Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Words of Encouragement

The majority of my friends and family have had children of their own. Some have birthed their first child within the last year. Some have birthed their 2nd or 3rd child. And some already have school age children. Therefore, I have heard many of the ups and downs that occur during the first few months following childbirth, but realize there is no real way to prepare for the sleepless nights, the hormonal roller coaster, or the love I will feel for my son. After much thought, I decided it would be a good idea to write some words of encouragement in my journal to look back on during the weeks/months following Bennett's birth. I began by searching the Scriptures and writing words that were inspired by my Creator, the one who I call Lord and Savior. Now, I would like to ask those of you who have children to pass along words that were encouraging to you during your first few months as a new mother. I will be sure to write your words in my journal, so I can look back on them when I am experiencing new found exhaustion or just needing a "pick me up."


katy said...

The biggest thing that I am hoping to remember this second time around is to Keep Perspective! When you are in the midst of the sleepless nights it seems like FOREVER until you make it to 6 weeks, 8 weeks, 3 months. But then as your baby continues to grow you suddenly forget those short sleep-deprived weeks/months. The amount of time that you spend not sleeping becomes totally eclipsed by the length of time that you do. So I am hoping to remember to keep it in perspective! The ups and downs will even out with time, and really, not that much time!
Plus, you will feel normal having a child after a few months! That is one of the hardest things, having your whole world suddenly change. But it will feel normal again! I am going to remind myself of that when we add a fourth family member. Four will eventually feel just as normal as three, which eventually felt just as normal as two. :)
So excited for you all! Being parents really is the best thing, in spite of the hard work!

Sarah said...

There is a poem that I have repeated over and over to myself in the past 19 months...I need to have it framed so I can look at it every day!!
Here it is:

Cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow
So quiet down cobwebs,
Dust go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby,
and babies don't keep!

I really can't believe HOW quickly it really does go, even though in the moment it seems like they're never going to sit up, crawl, sleep, walk, talk, etc...the "baby" stage is over before you know slow down, enjoy every second where they can't wiggle away from you, fall asleep on your chest, and are content to just lay and stare in your eyes and coo and giggle. :)

majorfam said...

Amber, you are going to be such a great mommy! You are so gentle and kind. You son is already blessed!

I think for us looking back over the past few years, I think the newborn/infant/first year stage is by far the easiest. Don't get me wrong there are definitely trials. The first two months are some of the most exhilaratingly, joyful times in your life but also the most exhausting. Matt always said "angry Allie" came out between the hours of 1:00 am and 6:00 am. It is an adjustment to learn to live on a lot less sleep. But like somewhat else said, before you know it, the year has gone by and the sleepless nights are long gone. Infants are easy to love. They are a such delight.

It is as your children age that you start to see the desperate need of Jesus in their lives. They constantly have to be taught to do right. And some times it is a challenge.

God has taught me to be patient, to trust Him, knowing he entrusted the care of these beautiful girls in my life, and most importantly to know Him. I would be doing my babies a horrible injustice if my passion for Christ faded. I don't care what they choose to do with their lives when they are all grown up, I just have one hope, that they will love Jesus with all of their beings.

Parenting really is such a gift. It is the most challanging but also most rewarding thing you will do in your life.

JCo said...

What a great idea Amber. I have no advice from experience, but a wise friend told me when I become a mom to sleep when the baby sleeps and let the to do list go. Sounded like good advice to me.

Mama Smors said...

Enjoy each little stage- they pass too quickly!! That is advice that was difficult for me with Ivy, but I think knowing how fast it really goes... I will enjoy this next baby at each stage. Also, do what works for you and your family- all the advice overwhelmed me when Ivy was a newborn :) Being a mommy is all about learning what is best for you, not what someone else says is best! I can't wait to see Bennett :) (love that name, by the way!) you are going to be a great mommy!

The Thomas' said...

Ditto everything Mama Smors know your baby better than anyone so you do it how you want to. Advice is great but in the end it's your decision on how you want things to go. However, make sure to really look at people around you and how they do/did it. I was very "my baby, my way" and now looking back I could have listened to a couple people and tweaked what they did a bit and it could have been even better! But you are ultimately the mommy! I don't however, agree with cherish the moment...don't be afraid to wish certain times away...I'm not a newborn person so I really didn't enjoy the whole 'mommy experience' until Abby was about 3-6 months old and then it all just clicked and fell into place. I don't look fondly back on the newborn days and I'm so glad they're over. Just remember this phrase on the hard days "this too shall pass" and once the 'storm' is over you will look back, sigh and thank the Lord you are done with that :)
Can't wait to see Baby Bennett! You're going to be great and when people says it'll come to you, it really will!!

Brooke said...

1. Above all else, you are the mommy of your precious child! The relationship you have is extremely strong and your mommy instinct is more than likely right. I found myself very concerned about "what I was supposed to be doing" the first few months of Ella's life (could be a little OCD :) ). Whether it was her feeding schedule, sleeping schedule, letting her cry/not cry, etc. I wanted to do things the right way and read countless books and listened to advice from everyone. So my advice for you, is just do what is best for you and your family and everything will fall into place! Don't spend your time worrying, but enjoy those precious first moments and be confident in the decisions you make!
2. The obvious... Your son will only be a baby once, so enjoy it! Embrace each new milestone and be thankful for the blessings each day brings. Take lots of pictures and write everything down! There's nothing better than using those things to remember just how great being a parent truly is!

Kara said...

Michael and I had a rule (unfortunately it was inspired by Leslie's first few weeks with us) to not talk when we were awake in the middle of the night. The sleep deprivation made us kind of cranky and we had several major arguments that probably could have been avoided had we not tried to communicate in the first place! :)

Enjoy him while he's small because before you know it he'll be climbing all over the place, going to preschool, and not wanting to snuggle with you.

Mrs. Smorstad said...

Amber :) You just made me laugh! Just saw your comment on my blog... and girlfriend, that is not my belly!! Not yet, I am only about 13 weeks.

Anonymous said...

1. trust your instinct, you know best even when you don't feel like you do. make your decisions based on what your family needs, not on what someone else tells you you SHOULD do.
2. ask for help. you don't have to know everything about how to take care of the baby. if you don't know what to do to make him sleep, ask someone!
3. keep your perspective. it will feel like crazy is the new normal. by 6 months, you'll feel like a pro.
4. FIND COMMUNITY WITH OTHER MOMS. probably the most important thing i have done.
5. date your husband still. kids are most healthy when their parents make each other a priority.
6. make your well-being a priority. if you need an afternoon out, take an afternoon sets the emotional mood, if you are worn down, the baby will pick up on it and be cranky. take care of yourself.
7. document as much as possible. things you think you will remember fade away once they are bigger and learning new things. write it down and take a picture.