of it before, but didn’t put much thought into it until I heard about it for a second time… I thought “Well there must be something to it, if I keep hearing about it.”
Paul went out the second I mentioned it and bought it. We watched it immediately and within 24 hours the crying was cut down by at least 50% and in three days it was down to probably 25%.
AMAZING… go get it!
Click HERE for the blog post.
#5. “Start praying now for your baby.”
I’m so glad that prayer is apart of my life. And I’m grateful that I’ve had such wonderful role models on how and what to pray for.
I prayed for a healthy delivery and I know God was there when she was born. It was a wonderful experience and I wouldn’t change a thing about it. There is no doubt in my mind that God listened to my prayers.
Ila spent a few extra days in a children’s hospital because of an allergic reaction she had, and without prayer I wouldn’t have been able to make it through those scary days.
I started praying for Ila’s childhood and adulthood when I was pregnant. I know God will be apart of her life and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for her.
Prayer is so powerful and it brings so much peace of mind when it comes to parenting. There are so many things to worry about and without prayer and fellowship with Christ, I’m afraid it would be much harder for me. Prayer is the answer to my anxieties.
I’d love to get more advice on parenting. HOW ABOUT YOU? What is the best parenting/ birthing/ baby advice you have been given? Share your ideas with me in the comments below!
A BIG THANKS to my friends:
Sarah for telling me not to be hard on myself, Jennifer for telling me to not worry about laundry (even though I didn’t listen), Annie for reminding me to be happy each time I see by little, Becky for suggesting the “Happiest Baby on the Block”, and my Mom and Second Mom (Judy) for teaching me to pray for my little.