Dear Brand New Mom,
You’re starting to get used to the idea of being a mom, maybe you’ve figured a few things out – things that work for your baby, things that don’t. At a certain point, you’re willing to TRY ANYTHING to accomplish some task (get them to sleep, get errands done, get them to eat, get them to ______). Some piece of advice someone gave you long ago that you shrugged off comes back to you at 3:34am and you think A HA! Let’s give that whackadoo idea a try, what have we got to lose??
And then it happens. It worked. Yikes…time to go apologize to that person for discounting, or even outright detesting, their idea or what you see them do with their child. Maybe it’s only ever said to yourself, but still sometimes it’s hard to accept that you were wrong.
Let’s look at some examples (yes, I said all of these things)…
|What I said at one point||What actually happened|
|“I will never own a minivan.”||Minivan purchased 3 months after first child is born.|
|“I will never use a backpack monkey leash thingy. How degrading!”||Monkey backpack purchased first time strong willed child runs into parking lot, and I’m too pregnant to chase him.|
|“I don’t think I could ever be a stay-at-home mom.”||Turned in notice on last day of leave.|
|“I am such a whiz at this sleep training thing, my baby sleeps through the night already at 3 months!”||Second baby is complete sleeping disaster through age 12 months.|
|“I will not let the baby alter our social life. We will still go to dinner and go camping and…”||Baby will only sleep in crib and there’s no way we are going out past 6:30 bedtime or the next day is a nightmare.|
|“I will still talk to my friends daily”.||Lucky to get an email sent off at midnight once a week to my BFF.|
|“I’m not going to be a soccer mom”.||Attends 4-6 nights of soccer per week because the joy of watching your children do something they LOVE can’t be matched.|
|“Cloth diapers? Ew. Who has time for that?”||Began using cloth diapers to fix bedtime leaks, and wound up starting an Etsy store selling handmade diaper covers.|
We all want to be confident and think we know everything; that we are prepared to do this mom thing. We’ve read the books, we have a plan. Let me do it MY way. But, in the end, sometimes the thing you planned just didn’t work and you need to change your mind! I was so surprised by my choice to buy a minivan I had to make a license plate frame to pronounce my defeat – I have it hanging in my garage to remind me that it’s ok to change your opinion once you have new information. I apologized to friends who had kids before me letting them know I should have been more supportive and understanding.
Now, especially now, don’t be too proud to admit defeat. Eat your words (they taste better with a chocolate chaser), and embrace whatever works in the end for you and your family–regardless of how vehemently opposed you said you were to something before you had kids (or had a second kid who was opposite of your first).
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 stall).