I was always good with kids- my entire life.
I babysat. I was a summertime Nanny. I worked in daycare at my church.
Babies and I just get each other. Must be a "needy people" thing.
But no amount of babysitting, Sunday morning nursery time or Lullaby practice can prepare you for that terrifying drive home from the Hospital with a "Baby On Board"
There is a panic that sets in.
You spend the ENTIRE drive home wondering:
"What did we forget to buy?"
"Do we have enough diapers?"
"What if s/he is allergic to our home or pets?"
"How Often Am I Supposed to Feed/Bathe/Cuddle/Swaddle/Snuggle?"
"WHAT THE HELL AM I DOING?!"
It's Normal. Seriously. Every Single New Parent (and probably even experienced ones) has had those same EXACT thoughts on that excruciatingly long drive home.
And that's what I wish I had known.
That its okay to have no idea what you're doing.
It's okay to panic.
It's okay to worry.
But the best resource to have to make everything better: a Community. a Team.
(like TODAY Parenting Team)
I can't even tell you how many panicked, late-night text messages and calls I made to my Mommy Friends those first few weeks.
And only a few months later, I was getting those same calls & messages from other New Moms & I smiled at every SINGLE one-- remembering when I was concerned about the color of her poop, if I was nursing her right or if she was eating/sleeping enough.
It's okay to be worried.
And when you're new at something you're allowed to "learn on the job". Using your resources is SMART-- a Community, Mommy Group/blog/page or just a close friend or co-worker.
Just for those times when you don't know what to do or if you should go into full-on panic.
Those people understand because they were in your shoes ... at one point or another.
You will suck at changing diapers at first and it will feel like brain surgery... But a few weeks-in and you won't even blink.
You will learn when a fever means a visit to the Doctor... and when it just needs a little at home TLC -- aka snuggles and Baby Tylenol.
You will not stop breathing every time s/he bumps or bangs or falls or trips or stumbles.... Okay That one may never stop. But you do eventually realize that they survive the small stuff.
They're fragile but not as easily breakable as you think.
Babies will fuss and cry. You will learn to go through the steps to try to calm them down --
still crying? it happens. Sometimes they just need to snuggle and cry it out. And that's okay.
Don't beat yourself up.
You're new. S/He's New.
You both have to get used to this new thing called "parenting" and every day it gets just a little easier and harder at the same time.
But just remind yourself to appreciate every single day. Good and Bad Days. Because eventually they will grow up and you will miss their tiny little cries and yes, even their stinky little diapers. (okay... that might be a bit of a stretch)
And remember... you're not alone.
You're NEVER alone these days with Social Media-- you LITERALLY have 24/7 access to hundreds, if not thousands, of other moms/dads who are learning right alongside you.
Its a team effort--- as Parenting should be.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.