Best Thing I Did as a New Mom

If everyone’s nap times cooperate, I hope to have an update on all the finishing touches I’ve been working on for our bedroom. If we’re very lucky, I’ll have another sneak peak ready too. But until then, enjoy more parenting musings!

Moms young and old, new and seasoned are so efficient at condemning themselves for all the things they’ve done wrong as mothers– I should have spent more time with the kids, I should have spent more time cleaning the house, I should have just let them watch the tv show, I should have kept them from the tv more. I have yet to meet a mother who doesn’t have something they’re trying to do better or some transgression they are still trying to atone for.

Evangeline’s First Week Home

I’ve only been a mom for two and a half years ( really?? that’s it??) but last night as I was closing in on hour 4 of rocking a very cranky Reuben, I got to thinking of the early days with Evangeline all those years ago. Things like setting up a kingdom on our bed with all of her essentials around me in arm’s reach. Or boiling water twice a day to sterilize bottles, nipples and breast pump tubes over and over and over. I got to thinking about how I am not really a kid person and taking care of babies hasn’t come naturally to me. Rarely had I been around babies and never little bitty breakable newborns before I had my own. Needless to say I was a nervous handler.  I didn’t even want to change Evangeline’s diaper in front of the nurses at the hospital for fear they would tell me I was some how hurting her. And I got to thinking that the best favor I did for myself in those early days was baby massage.

There are many good reasons to do baby massage and it’s something I enjoyed with Evangeline. Sadly Felicity didn’t get much massage time, but I’m trying to do more with Reuben. It helped with Evangeline’s colic and her nighttime routine, but the best thing baby massage did for me was to help me be comfortable handling the baby. It took 20 minutes to get her dressed because I was afraid of lifting her arm too roughly or holding her ankle too tightly. Having to slowly and calmly rub her legs, hold out her arms or turn her on her belly for massage got me so comfortable touching her and moving her around. Now, baby massage and three newborns later, I can change clothes, bathe and swaddle like nobody’s business.

There was a huge learning curve to being a first time mom– there always is– but baby massage was something that helped me so much. So as I turned Reuben around to yet another position trying to get that last burp up, I could help but smile and think “that was something good I did.” And you know, I woke up this morning still feeling good about it, certainly better than I feel after beating myself up for mistakes I cannot change.

What good things have you done as a mother?


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