TIPS FOR FIRST TIME MOMS: WHAT I'VE LEARNED - By Erika Batista

TIPS FOR FIRST TIME MOMS: WHAT I'VE LEARNED

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Huggies Little Snugglers + Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions expressed are my own.
I will be honest I didn't know where to begin when I sat down to write this post. The simple thought of thinking back to the day my son was born brings a bunch of emotions and nostalgia. Simply choosing a photo to add to this post took me back to 3+ years ago to the most beautiful day of my life (emergency cesarean and all). Like any mother I adore my son and cherish our moments, from the smallest, simplest things to the big accomplishments and new stages of his life. I am proud to wear my heart on my sleeve, it is actually something I have grown into. I used to be self concious about being so emotional for everything and anything in my life. But as I have grown I have learned to be proud of it. And if you know me, then you know that simply reminiscing of Ben's birth and his early month can totally make me shed a few tears. Heck, looking at him play as I write this makes me wonder... where did time go? But God am I blessed and lucky to have such an amazing boy in my life to call my own. He is smart and funny and beyond anything so respectful, loving and sweet. He is compassionate and quirky all these at once. And I love everything about him. The way he loves me and the way he is so attached to me. I can only hope to cherish all these memories deep inside my heart and hold them close to me forever. Because he made me a mother, the best job I've ever had. Some days get tough, challenging even. But nonetheless the love I feel for him overcomes any tantrum in a heartbeat. Being a first time mom is no easy task. I have learned and I am still learning. I make mistakes and I try to be a better mom on a daily and today I want to share a few little tips that have worked for me and for my son. I am all about taking advice so if you are like me, read on.
 Hold your baby. I remember when Ben was born so many people told me "Don't hold the baby too much because he will get spoiled and never want to be put down!". Guess what ladies, I held my baby a ton, I didn't listen... I loved those moments he fell asleep on my chest. Babies don't get spoiled from you holding them, you have a lot of other ways your kid will get spoiled by in the future. But as a newborn, hold them all you want, kiss them, carry them in your arms as much as you can. Because time will fly. I am so glad I "spoiled" Ben so much as a baby, those memories are tucked into my heart warmly. I rather hold my baby close to my heart and "spoil" that baby with all my love and warmth. Because believe me they will be out of your arms and running freely not wanting to be held very soon.
It's ok to cry. Your body goes through so much from giving birth, your hormones are all over the place. Being a first time mom is not easy. Not only are your hormones out of whack but you have a whole new human being that is entirely your responsibility. It's scary. It's nerve racking. They are so little and fragile. I remember crying for anything and everything the first few days. I cried because I didn't put the diaper on right and he would pee right through them or because y milk supply wasn't coming in fast enough and I felt like I was a horrible mom, already! I cried because I was tired. Ladies, having a baby is a beautiful, explainable experience. People will expect you to be all smiles, puppies and rainbows all day long. And yes of course I was happy, it was the happiest - it IS the happiest I've ever been. But it is also hard. So don't be afraid to cry it out a little. It is normal. Talk to your husband, tell him how you feel. Or phone a friend... a mom, someone that has been there and won't judge you. Someone who you know will make you feel better, because we have all been there. No one is perfect and though some women don't like to admit it, it isn't all glitter and gold. It takes time to adjust but you will, I promise! I am still learning every single day but I now know that it is ok and in the end you still have this precious bundle of love and it is so worth it.
All babies are different. Us moms, it is in our nature to worry. I worry hard every day. It is exhausting! But it's just part of me. And it will be part of you too. I remember when Ben turned 1. He still wasn't walking on his own. People gave their opinions (and you will get a lot of unwanted "opinions") and I started to worry. I kept thinking but he is fine and his legs look fine. And ladies he was just fine, he started to walk at 14 months. He ran... and now he won't stop running! You want them to walk and when they do you will want to them to sit still. We are crazy I tell ya;) Here's where I am trying to get at, all babies are different, some walk at 10 months and others, like Ben, at 14 months. Some eat everything and some will be picky for a few months (like Ben). Some kids, talk with words that surprise you (like Ben!) and some just take a little while longer to develop their speech and all of that is ok. Don't compare your baby. You may listen to people's opinions but in the end you will know what is best for you and your baby. Enjoy each milestone.
Ask for help. I am guilty of this one. I am one of those people who would rather pack on the duties than ask anyone for help. I have always been this way. And when my son was born I had the blessing of having my mom help me a lot. I realize not everyone is that lucky. My husband and my mom went above and beyond to help me with our newborn. They would often tell me to go take a nap and rest while they stayed with him. But you will see when you become a mom you feel like you have to do it all. I remember the days my mom would tell me "go to sleep, I will watch him" and I would lay on the bed staring at the ceiling, tired but I wouldn't sleep. If I would hear him cry just a bit I would get up and see if he was ok. I guess it's the mom instinct in us. But ladies, take the help! You need it. Ask for the help. Whether that's having your mom cook for you or watch the baby. Or a friend come help for a while, take it. You will be a happier mommy.
You ARE doing a great job, he will be a great human. From the moment they come into the world until pretty much forever, you will spend your days wondering if you are in fact raising a great human. I wonder about that everyday (I told you I am crazy) I want him to be a humble, caring, compassionate, educated, professional and loving man one day. But most importantly I want him to be HAPPY. So I strive every day to make him happy. Not by spoiling him with toys or letting him do whatever he wants but with LOVE. I have learned that love is the one thing that we all strive for - the one thing that we all want. And I want my little love to feel loved and happy every day of his life. We are all different mamas, but remember we are all doing our best. So every once in a while pat yourself on the back, raising a human is no easy task and I think sometimes we forget to take  a moment to realize that we are in fact doing the best we can.  
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xo,
E.