Becoming a mom is one of the most distinguishing events in a woman's life. For many woman, the first person we turn to as moms is our own mom. Questions come spilling out a mile a minute because to us being a mom is new; this is exciting, scary and overwhelming. So of course three years ago; when I had my daughter, I began to ask my mom for advice/ tips. And then I hit a hard reality that my mom's advice doesn't always apply to me....
The first time I realized this was when I asked my mom about breastfeeding, and how to tell your little one has had enough to eat. My mom looked at me blankly explaining that both my brother and I were formula fed so she has no idea. SHE HAS NO IDEA!!! This exclamation occurred within my own head. My postpartum brain began spiraling - how does she not know? She has known everything my entire life and when I need her most she can't help me!? I panicked a bit- but I figured it out.
Next was getting my little one to sleep through the night. My mom would always tell me how she would stay up and watch Johnny Carson and feed me my last bottle and then I would sleep through until morning. Wonderful! Except I work full time as a daycare teacher. I would be falling asleep on the couch by 8:30pm after running around after 13 kids all day. There was no way in the world I was staying up till 11 to do a "final feeding". After about the third time she suggested it, I told her "thanks mom, but that isn't going to work for us". I felt a little frustrated that she didn't have any secret old wives tales or remedies. And I reminded myself that every mom is different and every baby is different. Even generations apart.
Another time had everything to do with today's society. Rub whiskey on their gums. (I still know people who do it and good for them- but I couldn't) There have been several times my mom suggested or explained something she did for me, but today it is a huge no-no; Age of a car seat, when to turn the car seat around, teething remedies, punishments. When my mom was a young mom- it was a different world. Child safety barely existed except for maybe a few gates for stairs. I can tell my mom was taken aback when I explained why I couldn't use her advice because it broke the law(specifically with car seat position). So much has changed and is ever changing.
Over the last three years my mom has offered me advice on having one child, two children, sleepless nights and so much more. I'm so thankful for all her advice and support she has given me. Some things apply, others don't and that's ok because how your mom figured things out may not work for you and your child. Becoming a mom has taught me while we could have all the advice in the world, we don't know everything; even our own mom's. By the time my kids have kids, I'll probably be in the same boat.