Biggest Mistakes New Moms Make

Finding your parenting sweet spot can take time and many adjustments along the way. This brand new role may look and feel different than what you imagined, causing you to question every little decision you make. Parenting is not a pursuit of perfection, so mistakes are not only inevitable but opportunities for you to learn and grow along with your baby. So, take a breath and a minute to review the biggest mistakes new moms make.

Listening to all advice

Solicited or not, everyone has beliefs, programs or types of parenting they subscribe to, that when thrown your way, can feel overwhelming and even contradictory. Rather than break under the pressure, take the time to get to know yourself as a parent and your child. Start with basic guidelines about nurturing physical, emotional, and social development and then allow yourself time and space to shape your own best parenting fit. Tap into your own intuition.

Not taking care of yourself

Whether it is self-care for healing after the birth or taking a nap when your baby naps, neglecting your own well-being can affect your other life roles, including your role as mama. Allowing a bit of time for yourself is not selfish—it’s beneficial to those around you, including your baby. Devote a little time to yourself to avoid this new mom mistake.

Forgetting to nurture your relationship

At times, life with a new baby can feel more like survival mode. When you are sleep deprived and can’t remember the last time you showered, taking time for your relationship may seem like a luxury rather than a necessity. But investing time in your relationship offers benefits to you, your partner and your baby. Elaborate plans are not necessary–even the smallest gesture or making simple plans for you and your partner can be enough.

Unrealistic expectations about free time

Be honest, are you mentally thinking about when your baby will next nap and all of the tasks you can accomplish? There’s often a big difference between expectations vs. reality. On your mental list are you lucky to accomplish one task at the most? It’s not uncommon to want to take advantage of naptime, but rather than create a list that may leave you feeling frustrated, try for a more realistic approach. Identify one task each day to complete, and if you feel the need to nap yourself, do it!

Comparing your baby with other babies

In just three words: don’t do it. Please. This new mom mistake of comparison is a natural response, but every baby is different. A range exists regarding when babies meet developmental tasks. If you have legitimate concerns, then talk to a professional. But otherwise, focus on your baby’s growth—enjoy it—and try to disengage from the pull to compare.

Being supermom

From accessing help for breastfeeding to equal sharing of responsibilities with your partner, allowing others to assist you or play their part in the raising of your baby is crucial. Let your partner BE your partner. It’s a partnership, not a one-sided process of parenting. Or, if a family member or friend offers genuine assistance, such as meal preparation, take the help with gratitude that you have a support system.

Worrying about the small details

Fears and worry exist as part of parenting—you’re raising a little human after all! But attempt to think about your worries in terms of their level of importance. Is it a health or safety issue? Or is it a detail that ultimately will not present significant influence? Understand what is truly important to you and maybe let the rest go … at least a little.

Missing the moments

Be present and notice the important moments. Unsolicited advice or “help” along with the various anxieties of being a new parent can easily take over this new role of yours. As parents of older children will often say, the time goes by quickly, so be in the moment as much as you can and enjoy it.