Being a mom has been both beautiful and challenging. It has reshaped how I see myself and, more importantly, how I view the world we all live in. As a first time mom, I struggled with adjusting to my new title as “mom” and saw it as a new job that I had to be perfect at and not a new adventure to explore and learn from. One year in, I’ve finally learned to be present in the journey and to allow it to teach me about myself and about how I connect with the people around me.
I am Ashley Day, and here are five encouraging messages first-time moms need to hear about situations they often beat themselves up for that really do not matter.
- Ask for what you need: As a natural nurturer, it is often easier for women to identify others’ needs and wants. As you embark on your motherhood journey, do not assume that everyone else has that capability. Have open communication about your needs and continue to share them until your needs are met.
- Find your mom tribe: Do not mom alone. Surrounding yourself with other moms, both with children the same age and even older than yours, will be the best thing for you mentally. Having other moms to vent to, share ideas with, and socialize with will change your experience as a new mom—no more apologizing for arriving late or for canceling plans if your babysitter falls through.
- Embrace your new body: This is a lot easier said than done. As you reminisce on what your body used to be, remember to honor what your body was able to do over the last 9-10 months. Our bodies are magical and should not be rushed to “snap back.”
- The house will clean itself: Honestly, no, but do not feel pressured to have the house clean when family or friends visit you and the new baby. Instead, leave the house as-is and allow your visitors to help out with the chores, whether it’s washing dishes, running a load of laundry, or taking the baby while you rest.
- Perfection has no place in motherhood: Motherhood is not meant to be perfect; it is meant for us to be present. As you embark on your motherhood journey, remember that every day will not be great. You will have moments where you feel overwhelmed and unsure. In every moment, honor your feelings and be reminded that you were chosen for this journey. Enjoy all the moments; they go by really fast.
Ashley Day is a mom, an educator, and an advocate for teen girls in Baltimore. She is the Founder of Women Leading Baltimore and is a College and Career Counselor at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School. She works diligently with high school girls in Baltimore City to help them own their voice while giving their peers permission to do the same. Through mentorship, leadership, and access to both higher education and careers, Ashley is leading the charge to ignite a yearning for sisterhood in all of us. You can connect with Ashley through Instagram.