New mom Randi Zuckerberg is on maternity leave from her job as marketing director at Facebook. "Hollywood Reporter" named her one of its 50 "Digital Power Players" in 2010. At the moment the biggest power player in her life is her 8-week-old son, Asher. She also has a brother named Mark.
Hey ma, Facebook this! Randi Zuckerberg got a little help from her friends online after her son, Asher, was born.
Everyone talks about the isolation of being a new mom, but you never really know what it's like until you experience it. One day, I was still pregnant and living on Planet Earth… and the next day, I woke up on Mars, alone and re-learning every single thing about my life.
They say babies have poor vision for the first few weeks, but it's not just them. It took some time, but I finally realized that I wasn't alone on Mars after all. There were people right there with me — I just hadn't seen them!
I developed mastitis JUST when my husband was going back to work and I would be home alone. In a moment of desperation, I posted on Facebook: "Down for the count with painful mastitis. Very traumatic. Could really use some words of mom-to-mom encouragement right about now..." Suddenly, the most amazing thing happened. I received dozens of comments from friends and other moms, providing advice, support and encouragement, just when I needed it most.
But what's been amazing to me is the outpouring of tips and wisdom from complete strangers – both in real life and in the social media world! From the mom at Target who kindly volunteered that the product I was eyeballing was "a waste of space" and gave me an alternate suggestion, to everyone online who has pressed comment/reply to send thoughts, I've found that people are overwhelmingly willing to share, and I am HUGELY thankful. Every comment, every idea, every parenting tip, has helped another new mom feel a lot less alone.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be a new mom at a time when we can share helpful tips and guidance so quickly and easily online. So I'd like to pay it forward by sharing some of the best ones I've received.
And to all those new moms out there… don't worry, Mars isn't as far away as it feels.
1) For sanity's sake, do nice things for yourself.
"Early on, carve some alone time for yourself, even if it's just 15 minutes in the bathroom. Take good care of yourself first. You can't give what you don't have. The baby will pick up on it and be fussy too if you're tired... so baby yourself too. ;-)" (Jeanette P, via Facebook)
"Don't forgo a shower or a nap! Whenever I didn't make time for either I felt worse." (via @lisa_a_pike)
"Laughter! I often reflect on the fact that 15 minutes alone in the bathroom feel like going to a $400 day spa!" (Melissa B, via Facebook)
"Rest, relax and take a break from your baby. Every mother has faced the fear and anxiety of being a new mother. You are not alone!" (Margie A, via Facebook)
2) Remember that you and your spouse are a team!
"Do not undermine each other in front of your children. Work it out between and among yourselves first, then present a united front.” (Susan J, via Facebook)
"Have a whole lot of patience... not just with your new baby, but with yourself and the baby's father." (Linda S, via Facebook)
3) Embrace your new lifestyle.
"Be a kid yourself with the child." (Chester, via Facebook)
"Get a cute BIG bag and give up on ever carrying a purse while with your kid & use the one bag as a diaper bag/purse combo." (via @smileymaile)
"Remember to laugh! Don't take it too seriously!" (Peggy D, via Facebook)
4) Get organized!
"Make a 'baby' routine early, and stick with it." (Jennie W, via Facebook)
"Devise organizational systems that are helpful/NOT overwhelming: lists, pre-packed diaper bag, extra stuff in the car, etc." (via @HeySugarSNAP)
5) Rest when you can.
"As insane as I know it sounds (I thoughts so too as a mother of twins), resting, napping, when they do is GOLDEN! In the long run it so doesn't matter what your house looks like or if there are dishes in the sink for a few extra hours... Rested mom equals much happier and flexible mom. ;) Enjoy!" (Amy M, via Facebook)
"Nap when you can & if you need it, hire someone to help out. It's well worth it!" (via @kezziexoxo)
"Sleep when they do and pay attention to their every word. Make a play room that is soundproof & breakproof" (via @amgreen)
6) Save money/time with in-home delivery.
"Have an ‘essentials’ diaper bag packed. Make batches of bottles (I do 4 at a time), order diapers, wipes, formula online!" (via @EmilyLiebert)
"Join amazon mom and have the big bulky stuff shipped to your house for free + save money (I think it's about 15%)" (via @misimcclelland)
"Grocery delivery service was my saviour!" (via @theredfantastic)
7) Get help!
"Ask for help like you're doing -- you can't do it all." (via @mgewell)
"Ask for help! It doesn't mean you're failing, it means you value the person you ask. :-)" (via @DinahLiversidge)
"Guilt family and friends into helping and babysitting. Haha :P)" via @infernocloud
8) Adopt the "every other night" rule.
"Every-other-night. One parent covers every other night so as to get 3-4 good nights of sleep per week. " (via @MichaelRubin)
"Don't bathe the baby daily, just sponge it...a bath twice a week will do fine -- save water & time this way" (via @MeRy71)
9) Try to enjoy the little things.
"Hug and hold your baby a lot! They grow so fast." (Patricia R, via Facebook)
"Enjoy every moment, before you know it he will be running around and not wanting mum cuddles." (Zoe S, via Facebook)
"Even though the days seem like forever, the weeks fly by. So, just when you feel like a certain phase is particularly difficult, it will change before you know it!" (Sarah M, via Facebook)
"Be prepared for one of the most amazing experience a human being can go through in life....it is such a pleasure see your own child to be born and then grow up....." (Jose M, via Facebook)
What's your favorite bit of parenting advice for new moms? Share in the comments!