Dear New Mom,

Written by: Christa Reed

You can do this. It's going ot be hard, you're not going to sleep and it'll probably be weeks before you can find the time to get your nails done again. That's ok. I've gathered my top ten things that helped me through the thoughest of my son's first few months. 

10. Get out of the house. Go to a restaurant while your baby is still napping a ton and relatively unstructured. Once your kid starts crawling, all bets are off and you won’t be able to it again for a while.

9. Your baby will cry. There may be no reason for it. Take a deep breath. Do what Dr. Karp told you to and get through the day. If your baby only sleeps in the car and that’s the only way you can catch a break, make a map of all the drive-thrus in town and be a patron.

8. Don’t try to diagnose your child with the latest thing you read in WebMD.  You cannot tell if your child has ADHD at the age of 3 months. No point in getting yourself all worked up.

7. Get moving again. Cabin fever will find you. Feel the sun on your face, even if it’s for a couple of minutes. If it’s above 20, get your stroller, bundle up and walk to the nearest Starbucks. Find a Mom and Baby fitness class near you. Some local favorites include Fit 4 Mom Chicago, Cocoon CareActive Moms Club, Chicago Athletic Clubs and Bubbles Academy. Or find a gym with great childcare. Then both of you can take a break.

6. Don’t take a picture of your child in his/her car seat and post it on Facebook. Someone will inevitably tell you that you've buckled it wrong or that it shouldn't be positioned the way that it is. They will surely only be trying to help educate you but...No good can come of it. Trust me.

5. Don't talk about vaccines. Talking about vaccines is like talking politics after a long night of drinking. Again, no good can come of it.

4. IF your baby sleeps through the night before 4 months of age, don't tell ANY of your new mom friends. Nobody wants to hear about the sleep they’re not getting.

3. Don't place your car seat in the shopping cart. Take the stroller and put stuff in the basket. If your basket is too small, get a mommy hook. If that doesn’t work, bring a carrier. Even if you think your car seat fits in the cart, IT DOES NOT. Yes, you can put it in the front BIG part of the cart but what's the point? Then you can't actually shop for anything. 

2. Take it one day at a time. You have just created a human. Give yourself a break. You can read every parenting book on Amazon, nobody knows what to expect and every child behaves differently. It’s hard. It’s scary. But you can do it!

1. Find your support system. There are no better relationships that the ones you build when you can share an experience with someone. Join a New Moms Group, a Post Partum Support group or just go to a play date with others in your neighborhood. Finding local friends with a common bond can be priceless. If you’re struggling and need professional help too, that is ok. You’re not the only one.

Posted on March 28, 2014 at 4:29 PM