What I wish I could go back and tell myself when I was a brand new mom…

{This post is sponsored by Mirum. Read my disclosure policy here.}

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Just a few months ago, my oldest daughter turned 13 years old. I can hardly believe it, but I’m now parenting a teenager! It still feels like yesterday that I was brand new to motherhood.

Before my first daughter was born, I went into motherhood thinking I knew a lot about parenting and caring for babies. I didn’t expect motherhood to be a walk in the park by any means, and I knew there would be plenty of exhausting and trying days.

But I was certainly not prepared for suddenly feeling overwhelmed, scared, and even sometimes alone.

When Walmart asked me if I would write a post on encouragement to new moms, I knew exactly what I wanted to share. Because I well remember those days and I am on a mission to encourage new moms and help them to feel a little less scared and overwhelmed and alone.

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With this in mind, here are 5 things I would go back and tell my then 23-year-old self…

1. You are not alone.

No matter how incompetent or unskilled you feel for this motherhood thing, I can promise, promise you that you are not alone. There are an army of other moms in the trenches with you.

Some of us may hide our struggles out of fear. Some of us may be more skilled in certain areas. Some of us may naturally have more energy or capacity.

But none of us have all our ducks in a neat and alphabetized row. We all have areas we fall short in. We all have times when we feel like we’re not doing a good enough job. We all have times when we struggle with “mom guilt”.

So, instead of trying to hide your struggles, be honest with those closest to you. Vulnerability breeds strong friendships like just about nothing else will.

2. You’ve got what it takes.

I know it doesn’t feel like you’ve got what it takes. You feel scared and unqualified. You’re overwhelmed.

Your heart is walking outside your body. You worry that you’re not doing enough. You wonder if you’re seriously messing up your child.

But I’m here to tell you: you’ve got what it takes. You can do this!

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3. You won’t be this tired forever.

You’re tired of your child crying. You’re tired of waking over and over again in the night. You’re tired of doing the same things again and again.

You feel flabby and lethargic. You look in the mirror and barely recognize the woman staring back at you. You wonder if you’re ever going to be able to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans. You wonder where all your energy went.

Trust me on this: you won’t be this tired for ever. Even though it feels like you’ll be waking up every two hours for the rest of your life and propping open your eyeballs with toothpicks to make it through the day, it won’t always be like this.

So don’t stress over tomorrow or two years from now. Get as much sleep as you can, accept any offers of help, do whatever it takes to get some shut-eye. And just power through, knowing that there is light at the end of the tunnel — and it’s called kids who sleep through the night!

Also, please know that just because your 12-month-old doesn’t sleep through the night yet even though you’ve read all the books and tried all the tactics, you’re not a bad mom. You just have a child who struggles to sleep.

Don’t beat yourself up over it. Do the best you can, keep experimenting, and know that someday soon, your child is going to figure it out.

For now, just do what you need to do to make it through — even if not everyone thinks it’s the “right” thing. You are your child’s mother. Trust your gut.

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4. You are going to work yourself out of a job.

Right now, it’s completely impossible for you to imagine not changing diapers, wiping bottoms, taking little people potty, not constantly hearing “Moooommmmy!”, not having to cut everyone’s food up, not having to buckle everyone in when you get into the car, not having to give baths, get everyone dressed, and help little people brush their teeth.

But there will come a day — and it will be sooner than you believe it will be — when you start working yourself out of a job. When those little people get a little bit bigger and they start learning how to do things for themselves.

It’s a S-L-O-W process, but looking back, it seems to happen in the blink of an eye. And all of a sudden you wake up one day and your oldest is 10 years old and she’s taking over the family’s laundry, helping with the cooking, cleaning bathrooms, and asking what else she can do to help you.

That day is coming. When it does, all these years of doing what seems like the same thing over and over again will pay off… and you’ll realize that those little people are turning into capable adults who are contributing to the family in significant ways.

In ten years from now, you’re going to look back on a deeply fulfilling and happy feeling knowing that all that hard work, sleepless nights, and exhaustion was worth it.

So, as much as you might want to some days, don’t give up! The best is yet to come!

5. You don’t have to do it perfectly or the way someone else is doing it.

Take a deep breath, be the mom that you are, and embrace what’s best for you and your family. You don’t need to apologize for it or explain it. Just be you, bravely.

Comparison is the thief of joy, and it’s so easy to look around at other moms and think they have it all together. Here’s a little secret: none of us have it all together.

Perfection is a myth and motherhood will look entirely different from one family to the next.

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Walmart asked me if I could write on this topic because they know that many new moms struggle and wonder whether they are making the best decisions for their kids.

I know that one area where a lot of moms struggle is when it comes to breastfeeding versus formula. I’m a huge advocate of breastfeeding and was blessed to be able to nurse all three of my kids. But I know that not all moms can and I also know we have a lot of moms who are adoptive moms.

Which is why I am grateful that there are options out there for high-quality formula that is more affordable. One simple way to save on formula is through buying store-brand formula.

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If you’re looking for a way to save money on formula, Walmart offers a really great non-GMO infant formula at lower store-brand prices! Plus, there is an Ibotta rebate available for it right now! AND, you can win a $200 Walmart gift card!

There are four non-GMO formulas to choose from that will save you up to 50% annually compared to their nutritionally similar national brands:

  • Parent’s Choice™ Infant Non-GMO Formula — Milk-based formula that provides complete nutrition for your baby’s first year 0-12 months and features a blend of nutrients that supports your baby’s health and brain development. Nutritionally comparable to Enfamil® Infant Non-GMO!
  • Parent’s Choice™ Advantage® Non-GMO Infant Formula — This infant formula is designed to be more like breastmilk and features a blend of nutrients that support your baby’s growth and development from birth to 12 months of age. Nutritionally comparable to Similac Advance Non-GMO.Screen Shot 2018 05 07 at 12.50.45 PM
  • Parent’s Choice™ Sensitivity® Infant Formula — Designed for babies with fussiness and gas because of lactose intolerance. Nutritionally comparable to Similac® Sensitive®.
  • Parent’s Choice™ Gentle® Formula — Milk-based reduced lactose formula with easier to digest proteins that contains 25% less lactose than standard, milk formula. Nutritionally comparable to Enfamil® Gentlease® Non-GMO.

And right now there is an Ibotta offer to save $3 off any of the formulas listed above! So not only will you score the savings of the store-brand formula, but you’ll also save on top of that with this Ibotta deal!

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Win a $200 Walmart gift card!

What’s your best advice for a new mom? Use the widget below to share it with a community of other moms, and you’ll be able to enter a giveaway for your chance to win a $200 Walmart gift card! There are 25 gift cards up for grabs!

The Parent’s Choice Formula #MomsKnowsBestWM Sweepstakes

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