New Moms Need to Encourage Moms-to-Be

Inspiring 4

pregnant belly LOVEWhen I was pregnant with my twins, it felt like I was constantly getting approached by well-meaning strangers, eager to share their advice for my impending motherhood. For the most part, it was all snuggly baby stories and "cherish every moment" kind of talk, but there were definitely those who went all doom-and-gloom on me, who just felt compelled to let me know that I was in for it, that the next three (or eighteen!) years were going to be hell, that having twins is a nightmare.

"Uhhhh, thanks?" I would say, although in my head I kept reminding myself that, like most things in life, the challenges of new motherhood might come down to perception. I decided to stay positive because what else were my choices? And I made a pact with myself that, when I was a new Mom, I would be sure to be encouraging to expectant parents rather than burst their bubble. So far, so good ...

Just yesterday I was in Costco with the twins when ... okay, wait, I know that you're thinking, "Why would you bring a double stroller into Costco on the weekend, crazy pants?" My answer: because it's my happy place and I want to share that joy with my children. Anyway, so while we were there, a couple came up to us and told me they were expecting twins in September. I did a little dance of joy for them and then started right in on how wonderful it is to be the parents of twins. Granted, maybe the sample-eating euphoria was going to my head, but I found myself saying things like, "If the twins are your first, you really don't know any better, so it's really not so hard." And then, "The newborn stage passes quickly and then it gets so much easier." Followed by, "If you get them on the same schedule, it will be a breeze." And finally, "The twin babies I know seem to be the most chill, I think because they know they have to share Mommy's attention."

After running down the products they had to buy, again reiterating the importance of a schedule from the start, and I think doing another happy dance, I gave these strangers my email address and encouraged them to contact me with any questions over the next seven months. As my hubby and I walked away, he started laughing at my "yippee, twinsies!" enthusiasm. I mean, wasn't I just complaining that morning about how exhausted I was with their tandem crankiness?

But, these expectant parents don't need to know that! They're already stressed and scared and planning ahead, enough that they're asking a stranger about her double stroller when they're only 10 weeks along. No, no, when approached by a pregnant woman, total, unwavering honesty just isn't what she needs to hear. Let someone else be the bearer of bad news. You, you should tell her all the good stuff she has to look forward to! Be her beacon of sunshine! Tell her it's going to be okay! Keep her feeling positive!

When I was about eight months pregnant, my husband came home from work and shared with me how a co-worker with twins was going on and on about how hellish the first couple of years are. She said, no joke, "Your life is going to suck until they're about three." I immediately decided this woman must just be a sad sack to begin with because, hello, who shares that? It's like telling someone your horrible labor story, but worse since she was clearly talking about 26,280 hours of hell. So, instead of taking it to heart, I reached out to a friend with older twins of her own, who had been totally Princess Positive about my pregnancy and my upcoming life with two babies. She eased my fears and told me exactly what I needed to hear: that life with twins is special and unique and, nah, not that hard. She concurred that this other woman was clearly just a sad sack and that my twin Mommy experience was going to be just as magical as hers.

So, sure, I definitely had some post-baby blues, I felt overwhelmed and tired and unable to cope. But, the last seven months have also been un-freakin-believably awesome and amazing and heart-filling and life-changing in every joyful way. When it's hard, it's hard, but it gets easier and you figure it out and every day it gets better. That's the truth that new Moms really need to hear, and that's what I'm going to tell them.

What positive advice did you get while you were pregnant? Did people's happy stories make a difference?

Image via JessicaLindsay04/Flickr

baby first year, multiples, twins & more


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nonmember avatar Em

When I was expecting my second child people loved to tell me how hard my life was going to be since my two were going to be20 months apart. A little bit of honesty regarding how hard it would be from people who I trust/respect was definitely appreciated, but strangers? Eh. Tune em' out.

Stacey. Stacey.

Now that I think about it I didnt get any positive advice. my mom wanted me to get an abortion, co workers and friends told me how hard breastfeeding would be, how sore I would be after labor up to and beyond a month, how I better get sleep now because it's about to be gone forever, how my life is over, and on and on.

Thankfully, I didnt listen to any of them because they were all wrong. My labor and delivery were super quick and easy, my baby has slept thru the night since 1 month, breastfeeding and pumping came naturally, and my daughter gave my life a purpose, that is what I am going to stress most.

the4m... the4mutts

I had no positive messages. Like Stacy ^^ I was told that I should get an abortion. I was "too young" to "throw my life away". Umm, I was 20 years old when my first was born.

I was fed the line that since my ass was so fat, it was going to be a girl, not a boy, and all the money myself, and others had spent on things for my son would be wasted, because I was too stupid to listen about my ass. *it was a boy*

Some peopl *shakes head*

Readi... ReadingIsSexy27

My daughters are 18 months apart and I had TONS of comments about how I would not get any sleep the first 6 months and to expect them to be hell but then after that it would get easier.  The first 4 months were a breeze for me, seriously.  I had the easiest baby on the planet, and the happiest toddler you could ask for.  Now, at 11 months and 2 1/2 life is difficult, I love it, but its difficult.  Both demand attention when they see the other getting attention. they have already started fighting with each other over toys.  My 2 1/2 year old is tiny and my 11 month old average so they weigh the same so fights are an equal match and sometimes brutal!  My perfect infant now throws tantrums like Ive never seen!  Now, thats just the bad stuff, there is too much good stuff to even be able to tell it all.  But  my whole point is every family with any kids of any age are going to have ups and downs, highs and lows and separate challenges.  Instead of freaking anyone out with negativity I think its best to be positive and talk up the good things.

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