Dear Mama Drama:
I’m a new mom and feel like I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. I haven’t spent much time around babies or young children, so am not sure what my daughter is supposed to be doing when. We are also on a tight budget, so my resources are limited.
What ideas do you have for getting us off on the right foot?
~ Nervous Mama
Please know you are experiencing the same feelings every new mom faces. Trust your instincts, respond to your daughter’s cues, and get connected with a support system.
There are many great resources to help you feel more confident in understanding your daughter’s development as well as your ability to support and care for her. Look at a variety of sources and find a style that feels right to you. Since you are on a budget, you may want to start at the library books on child development and care. A favorite of mine is The Baby Book by Dr. William Sears. It addresses development, attachment parenting, and common ailments for children 0-2.
Another fabulous FREE resource is available from Bright Beginnings. They offer research and evidence-based parenting support for children birth to 3 years old. Their resources include three programs targeted to children 0-12 months, 12-24 months, and 24-36 months. Each program offers an age appropriate board book for your child and tips for parents on child development, positive discipline, learning games to play at home, and more. You can go to their website and request a home visit or join a group presentation of the materials. You’ll have the opportunity to get the additional sets as your daughter grows. Additionally, they have many partner organizations where you can obtain the programs and find assistance.
Moms groups can also be a wonderful support to new mothers. Some local options are Mod Moms, MOPS, Moms Club, Mocha Moms, and La Leche League. Mommy and me classes at yoga studios and rec centers are also great places to meet other moms and kids.
It is important to connect with other moms for support and social interactions for you and your daughter. Motherhood is wonderful, exhilarating, challenging, and exasperating all at the same time. Having other moms to help you navigate the roller coaster is essential to your confidence and well-being as a mom.
Please share your new mom tips of encouragement.