It’s funny how the second you find out you’re pregnant, life changes on so many levels. It’s like a massive curtain parts to reveal a whole new world of things to do, learn and plan for, and it goes on without end. Strap in, you’re headed straight into MommyLand!
Welcome to the huge maternal complex of health care, books, magazines, movies, TV shows, websites, retail stores, and mommy groups that we call MommyLand. In this realm, there’s no shortage of information to be had on every subject under the sun. Your very first pregnancy-related Google search probably let loose a Pandora’s Box of advice.
Moms at Boot Camp know there’s lots of good info out there, but there’s also a ton of conflicting advice and some pretty “judgy” opinions (thanks, but no thanks). Even well-intentioned family and friends will offer up stories and advice you maybe could have done without, like your great-aunt’s 42 hours of labor without pain medication.
So, what’s a mom-to-be to do?
Well, since you can’t go through life wearing earplugs and eye patches, it’s best to stay grounded and keep reality in check. When seeking information and insight, look at the data, weigh the pros and cons, and bear the following in mind:
- Don’t overwhelm yourself. If you’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole of information, step back and breathe. Keep it simple and always go with your gut.
- All that “expert” advice? Take it with a grain of salt. The only true experts on your baby will be you and Dad. You’re the only ones who will know the nuances of your baby’s personality and needs.
- Don’t let other people’s opinion rock your confidence (refer back to who the real experts are!).
- Remember “hot button” topics (vaccinations, circumcision, sleep training) always involve emotional and conflicting opinions.
- Don’t take it personally. Opinions and advice aren’t shaped around your identity, they’re shaped around the other person’s experience.
- Just a heads up, babies don’t come with instructions, so it takes some time to figure out what makes them tick. Patience is key . . . every new parent is learning as they go.
- Be flexible. An approach that works one day may not work the next, or maybe you changed your mind about it. Trial and error is a solid method of learning.
- Don’t overthink it. Generally, your second or third choice is just as good as your first.
In short, stay focused on the bigger picture, follow your instincts, and don’t drive yourself batty with worry over the little things that won’t matter in a month or a year. In the end, what matters most is the love and nurturing you and Dad give your baby and the close-knit family you’re creating together.