Things are different in retrospect- especially when it comes to mothering. This is what I would tell my Brand New Mom Self. by Jennifer Andersen
That she is doing everything as she should and that nobody knows her brand new baby better than her.
I would tell her that this level of demand is short-lived, and so is the tiny-ness of her little boys hands.
I would tell her that there is little advice that will be helpful for her, because her baby is unique. That even the doctors don’t know- and that the really good ones will tell her the same.
I would tell her that her instincts are the most valuable information she can trust.
I would tell her not to cover up when she feeds or comforts her baby, and that she has the right to do so wherever and whenever she wants, and that if anyone gives her trouble, she has a network of people she can call. That they will show up with their babies and toddlers and preschoolers and nurse them all, right there where she was harassed. To remind people that when you bully one of us, you bully us all.
I would tell her that when her stomach is tied in knots because the care instructions she was given for her new baby do not feel right, that she should ignore them. That she should abandon anything that feels wrong.
I would tell her that there are lots of families making decisions based on what their baby needs, and that if she can connect with them it will make things easier.
I would assure her that she will relax into this new role and this way of parenting that is different than those around her, even if it takes longer than it seems it should.
I would tell her that it really does get easier- that while it is true that life as she knew it is over, the life that lies ahead is so much brighter, bigger and better than she ever could have envisioned.
Mostly though, I would tell her that she is amazing. That the focus and protection she is providing for her baby is remarkable. That she is brave to continue giving him what he needs.
I would tell her that she will look back at this overwhelming and confused time and feel a tremendous sense of awe and pride for taking such good care of her baby.
Maybe most importantly; I would tell her that a taking a shower really does make things better.