Once you become a mom you’re put in the category as a “new mom”
New Moms: by definition, a first time mother who has no experience with an infant, and thus needs constant supervision because when she was 13 she let the class plant die when it was her turn to take it home and she never cleaned her room so of course she can’t take care of an infant. I knew being a first time mother I would need the help of others and the wisdom of my mother who raised four children of her own. What I was not prepared for was the constant bombardment of advice and just plain disregard for my opinions on certain matters. Though it always comes from a place of love, this sometimes can make for sticky situations. I found myself being told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, and if the advice was not taken and followed to the “t” it was like I was disobeying the code of “old moms”.
Old Moms: by definition, a mother who has had a child (or children) already grown, and knows all the tricks of raising children. These old moms don’t have any problem telling you how and what you’re doing is wrong and how their way is so much better, that you will thank them once you do it their way. Don’t get me wrong, their advice at many times is needed and now being a mom for a second time you do learn tricks of the trade to pass on, but sometimes it’s hard to navigate through all the advice especially when the “old mom” in question is your own mother and all she wants to do is snatch that child from your arms and do it all herself, because in her eyes you can’t possibly do it right.
I found myself getting into arguments with my mother over my daughter. She would call me everyday asking questions, did you feed her, and did you bath her?
Umm… mom I didn’t realize these are things you have to ask? Like I really am going to forget to bathe and feed my child. As my daughter got a bit older and my mom would be her primary care giver while I worked, things got a little more hairy. We would argue about things like pacifiers, sleeping on their stomachs, baby food in the bottles. I didn’t want to give my daughter a pacifier, I didn’t want her dependent on that, but of course grandmother knows best. She raised four children so behind my back she gave my daughter a pacifier. When it came to the food in a bottle I never have been a fan of that. I feel children should learn to use a spoon and learn feeding that way but I constantly got my bottles with huge holes in the nipple because regular nipples are not made to transfer the shakes my mother was making my daughter drink.
I was reminded of this dynamic, this weekend when I went to the beach with my parents and my two daughters. My mother so concerned that my daughter is playing with dirt, and running around and looking at me like I should put a stop to this,putting three or more blankets on my younger daughter eventhough the sun is burining on top of us because babies are always cold. Making my daughter eat something while I sat there and watched, and her telling me oh you moms now a day so different. I laugh at that, yes we are different, way different; I try not to sweat the small stuff. I don’t get worried or freaked out that my daughter is running around playing in dirt. She is at the beach, she is a kid, they are going to fall and get hurt, it happens, she is a picky eater, I am not going to sit there and force her to eat. As long as my doctor says she is fine, my daughter will tell me when she is hungry. I realized that in my mom’s eyes I will always be a “new mom”. I am her daughter, who happens to be a mother, so to her she still has to mother me. That job will never end. I realized this when I had my second daughter and the advice, solicited or not, just kept coming.
I have learned that as a “new mom” you will get advice on everything, from diapers, to the way you hold your child. This is something that can’t be stopped. If not from your own mom, from all others who have done it before, the concept of my blog is to give advice and to learn from my own experiences. What I have come to realize is that no matter what others may say you have to find your own voice as a mother, what works for one person may not work for you and vice-versa. You have to go with your instincts. You and you alone only knows what is best for your child and you can take every one's advice but at the end of the day it’s ultimately your decision for your child.