I can’t believe I’m actually writing these words. As of yesterday, Freddy is officially 6 months old. Half a year old. Like – holy crap where did the time go!?
I’m excited to share some things I’ve learned along the way. You may or may not agree with them all, but hey, that’s what makes life exciting right? Please remain kind.
- I’m just going to get this out of the way – I’ve fallen in love with the idea of attachment parenting. Mainstream society has a twisted view on the idea of babies being independent. They are BABIES. They crave and thrive with constant and consistent love and support. When they feel safe, they feel loved. When they feel loved, they are happy. This may mean holding your baby for hours a day (especially when they are newborns) but you’ll be investing in an ever-lasting bond between you and your sweet baby. I still have to make a conscious effort to not be effected by societies judgements and selfish desires of convienince. Of course, we all love our “freedom” but when you have a baby you’ve chosen to share that freedom with another human. And remember, they aren’t small forever, so stop worrying about them doing “what they’re supposed to do” and start cherishing every moment with them. Using that perspective will help you lower the stakes and feel more free and justified. I could seriously rant about this all day, but this is my attempt to keep it short and sweet. Also, keep in mind, every parent is different and you’re entitled to do whatever you feel is best for you and your family.
- You have to remove milk to make milk. There’s not magic food that will create more breastmilk. Whether you have to pump every hour or continue nursing your baby on call – that’s the best way to build your supply. Then after 12 weeks or so, if you have an abundance of milk, it’s ok to stop the extra pumping. Your breasts have established a supply and can make milk on demand! Check out the La Leche League for more information about breastfeeding.
- Gosh it’s so easy to neglect yourself. It’s ok to prioritize other things (especially baby) but you will be a better parent if you’re feeling good. Seeking help to make it possible to pamper yourself (whether that’s a weekly walk, watching your fav show, eating your fav meal, doing your fav activity, etc.) once a day is not something to be scarred of.
- Find your tribe. I’m serious. Without at least one or two good friends, I’d be in a much rougher place. Don’t be afraid to splurge on them. Don’t be afraid to simply ask them to come over. Don’t be afraid to ask them if you could swing by to get out of the house.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks if it means a better experience for you and your child. You know what I’m talking about here. Whether it’s co-sleeping, using a floor bed, etc. Do what you think is best for your child’s overall development. Ignore the haters. There will always be haters.
- You don’t have to defend your parenting choices. You can simply say, “because that’s what we’ve chosen to do.” BAM.
I hope these tips can inspire other first time mamas. It’s hard to keep reality in check and get caught up in societies judgements and standards. It’s also hard staying true to yourself with everyone whispering in your ear. I believe in you. I am here for you.