Sunday, September 25, 2011

What Mothers Need to Know Before They’re Mothers

Words of Wisdom from Real Mothers at a La Leche League Meeting

Newborns don’t look like magazine babies.
There are no right answers.
People say things, but they aren’t always trying to be judgmental when they say them.
A dirty house builds extra immunities.
Sometimes motherhood stinks.
Should is a poison word that argues against reality.
It’s important to see other babies so you know what’s really normal.
Sometimes the books are just wrong.
Listen to yourself.
Listen to your baby. Respect him and his intuition. He will tell you what he needs.
Find someone who will listen to you.
You will never achieve an ideal state of motherhood.
Wait long enough and it will change, and the questions and answers will be
Pick your battles.
A dog is an excellent floor cleaner.
Respond to questions with “Why do you ask?”
Receiving blankets have all kinds of  uses— a surface for public diaper changes, an
extra wrap in a car seat, catching  spit- up.
Hold off buying things until you know whether you’re ever going to use  them— like
a crib or changing table. Don’t get caught up in the consumerism of new
The ideal  adult-to-baby ratio is about three to one the first week. But if all you have
is one mother and one baby, you’ll manage.
When people offer help, say yes.
Join a playgroup. It’s not for the child, it’s for the mother.
After a week or so, get out of the house. The crying doesn’t bother other people as
much as you think it does, and even the grocery store can seem like a wonderful
Step outside when you can, throw your shoulders back, take a deep breath, and look
up for at least a few seconds.
Don’t be surprised at how totally bizarre you feel the first week. It’s normal to feel
really weird.
You can only do what you can do.
Let go of your expectations and let what is be.
Just because it’s fun doesn’t mean it’s not important.

© 2010 La Leche League International, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Chapter 20.