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Works For Me Wednesday- "It's Normal."

wfmwheader_163.jpg When I became a mom for the first time, I had the benefit of having 3 close friends who were seasoned mom-like on their 3rd and 4th kids seasoned. These moms were a lifeline to me in those first few months as a first time mom when you constantly seem to be frazzled, sleep deprived, scared and confused. To be honest, these moms are still the women I call when I need mommy advice even though by now I have been through these things once or twice.

I distinctly remember one time when Lily was a few months old and she had been crying for what seemed like forever and nothing was working to make her stop. I was functioning on way to little sleep and my hormones were still completely out of whack. I found myself curled up in the corner of my room in the fetal position with my hands over my ears. I was crying uncontrollably, but managed to dial one of these friends. I was so ashamed of my inability to deal with this child I had wanted  for so long. I will never forget her words to me as I confessed my breakdown-“It’s Normal.” I can almost remember the relief that washed over me as she recounted all the meltdowns she had with a new baby.

The more I hang around other moms, the more I notice how often we tentatively tell our stories, waiting for that assurance that we are normal-that our kids are normal, our marriages are normal, our complete inability to master this motherhood thing is in fact, normal. The great thing is, when it comes to parenting, so much is “normal.”

Yourbaby’s poop is fluorescent orange after eating a lot of carrots-normal. Your toddler thinks the 4 food groups are chicken nuggets, PB & J, grilled cheese and anything containing high fructose corn syrup-normal. You are trying to nurse while out to eat with a friend and somehow manage to squirt breast milk across the table into her eye-normal. You beg your OB to tell you that although 6 weeks have passed, you are still “not ready” (you so know what I am talking about)- normal.

This is why I must preach, yet again, that motherhood is not to be attempted without a vast social network of other mommies. So my Works For Me Wednesday tip is be bold and transparent enough to confess all your stuff to some trusted mommies. 9 out of 10 times, you will hear those precious words, “It’s normal.” The best part is that these words are often followed by some great stories (like the nursing one from above, I love that story…mostly because it isn’t mine)

For more great parenting advice from other “seasoned” moms head over to Rocks in my Dryer.

Comments

  1. All of those things….very normal. In retrospect, I knew all of that. I just wish I could have made myself *believe* it.

  2. Great, wonderful advice!

  3. …and when the newborn baby boy pees over his head and the changing table to hit a visiting friend’s foot… normal!
    Thanks for the smile and the reminder that the mommy social is soooo important!

  4. It’s good to have normal mommies for friends!!!

  5. It’s Normal, are two powerful words to a Mom. How often do we feel like we’re just out there flapping in the wind and no one could possibly understand what we’re going through. And we’ll run into someone (or many someone’s) and find that we all deal with similar issues. It is empowering!

    Good advice!

  6. My other favorite advice is the “Been there, done that….it gets better, trust me!”

  7. Good advice! It is so helpful to have a group of Mommy friends to run to! And then it is also fun when you realize that you’ve become old enough/wise enough/experienced enough that younger Mommies run to you for advice! (Maybe not so fun with the “old enough” part!)

  8. bloginmyeye says:

    Great advice. That’s one thing I love about blogging. It gives Mommies more of that social network, and less isolation.

  9. Amanda says:

    Oh so true! Having those seasoned friends around to utter those words (and that “it” — whatever the crisis might be — won’t last forever!)

  10. I never would have made it through the first 9 months without the mommy-friends I made at our hospital’s “New Mom’s Group”. Hearing someone else, but not your mom or MIL tell you, “It’s normal”… priceless, unless you count all the co-pays we saved by NOT going to the pediatrician yet again.

  11. That is the greatest advice of all. When my son was a newborn I thought I was doing everything wrong. What exactly I was doing that was so “wrong,” I can’t recall. The most comforting thing in the world was taking him to a ladies’ Bible study luncheon and hearing how everyone else had almost all the same emotions and experiences.

    My other favorite advice is when my mother told me her advice with a baby is to “muddle through.” As long as you both made it to toddlerhood alive you can consider yourself a success. And the baby won’t remember all the things you did wrong anyway. That’s my motto, as a mom. :)

  12. AS an “old” mom (better known as a “grand”mom) it will also be “normal” to miss all of those events that are now driving you crazy. I wish I could go back and recapture some of them from my past. Maybe it is because my memory forgets the trauma of the “past experience”. This, too, will pass and you may even mourn its passing. Keep sharing with each other, moms. Then when your memory fails, you will have someone else to remind you of “the good old days”.

  13. This is something that every mother, new and experienced should read! Great post!

  14. What a great post!! It’s soo true! “It’s Normal” has helped me be sane and keep other friends sane….oh, and you are SO RIGHT ON about my toddler’s food group choices!!! That reminds me, I still need to get some flaxseed to put in his PB&J!!

  15. So totally true! Great post – mine is about Sun Safety.

  16. canearl says:

    Great post! Mine today was- 2 year old uses markers more on her body than paper- totally normal. Although I may not be normal for letting a 2 year old use markers :).

  17. The squirting milk thing is pretty funny. I was at an office Christmas party at my husband’s job, all dressed up. The baby was home with grandma and grandpa. I go into the ladies room…only to find that I’d leaked right through my nursing pads and had two lovely ovals on my red dress. Needless to say…I was glad it was dark.
    My oldest was a baby who wouldn’t sleep at night. I remember yelling at this little baby, “what is WRONG with you?” Duh! Well, I guess I didn’t create an axe murderer because he’s about to be promoted at his job. He’s 24, a computer programmer, and a really, really cool guy. Not an axe in sight.

  18. ” Your toddler thinks the 4 food groups are chicken nuggets, PB & J, grilled cheese and anything containing high fructose corn syrup-normal.”

    Whew…I’m glad it’s normal…sometimes I can’t hardly get these things down his throat. Carbs seem to be the preference for my toddler! Thanks for your great advice!

  19. tonsofsons says:

    So true, is having 5 boys normal? LOL!

    http://tonsofsons.wordpress.com/2007/08/01/wfmw-keep-kids-toys-contained/

  20. So very true! Society expects us to all behave like the magazine mommies where everything is perfect, that’s definitely NOT normal.

  21. So true, so true. It makes me laugh to think about the phrase “it’s normal”. My pediatrician used to tease me because I would always have a list of questions at Zack’s appts. All the questions began with “Is it normal…?”

  22. “You beg your OB to tell you that although 6 weeks have passed, you are still “not ready” (you so know what I am talking about)- normal.”

    You are the first one to ever have validated my feelings! Thank you for letting me know that too is “normal.” Although I must confess with my third I resorted to scheduling the follow-up for around 7.5 weeks!

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