When preparing for motherhood it can be so easy to get caught up in all the things baby needs. From little onesies and hats, to diapers and bottles, to the bigger stuff like a crib and a car seat. And that’s barely getting started.
But it’s important to remember that baby doesn’t just need stuff. Honestly, half the stuff you get you probably won’t even use. Baby also needs a healthy and happy mom. You need to prepare yourself as much as you need to prepare baby’s room.
Now, don’t get overwhelmed when I say that! There are so many different decisions to make. Will I breast feed or formula feed? What is the safest car seat on the market that won’t bankrupt me? To use a pacifier or not to use a pacifier? I didn’t even know that was a debate until I started doing my mommy research. I just thought all babies used pacifiers. But apparently there are some pros and cons and it’s actually another decision to add to our long list.
This is why it’s so important to slow down and remember to prepare you too.
It’s so important to stay as healthy as you can throughout your pregnancy, and the internet is full of awesome ideas on how to do that (after asking your doctor of course). I’ve been doing yoga, walking, anything that keeps me on my feet while I can stay on them. There will be days where it’s just not going to happen, but even a few times a week makes such a big difference, both for your mental and physical health. It also makes delivery and postpartum recovery a little easier, which is definitely something you want!
ASK FOR HELP
I already have friends and family asking me what I need for baby and for our family and I’m taking advantage of that. I have friends asking me for meal orders for them to make for me to freeze, and I have family coming to stay with us for a while when he’s here. It will be so nice not to have to cook or do dishes, or even clean my bathroom (I know my mom and mom-in-law are both going to want to help with cleaning…and I’m not complaining!). It will make my life so much easier and give us both more time to spend with baby and rest when we can. Have a support system and use it.
TAKE A PARENTING CLASS
Hubby and I are in the middle of a 7-session parenting class and let me tell you it’s been so helpful. I think one of the biggest things has been to really get him kicked into gear for getting ready for the baby, because it can be easy for us moms to completely take over! It’s been nice to see hubby really listening and wanting to talk about things with me after the class.
It’s also been great to find out what some of our options are. One of the first things we were taught is if you don’t ask, things just kind of happen to you during labour without you necessarily knowing that you can choose something else to be done. Yes, there are emergency situations that may happen, but more often than not you have options. All you have to do is ask!
There’s been so much helpful information in these classes. I highly recommend preparing yourself this way. And bring your support person, whoever that may be, so they know how to help you too!
Mamas. We go through sooo much during pregnancy, and then again during labour and delivery. We definitely, without a doubt, deserve to feel pampered. I know sometimes for me, it’s been hard to justify spending money on myself when I could be using it to buy diapers, or something else for baby. I try to get past that and realize that getting a manicure, or a haircut, or a massage is really important for both mine and baby’s health. But you don’t need to spend money to pamper yourself! Take a bubble bath, do a facemask, paint your nails, take a break from cooking and order take out… anything that makes you feel a little less stressed mama and a little more you.
MAKE TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR PARTNER
When preparing for motherhood, it can be easy to neglect your spouse. Some people go on babymoons. If you don’t know what that is, basically it’s like a mini (or not so mini) honeymoon right before baby comes. It gives you and your partner some time to get away from the craziness of getting ready for baby, and to spend some last-minute time together before baby arrives! Even if you don’t do anything like that, make sure you and partner have some date nights and take some much-needed much-deserved time for yourselves.
DON’T STRESS ABOUT GETTING THINGS DONE
It may seem like baby needs a whole bunch of stuff but half of it you probably won’t end up even using. They really don’t need a lot. I mean, as long as you have somewhere for him/her to sleep, some clothes, a car seat and lots of baby diapers baby would survive! It’s more important that you stay calm, as stress has more negative effects on you and baby than not having the perfect bouncer. Give yourself time to get everything in order and realize that as long as you have the essentials everything will be fine. Baby needs you more than anything!
HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF AS MOM
You can do this! Another thing that was talked about in parenting class is that we are the only species that doubts ourselves through this whole process. We prepare and prepare, and we let our minds wander to everything that could go wrong.
So, as easy as it can be to do that, have faith in yourself! You know what’s best for you, you know what’s best for baby, and you know you’ll do your best. You’ll make mistakes like everyone, but I promise your baby will forgive you and will still love you like crazy. You learn on the job! So, just know you’ll be an amazing mom to your little one because you love them like crazy.