I do my best to not think about how things might have been or if only I would have done this instead of that kind of thinking. There's no point to it as you can't change the past. BUT, there are things that we learn from past experiences that we can pass along to others. In my case, there are a lot of things that I am glad I did and some others that I wish I would have; especially when Brandon was first born.
Below is a compilation of glad I did/wish I did/hope you do's that will surely be useful to first time mommy's to be.
- Take lots of pictures. This I did and still do. I have a ridiculous amount of pictures of Brandon's first year of life as well as video's. I am so glad that I have these as we cannot get those moments back and the only way to relive them is through photos. You will treasure these photos and videos like nothing else so make sure to always have a camera or camera phone or video camera available to capture as many moments as you can.
- Ask for help. I am the world's worst at this. I have always had the mentality that I can do it myself. I didn't want help but let me tell you. I needed it. Even if I couldn't admit it to myself then, I look back now and realize that it's almost impossible to do this alone (well, at least for me). Take advantage of the support around you, especially those first few weeks. Have someone else make meals, clean your house, run your errands so you can really enjoy this little bundle of joy without dealing with all the other stuff.
- Rest as much as you can. Again, those first few weeks, maybe even months are rough. The saying sleep when you baby sleeps is repeated over and over for a reason. I get that its almost impossible to do that all the time but try your best to take advantage of it when you can.
- Remember the lasts. We have always been trained to celebrate the firsts in a baby's life. But what about the lasts. I am glad that I documented some lasts as well as the firsts. Those are bittersweet moments to remember but it makes so much sense to do. Document the last time they used the swing, or last time in the infant seat, bumbo, last bottle, etc. Or, as they get older, the last time your baby needs to be rocked to fall asleep. (tear)
- Trust your gut. As a new parent, we are inundated with information. Some of it will be useful and some of it won't be. Just use your own instinct with parenting. What works for one child won't necessarily work for your's. Everyone has an opinion but only your's will matter. No one will know or understand what you baby needs more than you. Trust in that and it will get you through.