Google+ Authentic Parenting: What I Would Say If I Met Pre-Baby Me (rerun)

Monday, July 2, 2012

What I Would Say If I Met Pre-Baby Me (rerun)

Originally posted as a guest post at Dirt & Diapers.  

This is a list of things I know now that I wish I knew before I started expanding our family, things every mother to be should know. It’s not that these women aren’t motivated to make an effort for their baby-to-be, it’s that this info is just not out there. Or at least not in the places they are looking. If you have a pre-baby friend, share your wisdom, without scaring them off. There’s no need to wrap motherhood in a veil of mystery.

Image: Dreamstime

  1. Analyze yourself, define your triggers, the things that haunt you from your past, especially your upbringing and childhood. Children are amazing at triggering old emotions, deal with them now and start with your children a whole person.
  2. When it comes to your birth, don’t choose the easy way, don’t be bullied into something you don’t fully support. You can’t overdo your and your baby’s birth, put in an effort to explore your choices and choose an option you feel comfortable with.
  3. Seek out real information. Mainstream parenting and pregnancy magazines are NOT decent information, they play into whatever sells ad space best. They bare false information and spread old wives tales.
  4. Find the mother in your environment you relate too most, the mother you would like to be, the mother you aspire to, talk to her. Make her your friend. Have her share all her wisdom with you.
  5. If you’ll be having a baby together, make sure you’re on the same page, that you have the same desire to learn and grow. That your family project looks similar, if not the same.
  6. Babies don’t come on your schedule. Don’t plan your life around them, don’t try to decide how many you will want or when you want them. They will come as they are.
  7. Yes, there are times you will be exhausted, but you will be able to deal with it. You are strong and you are not alone.
  8. Don’t listen to pregnancy and birth horror stories. Seek out beautiful birth stories. Birth is not a initiation in pain, it is a becoming, a beautiful, breathtaking, life-changing, earth rocking event. Birth is not war with your own body, it’s an exploration of it’s power and it’s mystique.
  9. Enjoy your pregnancy, don’t be fear mongered by ‘well-intended’ doctors, women have been having perfectly healthy babies for ages before they came to meddle.

What would you tell yourself? What do you tell your childless friends?



  1. This is wonderful! It's amazing though, how your mind changes after the baby comes. I had no idea how much my ideas about EVERYTHING would change. I wish I had done #1 a long time ago.... and I am so glad I was stubborn about a homebirth!

  2. I wish I was given this advice, even the second time around...
    Enjoy the time you have with your baby, although it's exhausting, because it goes by in a blink! (This advice I did follow 2nd time)

  3. Having children is a door you have to walk through, and it's almost impossible to describe what the experience is to someone who hasn't walked through it yet. Birth and being a parent is such an astounding experience like no other, there really is no way to prepare fully for it.

    I think the best parents are the ones who know themselves the best before they have children (this goes along with your "know your triggers" advice). "Motherstyles" is a great book for that.

    Releasing any fear or anxiety you have about birth and mothering is crucial. Take a hypnotherapy course or explore this with a therapist before you have kids. Listen to affirmations about birth and mothering.

    Sit down with you partner/spouse before you have children and discuss your childhoods and what you liked, what you hated, what you wish your parents had done differently. Talk about the kind of parents you want to be. You will fail, often, but if you have no goal you can't possibly move forward.

    Don't be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.

    And the real key to happiness in parenting? Live in the moment. This is where your children live. If you remove your anxiety about the future, your regrets about the past and really join them in the present, your mothering experience will be FAR more satisfying.

  4. "It doesn't hurt like you think it will, there's no need to be so terrified". In fact, it didn't really hurt at all. It was an amazing experience, one I would dearly love to do again (except without the pregnancy and baby afterwards lol). It wasn't something to be endured, it was something to be in awe of: working with your body to get your baby out.

    I'd also tell myself to stick up for myself first time around - you're not an inconvenience and your birth experience is more important than you know.

    You can do it.


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