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Dear First Time Mother, You Are The Expert!

by meggf (follow)
Mothering (64)     
Dear First Time Mother,

Motherhood is like no challenge you have ever faced before, itís true. But thereís a secret to it and Iím going to tell you what it is. I am a mother of four children, but I have never been the mother to yours. When it comes to your baby, you are the only expert there is.

When I was a new mother with my first I met so many people who knew everything. Everyone is an expert and unfortunately they love to speak to first time mothers in patronising and condescending ways all too often. Ignore them. You are the expert!

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It doesnít matter whether I have one child, four children, or ten. I have never been the mother of YOUR baby. As a mother of four I can make suggestions to you when you are facing new challenges, and because I have four, I know quite a few tricks. But Ö.. only YOU know what works.

Some people without children fancy themselves as experts on the subject of child rearing. They arenít. Unless they are offering thoughtful, helpful suggestions, ignore them, and never let them make you doubt yourself. YOU are the expert.

No one is more qualified than you, the woman who dreamed about this baby a decade or more before they came along, the woman who bore this baby in her body, beneath her heart. Sometimes you will feel unsure, but even mothers with many children feel that doubt. Never let anyone tell you otherwise.

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You will never know all the answers or understand all the mysteries of motherhood and childhood. Sometimes you will easily soothe your baby and others you will be powerless to do anything more than holding them while they cry. Mothers can not fix everything, but the magic of motherhood is in presence, not in magic solutions.

Somewhere on your travels someone will tell you that there is a problem with your child, that you need to fix them, alter them, make them conform, to fit inside other peopleís comfort zone. If your heart tells you that everything is fine, listen.

One day someone will tell you that everything is fine and you are just a worry wart, but your heart will tell you otherwise. Listen to your heart. Find someone who will listen. Keep searching until you find them and never be silenced until you do.

No one will ever love them quite as much as you although they will be loved by many people. No one will have as much invested in their health and happiness as you, no one will willingly sink into the shadows and watch them bask in the glory of their successes, or try to shield them from the harshness of mistakes. No one but you.

In the coming years you will feel fear and frustration like you never imagined possible, but you will also feel so much pride and joy that you will wonder how one woman can contain it all. You will give them everything you have and sometimes more and you will never ask for anything in return because a smile will be enough. But never let anyone tell you that you are inexperienced, because you are the only mother your baby will ever have, and as such you are the only expert.

Congratulations, and welcome to motherhood!

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