I am the proud mom of a five and seven year old (but HOWWW?!). As an elementary school teacher, becoming a mom was something that I looked forward to for a long time. I distinctly remember when I brought my first baby home from the hospital, feeling like I was going to have a newborn forever. As much as everyone always says it goes by so fast, you don’t truly know it until you’ve lived it. That being said, here is what I wish I knew when I first became a mom about this new chapter.
Capture the Details
When my babies were newborns, I had never picked up a professional camera in my life. All I had was a really old cell phone and a DSLR camera that I only used in auto mode. I wish someone had told me to capture all the details. Today, I don’t have any pictures of the messes that used to drive me crazy or the cute little toys that my girls used to love so much. A priority of mine was keeping notes about the “bigger” things – but a lot of those little details get lost.
One piece of advice that I have for that is to text details to yourself, that way they’re all in one spot. Even if you’re just reminding yourself of moments: “The way A smiles in her sleep” or “The way B Army crawls across the floor.” You think you’re always going to remember the details, and you don’t. Now that my kiddos are talking and saying funny things, I make a point to immediately text it to myself so that it ends up in their yearbook.
What I Wish I Knew When I First Became a Mom: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
My absolute favorite thing about newborn photography is meeting new moms of newborns. I remember being in their shoes. My biggest piece of advice is that a happy mom is the best mom. I remember stressing so much about breastfeeding and it ran my life with my first daughter. With my second, I took a more laid back approach and I regretted how much I stressed about it the first time around. There is so much pressure on new moms to do all the things – natural birth, breastfeed, sleep train. At the end of the day, none of it matters as much as your happiness and your bond with the new love of your life. So as hard as it is, try not to sweat the small stuff, mama!
Decide on Your Experts
Being a new mom is incredibly overwhelming. There are so many resources out there, so many people giving you advice. I strongly recommend deciding on 1-2 sources that you are going to gain your information from and stick to that. I chose one parenting book and my pediatrician. Anything outside of that was white noise. When we were sleep training, we picked a book and stuck with it. Potty training? Same thing. Decide who you are going to listen to. Everyone else, just smile and nod.
What I Wish I Knew When I First Became a Mom: Videos
When I was writing this blog post, it surprised me that I wish I had taken more videos. I did this a lot when my kids were babies. But now, I do it a lot less often. It’s definitely something that I want to get better at. I wish I had taken more pictures of the small things, like reading before bed and making pizzas on Friday nights. Those little voices. I just want them preserved forever! One of my daughters’ favorite things to do now is to watch old videos on my phone from when they were younger.
What I Wish I Knew When I First Became a Mom: You Will Sleep Again
This is probably the piece of advice I give the most often at newborn sessions. Everyone is sleep-deprived and wondering when things will go back to normal. It might be a minute, but you’ll get there, I promise. You won’t have a newborn forever and this will be a distant memory.
What helpful advice do you wish you had received when you were a new mom? I’d love to know!