Best Parenting Advice
As my online group of mums-to-be approach our due dates, we put our heads together to come up with this collection of the best advice we’ve received about parenting.
We’ve all heard that unsolicited parenting advice can be the bane of a new Mum’s existence – but we think these gems are worth remembering – read on and see.
“Lower your expectations or get some help. I was driving myself mental for the first few months always trying to have the whole house clean all the time, but it’s just not realistic! When my sister gave me this advice, it just took away all the stress and pressure.”
“Just clean one room a day if that’s all you feel up to. Just one room, or one load of washing; just do something. If you can’t get more done, that’s cool. If you feel you can do another, go ahead. But just do one room a day. And that one room is usually the kitchen.”
“If you’re struggling, ask for help. Asking for help doesn't make you incompetent or weak or a bad parent. It shows you’re strong enough to put pride aside and do what's needed for both you and baby.”
“It’s 100% okay to have post-natal depression. It’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“Don’t save any outfits for a special occasion; bubs will outgrow them by the time they get a chance to wear them. If you have cute outfits, dress bub in them even if you’re staying home for the day. Take some pictures and you won’t feel like they missed out on wearing it. An older lady at work told me and I’m so grateful! My son wore everything at least once and I have pics of him in all my faves!”
“Don't watch the clock. It was amazing how less stressed I was with #2 when I didn't continually watch the clock. I wasn't stressed about how long he breastfed for or how often he woke. I just told myself, ‘They will feed a lot, they will wake a lot; just go with the flow as long as bubs is content’.
“Don’t be afraid to say no! Your baby needs time with you and only you. Feel free to say no to the constant stream of visitors and people wanting to cuddle. An over-stimulated baby will be hard to settle, but they get comfort from you. Shut the door, stop answering your phone and have some downtime with bubba.”
“Follow your baby’s lead. Everyone has an opinion; everyone will tell you the ‘right’ way to do things. But if you follow your baby and just do what works for you both, you’ll both be a lot happier than trying to make them do things that just aren’t going to work for you.”
“It will get better. The first few weeks with a newborn can be so hard and exhausting. There are times when you feel like your freedom is over and you will never sleep again. You will sleep again and it will get easier.”
“‘This too shall pass'. And repeat. Things can get tough and ugly, but then the sun comes out again and you soon forget the tough times. Also – just when you think you’ve got this parenting gig sorted, bubs will change up something; it's what they do. Go with it.”
“A mama friend told me to always make time for a shower in the morning because it will make you feel fresh, prepped and ready to face the day... as opposed to getting to 4pm still in your PJs and feeling like a sloth!”
“No one gave me this advice but I always tell myself this... ‘He will never be this little tomorrow’; makes me cherish every second and every memory.”
“It’s perfectly acceptable to put baby somewhere safe and let them cry to look after yourself for a few minutes. I found this out the hard way for sure.”
“Do what you need to do to survive in those first couple of months! Don't worry about creating bad habits or doing things differently to everyone else, as long as you and bub are safe.”
“Just relax as much as you can in those initial months; take each day and hour as it comes. And once your kid is on solids NEVER buy white/light coloured clothing ever again as your life becomes a pre-soaking marathon.”
“I heard a saying, ‘Don’t wish time away. The days are long but the years are short’. There will be days when you feel like nothing is done, bub wasn't settling like they did yesterday, you want babe to hurry up and go to sleep, hurry up and finish breakfast. Even as they get older and they’re transitioning, there are days when you won’t know what the hell to do with them! Don't wish time away because it goes in a flash. Enjoy the little moments. The newborn cry will soon go, the smell will go, the bottles will go, sterilising everything will end. Be excited for all the stages rather than just thinking, ‘I can't wait for you to crawl, walk, talk, etc.’ because one day you’ll hold them so big and think, ‘Gosh, I wish we could just lay under your play mat together a little longer’.