Rebelle Mama: New Mama Wisdom.
By Dana Damara.
My daughters are eight and eleven now, and admittedly, there are days I really want to press the rewind button so I can do it all over again, knowing what I know now of course!
That is how I knew I was older… my mom used to say those words. If I had to do it over again, yes, I would do some things differently but there are some things I would not change either.
The first time I got pregnant, I could not believe it! I never thought I would conceive a baby!
It was not in my plan, to be honest. I was one of those high-strung first-time mamas, who wanted to do everything right and by the book. I typed out my birth plan, for God’s sake! Looking back, I am almost embarrassed, to be honest. But whatever, we do what we do and then look back with humor, not regret.
When my second one came along, I did some things differently, but some of that had to do with surviving pregnancy with a two-year-old. So when I was asked, “What would you tell a new mama-to-be?”, a list of things rolled off my tongue and onto the paper.
And this is not advice… this is me, a recovering Type-A, sharing the love of being a mom. There is nothing like it… nothing. And if we are given the gift of being able to conceive and actually give birth to a baby, we should take on this gift with gratitude, reverence, joy, humor and, on some days, frustration and exhaustion.
Remember one thing above all else: you can only know what you know in the moment that you know it. So when you do look back, give yourself a break and know that you made every decision with the information you had at that point in time. Never regret… ever.
1. Read any book you want, read it twice if need be. But always listen to your intuition. No one knows that baby better than you, not even your mother or your mother-in-law. And cut your partner some slack, they do not know either. This one is all you!
2. Letting your baby cry it out is old school. Please don’t do that. Your baby just left a really warm, dark, comfortable place. Coddle, coddle and coddle again. There are no exceptions to this rule.
3. Please, for all you recovering Type-A’s: let go of perfection. You are not going to get it all done like before. Your house is going to get messy, you are going to go a day without a shower, there are going to be piles of clothes, you may live on leftovers from the week before. Let… it… go. Be perfectly imperfect.
4. Take yourself out for a nice lunch with your girlfriends or your partner, or go just by yourself. Do not wait for three months to pass to do this either. Your baby will be fine without you! You need this time to reconnect and remember who you were before baby! PS: you are still that same person.
5. Buy sexy underwear before you give birth. It might be a size or two bigger than normal, but have it ready for after you give birth and when you want to feel close to normal again. Your body is going to go through massive changes and some of them are going to freak you out! Do not wait on this! PS: ‘Normal’ is different now. Expect to let go of ‘normal’.
6. Please, for God’s sake, sleep when that baby sleeps! Stay home if you can, and don’t even work. It is more than enough that you just gave birth! Hello!!!! If anyone tells you that you need to be more than just a mom, punch them in the face, and then blame it on post-partum depression. They can apologize later. Forgive them. Sleep with your baby at nap time — smell their gorgeous baby smell. Do not fold clothes, do not make meals, do not clean the house. No exceptions.
7. Love yourself more than ever when you look in the mirror. Do not fall prey to how much weight you might have gained or how quickly you can melt the pounds off. Love this new body — it is yours and it created a miracle.
8. Remember this: your baby integrates your emotions from the time they are conceived (it is a fact). Do your best to breathe, move your body, think good thoughts, and navigate through negative emotions with compassion.
This whole mothering thing is a miraculous journey. It really is the most amazing, challenging, fulfilling, frustrating path you will take in your life. And if you want to do it consciously, it may be bumpy.
Navigate through this journey with love and compassion for yourself and for your mother. You will look at her in a completely different way — with blurry eyes nonetheless. Just open your heart wide for the vessel that brought you here.
Finally, from the day you deliver that baby into the arms of Mother Earth, you made a commitment to let go.
Being a mama is all about letting go. It is the greatest gift you will ever receive, and the greatest gift you will ever share with the world.
Dana Damara is a mother, author, yoga instructor, speaker and yogini. Her passion on the mat is proper alignment, powerful breath and effortless flow so these can be felt even off the yoga mat. Her practice is a sacred space where one arrives to find more meaning, depth, authenticity and integrity in life. You can contact Dana via her website or Facebook.
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