My gorgeous sister in law and brother are expecting their first baby boy very soon. It seems like just yesterday they were married in a beautiful Winter Wonderland wedding at the iconic Hotel Windsor in Melbourne, where Ava was a flower girl. Now they’re going to be a family.
We are all SO excited about welcoming a little man into our family. Just last week Ava was telling the ballet mums that we are having a baby boy and I had to quickly clarify that my sister in law is expecting the baby… not me!
My brother was the cutest little kid with a funny croaky voice, so I can only imagine how cute and funny my little nephew is going to be.
Winter Wonderland Wedding, Melbourne. August 2012
I remember so well how I felt in the lead up to Ava’s arrival over three years ago. So excited but also a bit of a nervous wreck, overwhelmed with all the well meaning advice I was receiving from everyone.
I’ve learnt so much since then on this amazing mummy journey. It’s challenging, exhilarating, frustrating, rewarding and so much fun – sometimes all at the same time! I remember a midwife telling me ‘It’s the hardest job you’ll ever love’ and I think that sums it up perfectly.
I wanted to create a post of all the best parenting advice, a one stop shop for my sister in law and all new and expectant mums everywhere. A little sanctuary of encouragement and inspiration on those days when you feel like it’s all a bit hard and you don’t know what you’re doing.
So I contacted some of my favourite bloggers who are mums, and they have very kindly shared their best parenting advice with us.
I also want to invite YOU my lovely readers to leave the one piece of advice you would give to a new or expectant mum.
My own advice: Relax, enjoy and have fun! A child health nurse once told me if you love your child, keep them clean, safe and well fed, you are doing a fantastic job. I’ve never forgotten that.
My advice is about advice. Everyone will want to tell you what to do. The thing is, all babies and kids are different and you know yours better than anyone else in the world. So grin politely and keep doing what you are doing. You are the best mother for your child, even though it does not feel like it some days. You are doing a great job. Just keep swimming.
I’ve found the biggest thing we can do for our kids is truly listen to them. I learned this the day my son was trying to tell me something (that was important to him) and I was half listening whilst doing something in the kitchen. When he stopped mid-sentence and said plaintively “mummy, you’re not LISTENING to me” my heart just clenched. Nowadays when he is talking to me (as opposed to talking to the room in general which he does a lot), I look him right in the eye, listen, then repeat back to him what he’s said so he knows I’ve heard him. So even if he’s saying ‘mummy, I don’t want to go to swimming today’, I will say ‘I know you don’t want to go to swimming …’ before going on to tell him why it’s important that he does go. I think it’s easy for our first response to be an offhand ‘don’t be silly, you have to go to swimming’ and often this makes our kids feel like we’re not really hearing them.’
Being a parent and running a household can be all consuming and overwhelming. Set a formal end to the day. A time when you stop all housework, switch off and relax, even though everything is not finished. You may well discover that you achieve so much more knowing there is a ‘finish/knock off’ time to look forward to. A time of relaxing without guilt before bed is beneficial to a better nights sleep and a better tomorrow.
My advice would be NEVER get bunk beds. They are a bastard to make.
Routine Routine ROUTINE (relating to sleeptime) it was my survival technique and it worked like a dream having 3 very busy little boys!
It was especially good for daytime naps or ‘rest time’ and saved my bacon at that 5 oclock nutso time!! Bath. PJs. Dinner. Stories. Bed.
1. For new mums: no-one knows your baby better than you do. Don’t let well-meaning advice cloud your gut instinct.
2. As a mum of pre-school aged kids I thought that would be the most challenging time of parenthood (and it certainly feels like it when you’re in the trenches of it!) but I found you had to be around just as much during the school years and even into high school. Yes, you may not be needed to for hands-on stuff as much but your presence indeed helps to still have influence on your kids when they’re being influenced by their peers.
Thank you so much to all these lovely ladies for sharing their best motherhood advice!
Happy parenting lovelies!
A x x x x
Now it’s YOUR turn to share the one piece of advice you would give to a new or expectant mum?