Dear Brand New Mom,
Being that you are brand new to this job, there are bound to be some bumps along the way. Give yourself some grace in learning the ropes. Not knowing something does not make you a “bad mom”. Doing something wrong, ignoring some advice that in hindsight was right, making a decision that’s against the “norm”, or forgetting something does not make you one either. In fact, most of the things you feel like you have failed with are things that most of us get wrong at least once along the way. It doesn’t make you a bad mom – it makes you a REAL mom.
I’ve heard many moms blurt out “oh, I’m such a bad mom, I ____________”. Although usually it’s being said in jest, it breaks my heart that we judge ourselves so harshly.
Actual fill in the blank examples I’ve heard:
…didn’t know what onesies were for
…haven’t been researching preschools for my six month old
…didn’t know you couldn’t feed them strawberries yet
…haven’t written down anything from their first year
…have the TV on while my newborn sleeps on my chest
…let them stay in their rock n play because they are happy (and quiet)
…don’t make my own baby food
…was standing right there and my son grabbed the knife and cut his finger
….turned my back and my daughter rolled off of the changing table
…forgot to bring an extra change of clothes and they spit up everywhere
One of my favorite quotes that I share with any new mom I see is “There is no way to be a perfect mother, and million ways to be a good one”, by Jill Churchill. Make it into a magnet, frame it on your wall, and ingrain it into your brain.
Nip the negative self-talk in the bud right from the beginning, even if you are only (half) joking when you say it (out loud or to yourself). Pat yourself on the back and acknowledge you are doing the best you can.
A Mom Who’s Been There
About the Author
Jen Winckler is a Newborn PEPS leader in Snohomish County. She is a stay at home mom (aka. Volunteeraholic) to two boys, ages 9 and 7, and is still trying to navigate the constant curve balls that parenting dishes out. She used to dread the minivan driving soccer mom title, but has come to love watching her boys play their hearts out (and did sell the minivan as soon as they could open their own doors without banging the car in the next sta