Whenever I meet a young mom, and I tell her I have teens, she turns white. No kidding. When I was wiping innocent bottoms, mood swings and bullying were light years away.
And yet, we “seasoned” moms are information gold. We’ve pulled out our hair and watched it grow back. We’ve got stories and strategies that’ll save you from pulling out yours.
As a mom, I know I have always relied on older, wiser friends to show me the parenting ropes. I’ve also always paid it forward. But how do we older moms share our wisdom with newbies without freaking everybody out?
Step 1, contact parenting expert Alyson Schafer, who helped me compile the following list:
HOW YOU CAN HELP NEW MOMS COPE
* Share your favorite online sites. The world of advice has changed, Schafer says, now that Mommy groups congregating in church basements have turned instead to Facebook and Twitter to chat. Whereas I holed up with my What to Expect When You’re Expecting series, today’s moms spend at least two hours researching parenting info online. Schafer’s top pick for new moms: The Mommy Answers Forum, where you can type in any question, from body fitness after baby to best girls’ names, and out pops answers from all the leading parenting sites combined.
* Don’t belittle or judge. Although it seems like a century ago, you were once her. Don’t tell a mom who is crying over letting her baby cry at night to get over it because you know it will all work out fine. When advising, keep in mind that a new mom’s struggles are as important as yours, Schafer says. OK, so then it was potty training, and now it’s monitoring online activity. Which challenge is harder? It’s all in your perspective.
* Tell her there’s nothing to fear ahead. Teenagehood is far, far way and kids grow up gradually, with no sudden leap. The fact is, your teens are still the same kids they were with their missing teeth and over the years, your love for them only grows. Here’s a thought. In some ways, you’ll find yourself right back where you started – having simply traded toddler temper tantrums for tantrums of the puberty variety.
* Advice is only helpful if it’s useful soon. If a mom is dealing with chapped nipples, she doesn’t need guidance on curfew. Even if it’s hard, put your mind on rewind, digging back in your memory for nuggets that worked for you at her stage. Save your current parenting strategies for moms who are right below you in the chain, Schafer says. If their kids are on the cusp of tween or teen, consider it your duty to share what’s coming next – by telling or blogging (Yep, that’s why we’re here at momfaze). Those moms won’t turn white, I promise. They’ll be glued, they’ll thank you, and they’ll come back for more.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST TIP FOR NEW MOMS?
This post was written to welcome new moms and is part of the Huggies Welcome Baby Guide campaign. Expecting? Enjoy the ride with the new Huggies Welcome Baby Guide – where no question is too small.