It isn’t easy being a new mom. The advice comes at you from every angle, whether you ask for it or not. Nothing goes according to plan, and the books you read don’t prepare you enough for that little bundle that now needs you 24/7. So who do you turn to when you really need helpful words of wisdom? Someone who has been there, of course! No one has better advice than grandmothers. Their knowledge is priceless, so I asked a group of my favorite grandmothers what advice they have for new moms. Here’s what they shared.
Cherish Every Moment
Out of all the grandmothers I spoke to, there was one piece of universal advice: Cherish every moment. Every single grandmother I chatted with said the same words at some point in our conversation. “It goes fast, so make the most out of every moment,” was the best piece of advice they had to give. But how do you do that? How does one cherish a moment?
“Do things with your child. Spend time with them, bake with them, make crafts, take walks,” said Grandma Joan, who happens to be my own mom (and the best grandmother ever!) “Read to them every single day, show them how beautiful the world is and how much it has to offer. Play games with them and let them make choices as they grow.”
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
A common struggle for mothers everywhere is the feeling of having to do it all. New moms, especially, can feel completely overwhelmed by all of the responsibilities placed on their shoulders. It’s not always easy, but asking for assistance is a must. “Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” said Grandma Barbara. “You’re not a failure or weak if you do. It will give you time for yourself, which is vitally important so that you can care for your baby properly. Be good to yourself and take time for yourself. You deserve it.” This sentiment was echoed by Grandma Fran, who added, “Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. The first few months as a new mom are not easy, but you’ll find your groove, and so will your baby. Just hold them close and love them.”
Record Your Memories
“Love your children unconditionally and be sure to savor the ‘golden moments’ in their lives. Time goes by much too fast! How I wish I could live those memories again,” said Grandma Mary. You might not be able to relive those childhood years, but you can certainly keep track of them. “Write a journal, take pictures and videos,” agreed Grandma Barbara. “Write down your family history, so you have something to share with your child for them to pass down to theirs.”
Find Your Tribe
Sometimes it helps to seek out other new moms if you’re feeling lonely or overwhelmed. No one understands your struggles better than other new moms! Look for local mom groups, church groups, and clubs. And if you’re fortunate to have a mom close by like mine, reach out to them. Ask grandma to come to babysit or join you for a walk around the park. When you can’t find your tribe, remember that your own mom can be a friend, too. “I am here for you and the baby,” was Grandma Jeri’s advice when asked for her words of wisdom to her own daughter. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded!
Take Your Time
And finally, remember that motherhood is not a race or a competition, although sometimes it might feel like it. “Take the time to slow down and enjoy the special moments you have together,” said Grandma Martha. And those could be simple moments, like bathing the baby or singing them a lullaby. Sometimes the smallest moments become the most precious memories of all. As the old saying goes, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”