First up, please excuse the quality of this photo – parents are able to take phone photos of much higher quality these days than we were able to five years ago. Next up, I’m SO excited because our extended family is growing – my sister is expecting a baby sister for my nephew in April and my sister-in-law is due with her first baba at the end of March. Yay for more cousins!
Baby Dove suggested that I share some ‘gems of wisdom’ from my experience as a mom over the past six years with them, so this post is for Don and Jess and all the new parents, prospective parents or pregnant moms out there.
Wow, preparing for a baby is so exciting – you are suddenly part of the online ‘mommy community’ and can legit follow all those boutique baby brands on Instagram and start kitting out your baby room with some cute decor items that you’ve been eyeing for a while already. Life is going to change, in a way that is hard and messy (lots of dirty nappies coming your way!) but so very beautiful too.
Here’s some advice from me, to you:
By all means nest away, but don’t buy all the things – Enjoy nesting and clearing out and sorting and making space in your life for your new baby, but be kind to your credit card too. Your baby doesn’t need the fanciest pram or name brand clothing that they will outgrow in a month. As tempting as it may be to invest in these things, advice is to get a good car seat and a nappy bin and you’re sorted.
Your child joins your family, not the other way around – We were given this advice before Ilan came along and I think about it often. It’s hard to not retreat into your home and make your life all about your baby and although this is necessary in the first few months, it shouldn’t stay that way. I do believe in routine and daily naps but this rigidity in our schedule gives us freedom for the rest of the day. Remember, that your baby is joining your family and it isn’t healthy for your life to revolve around them entirely.
Accept help when offered and sometime ask for it too – You can’t do it alone, don’t try. That’s all I have to say about it. Adoptive parents, attachment and bonding are so important and you do need some time alone as a new family but don’t let this need for bonding become a wall between you and the rest of the world.
Be okay getting ‘nothing’ done all day – Being home with a baby/toddler/child of any age is full on! There will be days when you have energy and drive to see people and conquer a to do list and other days you will not get beyond your pjs and series and keeping your kid alive. It’s ok. Husbands, be there for us moms.
Trust your way – Read all the books, go to all the classes, listen to all the advice, but at the end of the day – your baby is your baby and you need to trust your own way because you know your child best. Whether you choose a private adoption agency or adopt via child welfare, choose a caeser over natural birth, or cloth nappies over disposable nappies, remember that your choice is your choice and own it. And then be kind to other moms who have chosen their way and are owning it too.
And now that I’ve said my piece, let the games begin!
*This post was written in partnership with Baby Dove South Africa.