Jul 15, 2009

Words of Wisdom from My Mom

My Mom is the best... She was the most amazing Mom to grow up with, always made everything so much fun (even being grounded) yet she somehow managed to keep us on the straight and narrow. I hope I can find the magic balance that allows me to be a "cool" Mom but also a Mom who you don't wanna mess with! She always said parenting was about lots of love and a healthy amount of fear... my sis and I stayed out of trouble - not because we were scared of being punished but because we didn't want to disappoint Mom - GENIUS parenting!

Anyways, a few weeks after Jane was born, Mom sent me a sweet letter giving me all of her motherly advice. I've tried to keep the Jen-specific stuff out and just pass along the valuable words of, what I would consider, the world's best Mom...

"Jenny, you are now a Mom – the most wonderful yet overwhelming responsibility God can bestoe on a woman. This has changed you forever in such an amazing way and the journey which lies ahead will be exciting and energizing – sharing with Dan, a chance to relive childhood through another lens, that of your children in today’s world – so the learnings continue for you! It’s fabulous!
  1. A very experienced obstetrician told me that in the first 6-8 weeks, newborns will take every bit of energy, patience, and sleep you have and give very little back – be aware of this. Then suddenly, they smile and all is forgotten. Physically this is tough darling.
  2. Jane’s two simple triggers in her new life are now are hunger and pain – that’s it! She will communicate only by crying and you will often be at a loss, in the short term, as what she is telling you – that’s normal until you get to know one another really well.
  3. Understand that her biological need to suck will need to be separated at times from her need to feed. She will need that comfort. I fell into a trap with Nancy in the early months – being a La Leche Leaguer, I went by the book and fed on demand – often bloating her with food and never giving her digestive system a rest. It was my Mom who told me that her little tummy needed a break – she made me reflect on how it felt always having a “full” feeling. Then once my milk was fully established, I fed every 3-4 hrs, providing a break for all.
  4. The La Leche also didn’t believe in soothers, so with Nancy I didn’t introduce one in the early weeks – for me this was a mistake. Nancy got so attached to my breasts, that she refused to take any sort of artificial nipple. I have to say, this was so tough on me. It was stressful as I really didn’t think I’d be able to go back to work, I couldn’t leave her for more than 2-3 hrs (or I wouldn’t because I was afraid she’d get hungry). So, my advice, don’t be extreme – introduce all and balance your offerings – moderation!
  5. Crying – babies cry – it’s their only form of communication. And Mom’s absolutely hate to hear their babies cry, often crying with them in the early months, as you adjust to each other. Use your good judgment – my Mom said that there is no way to spoil a newborn baby – trust your instincts – sometimes a good cry is great for burps, bowels, abs, and exercise.
  6. My Mom always believed in snuggling – you cannot snuggle enough – wrapped comfortably and loved and kissed.
  7. You have read a lot about babies and life with babies – this is great – please also know your Mom is always her here any time. Although, I did not write it all down, I have much to share and remember things well.
  8. All hormones are drained, every bit of energy reserved is drained – be aware, be kind, take short cuts, enjoy – you want to do it all so well – that’s great, however, not always possible. Remember, “if Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy”.
  9. Babies are so flexible and strong - go with the flow of Jane - she will make you stretch, she will change your direction, she will make you a different person. Your energy will be Jane's energy - have a good glass of wine every now and then - she'll love you for it!
In the end, I have said it so many times - do what your heart tells you to do – trust your instincts; be moderate with all. Listen closely to those who LOVE you – they will offer up some great learnings – we listen to and research other opinions on cars, business, houses, movies – continue to listen to some practical wisdom on life and kids. Make well informed decisions that work for you both and ensure it feels right and good. When in doubt, share your concerns and questions, call Mom & Dad!"

Hope you enjoy these few words of wisdom as much as I did... xoxo Mom, Love you!

Jen :)

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Pam W said...

I am so honored to have made the "blog"..thanks darling!
So proud of who you are and all you do!
Mom xox

Unknown said...

Brought tears to my hormonal eyes :) Oh how I LOVE Mrs. Winsor!!! Thanks for this jen...you are the BEST!!!
Lots of love xoxox

Ange said...

That was such a great read - thanks for sharing!!
...as I run off to find a kleenex!