I love my online mommy group. Over the years I've posted questions about pregnancy symptoms, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, sleep issues, and potty training just to name a few. And every time, without fail, these amazing have come to the rescue with a variety of opinions and advice. I have learned so much from my little community of mothers, so I asked a selection of moms to share the one important lesson another mom taught them.
It turns out other moms are the best parenting resource out there, especially if they are experienced, seasoned veterans and (of course) if they feel comfortable sharing their secrets. I still think of myself as a fairly new recruit to this whole parenting gig. However, recently when my friend had a baby and sought my advice on a few issues, I realized I had learned a lot in the last three years (and I had tips and advice to share, too).
We might not always agree, and we might have different parenting philosophies or practices, but there is an awful lot another mom can teach you, if you just listen.
"The 'other' mom was my own mom, and she told me 'as long as there is love, everything else can be fixed.' It gave me confidence that it was OK to mess up sometimes."
"Recently I met a mom at a playgroup who left her baby's onesie fastened and wiggled it off the shoulders and down to the feet, rather than lifting it over the baby's head. It stops poop from getting near the baby's face or hair when they have a blowout. Revolutionary!"
"My sister is a great mom and she saw I was struggling with sleepless nights after having my baby. She told me to just try co-sleeping, I know it's not for everyone, and you have to follow safety guidelines, but it resulted in more sleep for me."
"My friend told me that 'the carer can't care without self care.' I had been letting myself get overwhelmed and really needed a mental health break, this was so important for me to hear."
"My toddler would never let me clean the house. Instead, he would whine and try and get me to stop. My mom told me to make him his own cleaning basket with a duster and a mini-spray bottle of water. It was absolute genius now we happily clean the house together!"
"I hated breastfeeding when I first started. I found it messy and couldn't get into the groove. A mom on my online breastfeeding support group suggested a topless weekend. Close the curtains, don't go anywhere, and feed on demand. Not having to fiddle with clothes made breastfeeding seem easier and, after a whole weekend of this, I really got my confidence back."
"My boyfriend and I had a tough transition into being parents. We sort of forgot what it was like to be a couple. I was complaining about him to another mom and she said 'sounds like he misses his wife.' At the time I was angry as it just added to my overflowing mom guilt, but I started to suggest date nights and we got our mojo back."
"A colleague of mine bought me three wicker baskets filled with diapers, wipes, and cream for my baby shower and told me to put them on the three floors of my home, so I would never have to run around looking for supplies."
"My kid loves clothes but can be quite fussy about outfits I lay out. My friend, a mom of three, told me every Sunday go through the closet and choose five outfits together and get them ready. Then there are no arguments each morning before daycare. Win!"
"I was complaining to my girlfriend that I felt like I didn't look like myself anymore since becoming a new mom; that I barely brushed my hair and was turning into a frump. She told me that each morning before her partner went to work she took 20 minutes to herself to get dressed and fix her hair and makeup. I started doing the same and feel like myself again!"
"My friend told me on a particularly hard day that 'it's harder to mess up your kids than you think.' It made me laugh which took the edge off what had been a day from hell. She also encouraged me to remember all the good days."
"I was at a playgroup, having a coffee with a group of moms. I was complaining about this other mom that never sat with us and also sorta bragging a bit about my kid, when suddenly the leader of the group said 'kindness is hugely underrated and we're all still learning.' I heard her, loud and clear.