Your body has worked over-time. For months you have waddled around. You have gone out in public in sweats and without a smidgen of makeup.
You have made your husband make brownies at midnight. You have cried over commercials.
Merry mothers make merry babies.
You have labored. And now it's over.
And there she lies, snuggled in your arms, looking more perfect and beautiful than any other baby on earth. And she is. Promise.
The hospital stay shoots by, and you're nervously loading your infant into his car seat for the first time. The car ride home is exciting, yet apprehensive.
Can you really do this on your own? Without the nurses and nighttime nursery at your beck and call?
I can remember, after the birth of my first child, calling my mother in tears. (She lives over 4 hours away.) I was exhausted. Overwhelmed. Lauren was crying (again), and I was clueless.
Your new "Mom Life" will inevitably
Shouldn't I know all this? Everyone else seemed to have the mom-thing down pat. What was wrong with me?
As I gazed down the path of infant-dom, I saw nothing but the Peaks of Insanity.
...And what the heck is an aspirator??? It goes where...? It does what...? (I mentally notched that in the "hubby's job" category.)
In hindsight, it's amazing my mother didn't laugh at my outright hysteria (it was the hormones...promise...). Instead, she shared two secrets that have gotten me through the gambit of emotions that make up mom-hood.
First, remember what a miracle your baby truly is. Your infant could only come from you.
What an advantage this gives you! You are certainly a big step closer to being more of an expert on your baby than I am!
Here I must digress a moment. As a social worker for foster care, I absolutely understand the importance and great VALUE of adoption. If your baby didn't come from your body, don't sweat it. She's still YOURS.
You are just as much a mother as I am. In fact, you've passed the first mothering test. You've loved a child that wasn't originally yours. And that, my friend, is an unbelievably amazing thing.
The second gold-nugget secret you'll need to know is this: that motherhood is something learned.
It's like anything else in life, an education towards improvement. Chances are, you're going to be a better mother next year than you are right now.
Is it possible NOT to learn to be a good mother? Absolutely.
Pay attention. Pick it up as you go. Ask questions. Read books. Watch veterans. Get on-the-job training.
When my second (Elena) was born in 2007, I panicked. It had been over 3 years since Lauren was an infant, and I suddenly realized that I had completely forgotton everything. This website was my re-education.
Want your infant to look this peaceful?
A schedule can be just the trick.
I started researching. I started writing. And...ta-da! The Essential Infant Resource was born.
It's now been over 3 years since then, and I'm re-learning again.
Isabella Rose was born on December 11th, 2009 and I'm re-reading my own articles!
So let me ask you...
The Essential Infant Resource offers interesting (hopefully entertaining) articles geared towards attacking that learning curve.
P.P.S. If you're curious about my slew of girls, I've got bragging photos!
So here we are. My articles. I've designed the site to function like a tree of knowledge. The articles linked to this page (the home page) will be the broad branches of a specific category. Clicking on that broad subject branch will bring you to a listing of smaller articles related to that larger subject.
Those first three months of parenting can be a haze of exhaustion. Let me start you out with a crash course in newborn baby care. Whether it's your first, or your fifth, each new baby is a major adjustment.
For many mothers, breastfeeding is not as easy as Remove-Shirt, Attach-Mouth. There's technique involved. There's expectations and disappointments to overcome. You success in baby nursing is not ensured, but it can be earned.
Some infants sail through teething. Others...not so much. And since he can't tell you that his mouth is throbbing, or that his gums are sore, it's up to you. Learn what the signs of teething are, and brush up on simple pain remedies you can do at home.
Watching her master infant milestones is one of the perks of parenting. On the other hand, missed milestones can cause endless stress. Do yourself a favor and know what's coming.
Starting with the infant fever and progressing through many other common medical situations like colds, ear infections, constipation, diarrhea, this branch of articles helps provide answers for some of those middle-of-the-night infant health questions.
Yes, there is a proper way to change a diaper. The diapering branch of the EiR Tree of Knowledge discusses all things diapers: cloth, swim, even the best places to get diaper coupons and samples.
Now that you've got mini-me's hanging around you, it's not surprising if your other responsibilities start tanking. I've got some great strategies to save money, some great meal planning tips, and other home organization ideas to keep the rest of your life in order.
Once your baby starts rolling around, the end is in sight. Stay ahead of his pudgy grasping fingers and learn how to baby proof the infant safety hazards in your home.
A c-section is major surgery, so you shouldn't be surprised that your body needs time to heal. Find out the things you need to do to recover as quick as possible.
I just subscribed to the site, and I'm very happy I did. I have worked in the medical field for several years and love to have good resources for when things come up...
~ Crystal S.
What a great site and thanks for having it available!
~ Bernadette W.
I'm very excited to start receiving the newsletter. I've checked out your site a couple times and I loooovve how it's arranged, your language, and tips - it's great!
~ Emily N.
Heather, I can't express how happy I am I discovered your site!
~ Liza T.
Thank you Heather, for your wonderful newsletter. There is always something new!
~ Desiree T.
I'm a 1st time young mom, 23 and single, so I have found very very helpful...I can't seem to stop myself telling everyone I know about you, some thought you were my mom!
~ Vuyiswa N.
Your website is very helpful and I discovered a couple of great online stores. 'Cause I'm not a big reader, it is very nice that I can find the most important information through your
~ Tonya G.
Thanks Heather! Your Milestone eBook is SO detailed and so correct. My son is doing all or most of the things and many are not mentioned in the usual books/sites. Great job and keep it up!
~ Anwesha C.
Thanks so much for creating such an AWESOME website. I really appreciate your sense of humor and real writing style.
~ Andrea Z.
My baby refused all bottles until you showed me the MAM bottle. Thank you so much for the recommendation. I wouldn't have known about them if not for your website.
~ Jennifer at Sweet Lilly Confections