There's nothing quite like becoming a mother for the first time. The hours spent holding, cuddling and watching your newborn change and grow are one of the many joys of parenthood. That doesn't mean that becoming a mother for the first time isn't without its share of challenges. Motherhood is rewarding, but it's hard, too. Listen to some of the best advice that other mothers offer because those little nuggets of wisdom can help you adjust to your new role as a mommy.
1. Get to Know Your Little One
The newborn days go by so fast that you need to take time to just be with your baby and get to know him. Don't feel guilty about just sitting down and holding your baby. Watch him while he sleeps so you can memorize his tiny features, which will change almost daily. Hold him while he's awake, too. Smile at him, talk to him and just be together. Take as many pictures as you want, too. They'll be precious mementos of your first days together and you'll also be able to share each of your baby's milestones with friends and family members.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Many new moms get so wrapped up in caring for their new baby that they tend to neglect their own needs. Take time to meet your own needs, however, and you'll be a much better mom. If you feel better about yourself when you wear makeup, take a few minutes each morning to put on mascara and lipstick. The same goes for your hair. If you feel better about yourself when your hair is cut and highlighted, take time to get it done. Let your partner take care of the baby while you shower and shave your legs. Most moms are ready to tackle anything after a warm, relaxing shower. That old take a nap when your baby naps piece of advice applies here, too. When you're rested, you'll feel better and have more fun with your newborn.
3. Let Things Go
Accept the fact that nothing will be the same again. Once you've accepted that, you can let go of the things that don't matter as much as they used to. It's more important to spend time caring for your new baby than worrying about whether the bathroom is spic and span or if it's been three days since you've done any laundry. As long as your house is sanitary and your baby is well-cared for, nothing else is as important during those first days of being a new mommy. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Your partner is probably perfectly willing to help with household duties and baby-related tasks if you just ask. You don't have to do everything just because you're mom. Dads, grandparents, aunts and uncles love your new baby, too, and they would probably welcome a chance to cook a meal or babysit for a couple hours.
4. Additional Words of Wisdom
Do what you know is best for your baby, but don't be afraid to turn to his pediatrician or even your mom for advice when you're not sure about something. No mom in the history of the world had everything figured out, and asking for help is often one of the best things you can do for your baby. Asking for help doesn't show weakness. Along those same lines, it's all right to cry when you get overwhelmed. Most new moms feel like crying. Your hormones are out of whack and you're responsible for another human being, so cry when you need to. If you feel like crying all of the time, however, ask your doctor about postpartum depression. It's treatable and you owe it to yourself and your baby to get that help. Above all, remember that you don't have to be perfect. No mother is perfect, and doing your very best is all that you can do.
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images