Mothers tackle maternal instincts
Maternal instinct. This unbreakable bond is born the moment you reap the fruit of your labour: a beautiful baby boy or girl. Many will have the world to say about raising a child, but it’s ultimately up to you, to make the best decision for your bundle of joy. It wouldn’t hurt to hear from those who have been there and continue to dance the Mommy tango. For this Mother’s Day, Outlook asked some novice and veteran mothers, advice to new moms. Here is what they had to say:
Savour every moment, they go by quickly. Recognise the blessing that you have been given and be the best version of yourself, so you can raise a child who will emulate those characteristics and be a positive contributor to this world. Listen to your instincts, everyone will have an opinion, but this is your child. Lastly remember to take care of you, you can't pour from an empty cup.
- Rochelle Mitchell, 32, mother of one.
Get the baby in a routine that suits you and hubby, so you can maintain sanity and have a sex life. Also, let the baby sleep in their own room once they are about 6-8 months. Sleeping in their own room, allows them to get used to their own space.
- Nastassia Morris, 30, mother of one.
Sleep before your baby gets here. Get breakfast bars and yogurts, because you will live on those the first six weeks. Drink lots of water and only water. Don't worry about how much weight you've gained, you will lose it - it could take you two years, but you will. Spend as much time as you can with your baby, because after six months, time will fly. Don't try to do it all by yourself - that's why you have a partner. Communicate with your partner and don't cry about the things you don't know how to do - you will get it in time and with help. Read and consult your doctor. If family gives advice, take it, but don't live by it - they don't know everything - all babies are different. Don't panic if your baby gets sick, they will have the cold or diarrhoea. Take it each day at a time, nurture and soothe them. Read to your baby, in the uterus and out.
- Rochelle Hayles, 28, mother of one.
Take care of yourself in order to be able to take care of baby. This is so crucial. Sometimes we are so absorbed, administering to the baby, we forget ourselves to our detriment, physically and mentally. Have a core support team, be it one or 100. Ask for and accept help from trusted sources. It's normal to not have the 'best' thoughts about the baby all the time. It might sound 'cliche', but as mothers, we get so caught up and want to do everything ourselves, because baby is our pride and joy. You might feel annoyance, frustration or resentment. It usually passes. If it lingers, then you might need help.
- Charmaine Johnson, 45, mother of three.
Always trust that soft voice in your head. Most times we think because we are new moms, we tend to doubt our motherly instincts. Build your support group - you will never be able to do it alone - but be very selective. This especially goes to single moms. Be present: that's very important.
- Jodi Moser, 30, mother of one.
My advice is that she gives her baby all the love in the world and teach her child right from wrong at an early age and everything else will fall into place. Children need to know that they are special and that they are loved. Once they are taught the right things, they will not depart from it.
- Deon Cassells, 52, mother of two.
Have a strong support system, because you will need it. You will need the advice, the encouragement, care and well needed breaks.
- Novlet Deans, 43, mother of one.
Trust your instincts. It's good to seek advice when unsure, but there are lots of conflicting things floating around. Trust that you have the ability to work out what's best for your little one.
- Kamille Adair-Morgan, 29, mother of one.
Breathe. It does get easier with time. Everything always works themselves out. They won't be small forever, so it will be smoother eventually. Enjoy every stage, especially when they are small. Cherish the baby memories - when they are small, they tie up your feet, but when they get older, they tie up your heart.
- Tameka Gordon, mother of two.
My advice to new mothers would be to trust in God first, then follow your intuition.
- Andrea Rodriques, 32, mother of one.