It’s been two weeks since we’ve welcomed Rylee into the world and it’s been the most challenging two weeks. I’ve listed 10 things I’ve learned so far being a first time mommy.
1. The first week was definitely the toughest. As first time parents, we had no idea how hard it would be. All the preparation we had done went completely out the window when it was time to handle a real situation. We called her uncontrollable cries the Wrath of Wrylee because we had no idea how to get her to stop. After a few days, we found out the different cries; when she needed to be fed, held, or changed.
2. Swaddling is a game changer. The first week we swaddled her all the time to calm her down. We use Muslin cloth blankets and they are a lifesaver. They’re thin, breathable, and extremely comfortable. Rylee loves it!
3. Help from family & friends are so important. Everyday for the past two weeks we’ve had family & friends scheduled to come over and bring us lunch or dinner and give us a few hours to sleep, do errands, shower, or just relax. It’s been such a big help having them come over and give us an hour or two to ourselves. Granted Rylee is the first grand baby so the families are quick to come over any chance they get.
4. Sleep is non existent. I know everyone says “sleep when she sleeps,” but I have a hard time doing that when I’m constantly worried about her. I may be labeled as a “helicopter mom” and hover over my daughter 24/7, but can you blame me? She’s my first child, I’m a first time parent, and everything she does for the first time makes me nervous. I’m sure as she gets older and I become more familiar with her silly antics I’ll loosen up, but for right now, I’ll hover when I want.
5. Capture the moment. There hasn’t been too many moments where we’ve left the house in the last few weeks, but any chance I get, I’m taking pictures of her all the time because I know she won’t stay this little for much longer. I’ve also never seen my husband change his lock screen so frequently! I love seeing him swoon over our little babe so much. It makes my heart so happy.
6. Housework can wait. For the 15 minutes we get to ourselves in between feedings and diaper changes, we try and tidy up and do chores, but it’s definitely not a priority when we’ve got a little monster crying nonstop or who wants to be held all day. We’ve also been living downstairs for the last two weeks and sleeping on the couches because it’s so much more convenient than sleeping in our bedroom. I’m hoping this is the last week we sleep downstairs.
7. Breastfeeding is hard. I have a friend who finally gave me the honest truth about breastfeeding and I couldn’t be more appreciative of her. Breastfeeding is painful, it’s raw, and it’s also a beautiful thing because you can bond with your child, but I admit, I’m not breastfeeding and some women are frowned upon for not breastfeeding. I pump when I can and feed her, but she’s on formula about 60% of the time. My milk supply is low so when I am able to provide her with breast milk, I do, but it’s not something I find necessary to do. She’s happy and healthy and getting the nutrients she needs.
8. They may be fragile, but they are resilient. We were so scared changing her for the first time because their heads are so fragile so for the first week she was in diapers and mittens. The only time we put clothes on her was when we went to doctors appointments. I think it’s perfectly normal to be scared to put clothes over your child’s head, but after a few days we could see her trying to lift her head and become more and more stronger. It’s pretty amazing seeing her grow each day.
9. Time with your significant other is essential. Having a third person join your clan is a huge deal when all these years it’s been just the two of you. It can really test your patience while you’re dealing with the fussy baby especially when it’s 3am. Each day Bryce & I try and make time for each other while Rylee is asleep, whether it’s cuddling in bed for a few minutes or watching a few episodes of our favorite show on the couch.
10. Our best is good enough. I know it’s too soon to be doubting our parenting skills, but I feel that we’ve been doing the best we can as first time parents so far. We get so much advice from other people, but at the end of the day we’re her parents and we’ve trusted our guts when it comes to dealing with certain situations and I think that’s good enough.