Opinion Saturday

Today’s question comes from Emily. She didn’t share a link to her blog, but says she is due to give birth to her first child within the next month.

She asks:
“What advice or information do you wish you had received to prepare you for motherhood? Or, on the contrary, what advice do you think women soon to become mothers should not be given?”

You have until Tuesday evening to share your answer to this question, either here or on your blog. If you decide to write on your blog, I’ll enter you in the drawing to be done at the end of the month for the book, ‘No One Cares What You Had for Lunch, 100 Ideas for Your Blog’. I’ll be adding links below for those who post their answer on their blog, so you’ll be getting some extra traffic if you post over at your place. And of course, everyone who comments, either here in my comments or over at your place, will also be eligible for the Golden Keyboard Award.

So come on– hit me with your best thought!

Go see the comments on these people’s blogs:

1. mental tesserae
2. Journey to Our Son
3. PJ Academy
4. Angela
5. The Wooden Porch
6. Homeschool Help Web
7. Goslyn
8. Stray Thoughts


  1. My advice is so short, I won’t post it at my place. It’s simple: TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. I wish I’d had more confidence as a first-time mom to listen to my own little “nudges” that a certain parenting method might not be right for us, or a certain case of sniffles might be an ear infection.

  2. I always tell people to throw away all the parenting books and use your common sense. Golden Rule is a big thing for me. I will not treat my children the way I don’t want to be treated. And to pray. God gives us the wisdom if we ask for it. I have found that if I parent without reaction (something I try not to, but sometimes fail…I am human after all) and take some time to think about the best course of action for any situation, my kids learn alot more from what I have to say. And I agree with Shannon that instincts are so key. God gives us mothers radar and if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. You should never have to apologize for protecting your child. But my main thing is common sense, consistancy and prayer. No books can ever prepare you for everything. At some point you have to trust God and yourself!!

  3. its ok if you don’t feel all in love and gushy… it will come eventually!! AND if you think it should be there straight away, you will beat your self up, question your mother-worthiness… and then it will take even LONGER to bond.

    I know! 🙂 It took me two years before I could think of another child, because I was sure I would love a new baby more than my first… sad, true, but the mind games I played, and unrealistic expectations I put on myself and the poor chidl, and post partum depression that I didn’t recognize as such.

  4. I wish someone had told me to relax. The baby will survive if the t-shirt has a drop of food on it, if we don’t make it to both services on Sunday, if the dog gives her a kiss, etc. etc. etc. to all the things I was trying so hard to be perfect with. I wish I would have been told to relax and live in the moment because the time passes with the blink of an eye and they are onto the next phase. I was too busy reading all the books that told me how things had to be done “to be a good mommy”.

  5. I think that the best advice to give a new mother is really silence (see instincts and prayers comment from queen Beth). I remember standing in front of a mirror at 8 1/2 months pregnant and holding a beautiful baby blanket in my arms, wondeirng how I WOULD LOOK in a few weeks holding my new baby. Little did I know or could anyone ever have told me that the journey about to begin would be less and less about me and more and more about others – 5 others, all nearly grown now. And that’s a good thing to learn. But you can only learn it by doing it.

    And while you’re doing it you will need this: James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.

  6. Hi Mary. I took your challenge seriously and went and wrote a whole post about it. I realized after I posted it that my last piece of advice is along the same lines as these other commenters. I guess great mommy minds think alike. Anyway, thanks for the great suggestion.

  7. Keep the focus on your child’s heart. Not on his behavior.

  8. As a mommy of 2 toddlers and a first mommy of a newborn (born Sept 23), my advice is this:
    -trust the LORD, not yourself!!!
    -listen to your husband – the LORD will use him to speak sense to you!!!
    -sleep as much as you can
    -don’t worry about all the advice you are given (including mine!!), JUST trust the LORD, and He will lead. Advice is good/helpful, but not flawless!!!!

    I’ll be honest, I was SCARED the day we were leaving the hospital to come home to 2 toddlers, a newborn, and healing from a c-section!!!! But the LORD provided for ALL our needs….meals, sleep, a mom here to help, friends to take the 2 toddlers…etc. I didn’t trust the Lord would provide – I was living in fear and not trusting Him. : ( But how loving and tender our LORD is, and His mercies were lavished on our family!!!! He liternally provided above and beyond what I could have expected!!! And when it came time to step back into “full time mommy mode” – He provided all the grace I needed then too!!!

