I was reminiscing today about having been a new parent. My son’s 18 now, (insert relieved sigh here) and very independent (insert EMPHATIC relieved sigh).
New parents and parents- to- be will get a lot of expert advice from every quarter, and some of it is even GOOD advice.
I remember getting a lot of both kinds of advice when I became a Mom. My own Mom gave me two of the best pieces of advice I ever got as I was just beginning my journey of motherhood.
The first piece of really great advice that she gave me came as I was again trying (unsuccessfully) to breastfeed and my milk still refused to let down.
I remember her looking at my tear stained face and quivering lip and saying, “Everyone is enjoying this baby but you! Why don’t you just switch to formula”?
I had been waiting for my milk to come in as the delivery nurses had assured me it would. When it didn’t happen, I began to feel like a failure. Hearing Mom reframing the situation seemed to give me the permission I needed and the reminder that there’s more than one way to skin a cat.
The other really great tip that she gave me was that babies start sleeping longer at night when you start them on solid food.
Okay, so what about everything they DON’T tell you about raising a baby?
Everyone knows that sleep for the rest of the household becomes a precious commodity as soon as there’s a “new addition” to the home. Some folks even connect the dots regarding lack of sleep and a slipping of good judgment or just lack of ability to think as clearly as when sleep was taken for granted.
What does that mean for the rest of us who AREN’T currently dealing with newborns in the home?
It means that we will meet up with some under- slept (to coin a phrase) parents as we go about our daily business. They may or may not be toting a baby, but may have a harder time getting things done than we would expect from a “normal” person so we may have to extend a little extra grace and patience as we watch them slowly try to read the tiny print on a soup can or unload their shopping cart one item at a time while wearing mismatched socks and trying to regather their hair back into its messy tail or bun then dig around in their less than organized purse for payment.