guest post // lisa’s mom advice.

Hello there ! I’m Lisa Solomon, an artist and mother to a 3 and a half year old  girl who is just transitioning to preschool [!!!!!]. You can check out what I make on my website and you can read about my life and art making on my blog. I’m so excited for Erin and Bee (and Ken of course) as they start this new fun and insane roller coaster ride called parenthood. I’ve been reading over the prior guest posts nodding my head and thinking what in the world do I have to add to this amazing pile of advice that’s been accumulated here?!? Forgive me if I repeat what’s been said before, but here are three tidbits of advice that make sense to me…
1. If whatever it is [sleeping with Bee on your chest, putting her in a swing to sleep, eating cheetos while nursing, hanging upside down with her on the monkey bars … ok maybe not that one, but maybe] is working for you, and Bee, and Ken then it is OK and right. NO ONE – your pediatrician, your friends, your family knows any better than YOU GUYS. You just posted about being constantly afraid and that is SO true – especially in the beginning when it’s crazy new parent town. I think that part of that comes from thinking that you are doing something wrong and you are going to ruin Bee for life – or just that things aren’t happening the way you thought they would. And you aren’t – and you can’t control everything [as much as I’ve tried – I have to tell you you can’t]. You are Bee’s best possible mama. So just trust your gut [which you already know how to do so so well]. I wish to the sky that I hadn’t let all the books, advice and outside info get to me in the beginning. I finally “got it” and can now read and listen and take what I think will apply to us and make it work, but I wish I could have stopped that guilt and concern so much earlier.
2. Ask for help. This was HUGE for me. I am not good at doing it – still not. But making the call and asking for help [yes please, do bring that lasagna over that you offered before] – is really, really important. And so is calling and actually talking or sitting face to face with other mama’s to exchange war stories. There were so many times when I thought I was going to completely lose it and a phone call, or a visit with another mama who just said – it’s OK – this will pass – this is what we tried – this is what worked, this is what didn’t for us – saved me. I’m someone who feels like I have to be proactive- so having a strategy to try – even if in the end it didn’t work is really helpful to me. And who better to strategize with than other mamas? And who else can you exchange crazy poop or spit up stories with?
3. Things change so quickly and so so often. I vaguely remember all these “enjoy your baby” mantras and I kept thinking how am I supposed to do that – and take a shower and do the dishes and sleep and nurse and?!?!? But really it all goes SO FAST [it’s still going too fast for my liking]. While it’s impossible to enjoy every moment – at least try and take stock. I can still conjure up some precious moments from the first few days – and I can now laugh at moments where I was pulling my hair out. If something is driving you batty just know that Bee will be different – maybe in as little as a day – or as long as a few weeks, and just when you think you have everything under control – you won’t ;) . It will be hard, and then easy, and then really hard and then kind of under control and then not, over and over and over again. And when things are good… well savor them with every inch of your body – because those are the times that will keep you going, long after the fact.