Today's Guest Blogger is Whitney @ Elm Street Life! I am so excited she has chosen to join me in A Month 4 Moms... I kinda feel like in a hopefully non-creepy way that we are kindred spirits! I mean, we're both nurses, we are boy moms (her boy and my boy are only days apart in age!), and we are passionately committed to loving Jesus. Hear what she has to say about being a brand new mom, as well as a few things she's learned along the way.
I found out really quickly that being a brand new mom (especially for the first time) is not for the faint hearted. You have no idea what those first few weeks are going to be like... and as much as you can plan and prepare, there's really nothing you can do to prepare you for the surge in hormones or the utter exhaustion you'll face.
My husband Shawn and I planned things out pretty well up until Liam's birth. We knew we wanted very few visitors at the hospital because we expected to be worn out, but we didn't set any boundaries for once we got home. Big mistake. I wish I had known then what a hormonal mess I was going to be... that having a visitor come by every single day for the first three weeks was a bit much. I'm a people pleaser, so in the moment (and on very little sleep), I didn't have the nerve to set boundaries or say 'no' nearly as much as I should have.
So here's what I've learned... and I hope you can take it to heart. Maybe you're pregnant right now and thinking about this next season, or maybe lots of your friends are having babies and you want to know how to bless them. Here's my take on it, from a new mom's perspective.
1. Never turn down food. My mom and our church were able to set up meals for the first few weeks through www.mealbaby.com, and what a blessing. Seriously. Even if you think, "My fridge is already packed," you won't believe how fast it goes. Because nursing moms get hungry at all hours of the night and will blindly run to the kitchen in search of something... anything. Freezer meals are even better, lasting weeks and months after the baby's born instead of just that first few days.
2. Ask that your guests stay 30 minutes. I know that sounds gutsy, but I wish I'd been able to make this policy early on. You'll be more tired than you want to admit, and entertaining people doesn't help the situation. Having visitors can be encouraging, especially when their visit is short and sweet. :)
3. Ask that people wash their hands. It shouldn't have to be said, but I can't tell you how many times people walked right in from outside and reached out to hold the baby. We ended up putting a large bottle of antibacterial hand gel on the table right next to the front door to make it obvious. You'll sleep better at night, not wondering if your baby caught some strange virus from someone who didn't stop to wash up.
4. If you're a believer, stay connected to God's Word and people who encourage you. I had a few friends who would call just to tell me they were praying for me, and to not worry about calling back. I had older women tell me what an incredible job I was doing and how beautiful my baby was. All of this was so uplifting, and in a season that emotions run high, a little goes a really long way. And while there won't be lots of time for Bible study, reading a verse or two and meditating on it while you nurse can be such a sweet reminder of God's grace in this humbling, exhausting, joyful, exhilarating, beautiful time in life.
Congrats to you new moms - and those who have yet to hold a baby in their arms. I hope this is helpful to all of you. Thanks, Hollie, for having me!