1. Sleep. Sleep as much as possible. Because starting that first night, you won't be getting that sleep for a long time. Three months later of maybe five hours any given night, you are going to look back and say "I sure wish I had slept more."
2. Sleep when the baby sleeps. I didn't do this because I always worried about everything that needed to be done. I could have benefited so much from that extra sleep.
3. Go with your gut. So many people are going to tell you how to handle your baby and what to do. So many people will have their two cents. But go with your gut. You're the mommy and you know best. Don't allow others to make you question yourself.
4. Be prepared for your emotions to go on one heck of a roller coaster ride. Sure, you read about post-partum depression or baby blues and think it won't happen to you, but it happens to all moms, some at different levels of severity. This is another post for another day, but suffice it to say, I was caught off guard with this one.
5. Don't beat yourself up when you have a hard time handling those emotions. You're not alone.
6. Don't be afraid to call the doctor or nurse. You're new to this. You won't know everything. If you think there's something wrong, call your doctor. That's what they are here for, and if they tell you everything is okay, that's good. You're not bothering them by calling.
7. Every baby is different. Just because someone you know had a baby who did this or that, it does not mean that your baby will do the exact same thing.
8. Don't lose sight of your partner and your own relationship. T and I have to remind ourselves of this, because we do get wrapped up in being parents. We need to nurture the relationship that brought us together in the first place. Because that's just as important as being parents. Make time for each other and don't be afraid to go on date nights.
9. Take advantage of the help when it is offered, especially the help from your partner. T and I split the duties of taking care of Aubrey at night, and I don't think I could do it without him. I have no idea how moms who do handle it. Definitely have a new respect for them.
10. Finally - treasure every moment. I miss the days when I could just snuggle up with Aubrey, laying her on my chest. They do grow up so fast, so treasure each and every moment. Take those mental pictures and carry them with you always.
Those are just a few I could think of, and I know there are countless more. It's not to say I haven't learned these lessons along the way and have incorporated them. And I'm not sure even if I heard these ideas before her arrival that I could have any idea exactly what they meant. What advice would you have told your pre-mom self?