If there's one thing new moms need, in addition to more sleep and a cute diaper bag, it's advice from other moms. Here are some hard-won words of wisdom from some of the moms on the Her... magazine readers' panel.
— Jane Hudson
“Pick your battles!”
— Jennifer Elmore, 53, Greenville
“As a mother of three (ages 18, 10 and 9), my best advice is no one person is just alike, so don't expect your children to be. Embrace your child's different unique personalities and talents. Also, spend individual time with them. They will remember those moments.”
— Felicia Vines, 35, Greenville
“Don't sweat the small things. If your house isn't immaculate or a Coke gets spilled in the car, it's OK. Life goes on.”
— Debbie Avery, 54, Winterville
“Everyone tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps … You need to actually do it! I remember trying to clean and catch up, but I promise things are never caught up. So rest when you can, new mommies. Nothing is more important than your new addition and your mental health and happiness! Everything else will wait its turn!”
— Dianne Bunn, 41, Greenville
“The best advice I received was, ‘A baby fits into your life, you don't fit into a baby's life.' It sounds a little harsh, but it's about the balance of maintaining yourself outside of your children. It's easy to become so focused on the helpless little person that we forget to take showers and comb our hair. Face it, the show ‘What Not to Wear' is fueled by mothers who forgot to be themselves too!”
— Erin Cruz Pierce, 42, Grimesland
“One of the greatest pieces of advice I was ever given before I had children: Distraction is key!”
— Karen Hawley, 41, Greenville
“There is no doubt that you will be exhausted, so sleep when the baby sleeps. Don't worry about household chores, just focus on yourself and the new baby. Last, but certainly not least, accept any help that is offered to you.”
— Tammy Dail, 34, Winterville
“They don't stay little very long. Spend as much time playing and spending time with your baby as you can. You can't get this time back. Put your time with your baby first. Also, let your child be a child. Don't expect a 2-year-old to stand still in front of the candy display. Don't go shopping at nap time.”
— Nanette Ryan, 55, Winterville
“Love, prayers and patience goes a long way. Love them with your undying love; pray for them always; patience will get you thru the difficult times.”
— Patricia Simpson, 47, Winterville
“Every new mom need tons of advice. This is what my mom passed down to me: rest or sleep when the baby is sleeping. Also, don't worry about that mountain of laundry to iron; get dad to help while your feet are propped up and you are studying ‘What to Expect the First Year.”
— Lien Hou, 39, Greenville
“As a mother of 14-, 11- and 10-year-olds, my best advice is to always listen to your gut. If you sense something is wrong with your child, something IS wrong with your child. Trust those maternal instincts!”
— Elizabeth Oliveira, 40, Greenville
“Tell your kids you love them a million times a day! End every phone call with it, each drop-off to school or friends, at bedtime — say ‘I love you' all the time.”
— Sandy Yannarella, 48, Grifton
“Rest and take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby. Decide now, before the added stress of caring for your baby becomes part of every day, to learn what will relax you and revive your spirit. Your ability to allow yourself some time out for mom will benefit your child as well as you.”
— Theresa McKoy, 53, Greenville
“The advice I have for new moms or moms-to-be is the same advice my mom gave to me when my first one was born: ‘Don't wish their lives away, they grow up way too fast!' She would remind me of this whenever I said something like ‘I can't wait until they are potty-trained' or any other ‘I can't wait until … ' Enjoy the age and stage they are in NOW!”
— Jeri Jackson, 66, Greenville
“Don't worry about the dust bunnies; your home should be clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy … or at least that's what my Mom told me. She's so smart!”
— Char Britton, 49, Winterville
“Delight in every moment, since time passes quickly and the babies will be grown and gone.”
— Susan Leggett, 52, Greenville
“Always remember that you and your baby's father are the experts on your child.”
— Lynn Caverly. 54, Greenville
“Sleep while you can!”
— Marlo Blake, 35, Greenville
Advice from a local mom:
1. Set boundaries early. Do not waiver on your decisions!
2. Know your child's friends at every age.
3. Buy school supplies early and store them year round.
4. Always give your child's teacher a gift bag at the end of the year.
5. Do not discuss adult matters/business in front of your child.
6. Teach your child about God, Sunday School and the Golden Rule.
7. Help your child begin a savings plan at an early age.
8. Teach time management.
9. Remember, pretty is as pretty does.
— Charetta Walls, 54, Greenville
Five P's of Parenting From a Mother of Five
1. Patience. With one child or many, this virtue makes the whole parenting process go much more smoothly.
2. Presence. Just being there for your kids as much as possible really does make a difference (video as much as possible too! You won't be sorry!)
3. Possibilities. Each child is unique, special and precious. Help each to explore his/her gifts and become who they were created to be as an individual.
4. Pollyannaism. (I prefer this word to optimism). Stay positive, laugh a lot, find the fun and good in every moment — children really are a gift!
5. Prayer. I saved the BEST for last. No one can do this parenting job alone, and God is faithful, as well as the best parent ever! He knows and loves each of your kids better and more than you do!
— Karen Sneed, 48. Winterville