Friday, March 02, 2007

advice for new mamas


A friend of mine had a baby recently. And, as you know, with a new baby comes lots of advice on how to handle a new baby. She's getting it everywhere and from everyone. Family, friends, books, doctors. Solicited and unsolicited. Good intentions and....maybe not so good intentions.

When she was telling me about someone in her life who scared her a little bit, telling her how her baby will change and what she can expect over the next few months, I couldn't help but think of Ming. My dad's mom, up there in the picture with me, when I was about 5 or 6. She had 9 children. You'd expect that a mother of 9 would have more than enough qualifications to classify herself as a true expert on child rearing. Not so with Ming. She would have described herself as the complete opposite of an expert.

The thing was, Ming was such a wise owl. She was a history buff, had a memory like a steel trap. But she was also thoughtful, calm. It was always a good thing to get her perspective because she looked at things from different angles. She was our oracle.

Shortly after I became a mother, I asked her what it had been like to raise 9 kids. How she knew what to do. She told me that there was a lot of mystery in it, even for her. She said, "I thought I knew all there was to know after having 3. I was ready to write a book! But then I had a few more, and realized that I knew nothing."

This echoes the advice she had given me at my baby shower. All guests were asked to write down their advice for the mother to-be. The responses were just what you'd expect. Comforting: Enjoy every moment. Logical: Nap when the baby naps. Funny: Find a good scotch, bourbon or Canadian whiskey, and don't always follow those 'moderation' rules! My own mother, who has 4, had sage advice: Keep a sense of humor.

But Ming's advice I remember the most.

She wrote, Don't have any! I changed my mind and my opinions hundreds of times. Try to relax and enjoy it (or is that sex?)

Yep. Straight from the oracle's mouth.

10 comments:

East of Oregon said...

great post!

Kim said...

That is my favorite advice...keep a sense of humour!

Lisa said...

ok...I've seen this picture before but I never realized how much you and son #1 look alike here! You could be twins. And Ming...hilarious! What a treasure she was in your life!

smilnsigh said...

How lucky you were to have her in your life. :-)

Mari-Nanci

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

what a wise woman.

Leona said...

Great post!

Deb said...

How lucky you are to have such a wonderful grandmother. Great post!

Lorilu said...

Funny you should post this topic...one of my friends just said another friend of mine...

"I thought I knew everything about being a Mom when I had one child- then I had (2) more...the more I had - the less I realized I knew!"

:)

Cindy said...

What a nice post. It's so true, had I just had my first child and stopped, I would have thought I had the best parenting skills ever. He was so easy and good. Then my daughter was born. I love her with all my heart but she's been a challenge! I call her my wild-child. My advice, you just love them with all your heart and hope for the best.

Hannah Lane said...

Good advice from a very wise woman!!