    And there’s a lot of stuff out there about feeding babies…scheduling…and such. It CAN be overwhelming. BUT trust the LORD and your baby! It’ll all come naturally! Babies are NOT all alike, and their needs are different…..I wouldn’t “toss” the books, BUT I wouldn’t “depend” on the books. Basically, you can read them, and they CAN be helpful, but don’t lean on them wholely and solely – in other words don’t be legalistically bound to the way of “the book”. It’s a GUIDE and best left at that : )

    Many, many blessings on you and your new baby!!!!

  9. I became a first time Mom this past February. I wish people had told me to be more patient with myself. Motherhood is a big change and just take it one step at a time and don’t be hard on yourself. Other people mentioned prayer and trusting your instincts. I think both pieces of advice are also very good.

  10. I posted my reply on my blog!

  11. The birth of your first baby is also the birth of a mother. You will learn together. Be gentle with yourself. Instinct, books, prayer, advice all have their place of course, but in the end, you will work out just what works for you and your child. Trust yourself. And know that every single one of us checked a zillion times to see if they were still breathing, we all made mistakes, and we all muddled through somehow. Love is quite simply what makes it all work.

  12. I posted something – mostly a repeat of what others have said!

    Help meet to James for 9 years
    Home School Mommy to 3
    Hoping to adopt #4

  13. Do: accept the help of others. I promise it will not interfere with “bonding” which seems to be a big concern of first-time moms. If you are planning on breastfeeding, be patient with yourself, your baby, and your body. It takes practice, sometimes gritted teeth, and time to get a good rhythm going. At least six weeks…I didn’t know this with my first baby and *hated* nursing because I had completely unrealistic expectations.

  14. I’ve writen advice at my blog for mothers who wish to breastfeed!

  15. I like what Queen Beth said except for the parenting books. Those books have a lot of knowledge in them. Good solid knowledge. Like what to do if your child is sick or this or that happens. Yes, common sense is also very important. My sister in law (mom of 5) made fun of me for reading those books, yet shortly thereafter, she burned three of her children in the bathtub due to leaving the faucet turned over towards the hot end. Burned as in they had to go to the ER. She had no idea she should have turned the faucet to let a little bit of cooler water come out. So those books are worth the read. It’s important to crave knowledge and wisdom and understanding. Much of that comes from friends and older women, and moms of several children also.

    I really enjoyed answering this. Mary, can you post questions everyday so I know what to blog about? 😉

  16. Oh, my answer is on my blog. I’m an HTML Dummy and I have the book on my nightstand to prove it.

    I linked the wrong sentence up to my blog. Come to think of it, I must have deleted the sentence altogether. Oh well, come on over, my answer is there. I’m thinking you are going to get TONS of traffic from me posting on my blog. Probably at least 2 maybe 3. You just may not be able to keep up.

  17. Shawnda is bang-on.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

  18. Hi: I love your blog, and I posted an answer at my blog:


    I’ve enjoyed the answers so far!

  19. Like Shannon said, Trust Your Instincts! Beyond that 1) relax and have a “whatever” attitude. If your baby is being fed, changed and loved on, everything else is optional 2) never turn down help and 3) rest whenever you can. Some good sleep makes the world look a lot beter!

  20. My response in posted on my blog. Great question!

  21. I answered this on my blog, and di it purposely before reading the other responses so I wouldn’t inadvertantly incorporate other people’s advice. As I am reading through, I find myself thinking, “Yes! Why didn’t I remember that?!” Good stuff here. My response is here.

  22. Do: Put baby into crib awake right from the start and it’ll save you lots of time and anxiety later. Also, ask for help-especially from husband-even though he has to go to work.

    Don’t: Give up on breastfeeding. Do everything lactation consultants tell you even if you don’t think you can. I bottlefed for 3 weeks and used nipple shields for 2 more until my daughter would finally latch on and now we’ll be doing it up until one year if we can.

  23. Thank you, Mary. You have a terrific blog – can I link to you? I can see that all your commenters are fantastic moms and will likely do alot more things right than I ever did. Hats off to all you younger moms still tucking the little ones in at night. One day, you’ll be an old mom like me and your youngest will come and tuck YOU in at 9 pm. Bet you cant’ wait!


  1. […] Owlhaven asks, “What advice or information do you wish you had received to prepare you for motherhood? Or, on the contrary, what advice do you think women soon to become mothers should not be given?” […]

  2. […] Everyone had such good advice for my Opinion Saturday question– thanks so much! Hopefully Emily found it helpful. A Sister by Your Side is this week’s winner. Congrats! Everyone who posted on their blog is now added to the book drawing I’ll be doing at the end of the month. […]