New motherhood is a beautiful journey . . . that comes with a few bumps and a lot of questions along the way. Is my baby eating enough? Too much? Why won’t she latch? What’s that rash? Do we need to take him to the ER? Will I ever sleep again? It can feel frustrating when you don’t know what’s normal, or what advice is helpful, or which tools aren’t. If you’re a new mom or love someone who is, Emily and Kristin are here for you! As twin moms with five kids between them, they share how they weathered the physical and emotional rollercoaster after giving birth, how to actually say yes to help, and the most helpful routines they kept with their newborns. The BFFs also swap best tools and best advice, like how to choose which mom you want to be in this season (mom with a clean house? mom who wears makeup? mom who works out? pick one, not all). Because sometimes, you’ve got to survive before you can thrive. And after a while, you will get the hang of this, mama — promise.
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“The number one piece of new mom advice is when someone says to you, ‘Hey, I'd love to stop over, can I bring you something?’ The answer is always yes. Figure out something for them to bring you. Toilet paper. A coffee, a Chick-fil-A sandwich.” – Kristin Winchester
“This is not the season for your house to look perfect. This is also not the season for you to weigh what you did in college.”– Emily Ley
“We put a lot of pressure on ourselves as new moms to meet these unhealthy expectations that are made up.” – Kristin Winchester
“We create this character of “that mom.” Because we see one mom doing the makeup, one mom doing the workout, one mom doing this. And then we construct this super mom who does all of those things, when you’re actually seeing 8 moms doing 8 different things. You have to choose what matters to you.” - Kristin Winchester
“If you are worried about if you're a good parent or not, you are a good parent by default by being worried about it.” – Kristin Winchester
“Over-functioning for me is a kind of a side effect of perfectionism. I'm going to over function by doing everything perfectly, and I can do that for a little while and I feel really good about myself when I'm keeping it all together for three days. Then I crash and burn and everything falls apart. So I have to remind myself to do what needs to get done, and let the rest lie until tomorrow.” – Emily Ley
Emily and Kristin’s Best New Mom Tools
- Disposable Piddle Pads (as a makeshift changing station in your house or on the go that you can throw away!)
- Rolling cart (to tote around anything your baby needs — and also makes any room a changing station)
- Rolling bassinet
- Sound machine
- Blackout curtains (you can even get disposable ones at Lowe’s or Home Depot!)
- Baby gowns (great for changing diapers in the night)
- Clip-on nightlight, so mama can see baby during nighttime feeding
Things to Take a New Mom (besides a lasagna)
- Breakfast: muffins, Starbucks oatmeal, quiche, a breakfast casserole – mama’s gotta eat
- Snacks: fruit, crackers, cheese cubes, whatever — can you ever have too many snacks?
- “I didn’t know I needed that!” items: ice packs for nursing, granola bars, a new water mug, nasal mist spray for the baby.
- Wipes warmer
- Yourself — and offer to do chores or hold the baby while mama takes a shower
- Your experience — if you’ve been a mom before, type a “welcome to new motherhood!” letter, and share your experience, plus be a listening ear to a mom who might need to vent or ask questions
Best-Loved Baby Gifts
- Keepsake toys
- Luggage/overnight bag
A Blessing for Your Week
I hope you remember that motherhood looks different for every single woman and that's okay.
I hope you remember there's more than one way to be a mother to someone, and that's okay.
And if you're in the throes of new motherhood, I hope you remember that you are loved, you are enough, and you are doing a wonderful job of being a mother to your little one.
Simplicity Tip of the Week
See if you can find a way to get an extra 30 minutes of sleep each night. Maybe your partner takes the baby for the midnight feeding. Maybe you skip an hour of TV to get in that extra little bit of sleep. Whatever it is, you work so hard to care for others around you and your body deserves rest. So whatever you have to do, and I know this might seem impossible if you are in the throes of sleep training or new motherhood, see if you can give yourself a little more sleep this week. That old adage of “sleep when the baby sleeps,” give it a try.
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