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Mommy Mondays: 9 Things I Did Right as a First-Time Mommy

by Kimberly on September 3, 2013 · 0 comments

I had kids early compared with most of my friends. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but now my circle of peers are beginning to have their own children, many of them for the first time.

One advantage of this wave of new babies is that it has prompted me to reflect on my own time as a first-time mommy. What would it be like to be pregnant and to have an infant again? Knowing what I know now as a person, professional, and parent—would I do anything differently?

My original intention with this post was to create a list of things I’d do differently as a first-time mommy. But I quickly ran into a problem—I couldn’t think of anything! Not that I did everything right, but when you tend to view things from a developmental standpoint as I do, then your mistakes are all part of the process. Thus there’s very little I would do differently since everything I did before has created the mommy I am today.

So this post is a little different than originally intended. Instead of a list of things I would do differently, here are 9 things I did right as a first-time mommy (noting that my idea of what I did “right” is likely different than your idea of what is “right” given different family values and all . . . ):

  1. On the first night home from the hospital, I accepted help from my mom at 4am when I couldn’t calm my child down after he cried for 6 hours straight (both of us were crying at that point).
  2. I took time to play with the fuzzy little hairs on the outside of his ear as I thought about how much I loved those little hairs.
  3. I breast-fed for an entire year. Though it was down to once a day by the end, I milked that bonding experience for all it was worth (pun intended).
  4. I relished the baby smell. I had heard it would go away . . . and it did.
  5. We took him to Puerto Rico. Though that’s not always easy to do with a 4 month old, I can’t help but think that in some way it helped build in him a certain flexibility and ease in being around other people.
  6. I didn’t try to play with or engage with him every single minute. I allowed him time to explore and play independently.
  7. When possible, I carried my son rather than push him in the stroller.
  8. I let him sleep with us at night during those early months (and learned to sleep sitting up, which was really only a survival skill) then, when appropriate, transitioned him to his own crib.
  9. I kept working to maintain my sense of self (and sanity), yet had (and allowed myself) the luxury to only work part-time.
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