Friday, February 11, 2011

Things I wish I could've told myself before I had a baby...

These are particularly applicable to having The Chubs and to my experience as a mother to a child with special needs:

Definitely wake a sleeping baby if said baby will not ever show hunger cues or eat enough to thrive during the day.

Always dispose of a poopy diaper immediately or else the poop may end up in a tiny curious hand.

Let them get messy at meal time no matter what a hassle it is to clean up. It is so much more important for them to feel comfortable with food than to have a clean tray and an empty washer at the end of the meal.

Don't sweat over poor napping. If that's all they need, so be it. As long as they are content in their crib to just play and rest, it's a win-win.

A messy house comes with the territory of motherhood. There will be other lifestages to have perfectly kept house.

Every baby develops at their own pace. The important thing is to value each child for who they are and what they have accomplished. Savor every moment, every stage, and don't look at others for guidance on what your child should or shouldn't be doing.

Trust your instincts. If you think something is off, have it looked into. Everytime I have trusted my gut on something I have been thankful I followed through. Other times I dismissed something I have regretted it in the long run.

There is a difference between worrying about something and being proactive about it. Take a negative emotion and turn it into a positive outcome.

Patience is essential in parenthood. Anyone that lacks it will not make it out with their sanity.

Do not stress out about the things you cannot control. Not only will you become an unhappy person, but it will make your child unhappy as well.

You can read every book on the planet and still none of them will be able to tell you what your child needs. Only you can be the expert on your own child.

Keep the lines of communication open between you and your spouse. If you are frustrated or unhappy about something, let them know. It's better to work it out quickly instead of bottling it up and then exploding later.

When you have a child with special needs:

Nothing is achieved quickly or without effort. Keep pressing onward with diligence and devoting yourself to your child and eventually you, and they, will get there. Do not give up and do not get lazy.

Regression is a part of the process. There will be times you will be sailing by and making huge strides only to find yourself moments later, taking several leaps backward. Do not be discouraged. For every leap backward there will be 2 leaps forward.

Get out of the house and make time to just enjoy your child and be reminded of all the things you love about them. Do not get into the pattern of trapping yourself inside and shutting yourself off from the world.

Make time for yourself. Do not feel guilty if you need time away to rejuvenate so you can be the best you can be for your child.

Counting calories will not make your child eat more. Not counting them will not make them eat less. It is good to be aware of their eating habits so you can report to their doctors regarding their progress but do not become obsessed or let it rule your life.

Listen to the advice of others, but know that unless they have walked in your shoes, they can't fully understand the circumstances.


  1. LOVE this!! I especially loved the "don't look to others about what your child should or shouldn't be doing" because it's timely for me right now. As Camden nears 15 months, I keep seeing things on my birth board that other babies are doing that he's not anywhere close to yet (like saying 50+ words!) and I had started to get myself worked up into a tizzy over the past few days. And then, I let it go. For the exact reason you said: every child develops at their own pace. I love that motherhood creates bonds between women that might not exist otherwise, but I hate that it also creates a constant desire to compare.

    I also agree about staying away from those parenting books. I will never pick up another one of those books as long as I live. You can't parent a child by a textbook. It's simply not that cut and dry.

  2. Good for you, Ellie, to take a moment an to be reflective of your experiences in motherhood. And while you might feel like these are things you would have liked to have known before, it is just as valuable to recognize them now as you continue to be the best parent that you can be! Being aware of your experiences and processing for the meaning they have for you allows you to live in the moment and appreciate the good in your journey. You are amazing!

  3. I love this. And I needed a few reminders for myself. Thanks for posting it :)