Dear Mama to Be,
No one and no thing can prepare you for the exhilarating adventure (or as my friend Aidan calls it “the greatest acid trip) that is motherhood. I read all the books, listened to all the podcasts, watched all the documentaries, followed all the blogs and still… my greatest teacher is and always will be this baby.
But until you meet the miracle growing inside you, I’ll let you in on what I’ve learned in the hopes that maybe it’ll serve you and the little one too.
Some tips in no particular order:
1. Keep your phone/ camera charged and at the ready at all times. Your baby will likely do something outrageously cute or impressive the second your device is out of reach. You’ll wanna document stuff. Even the stuff that feels totally boring right now. Babies change drastically over night so time is of the essence
2. Invest in a dog training if you have a pooch. Your fur baby may need some extra TLC and you’ll be otherwise engaged.
3. Keep the lines of communication going with your partner. Let him/ her find their stride. It’s easy to fall into “I can do everything/ better” and that’s just not true. We need our partner’s input and love and perspective. And so does your kid.
4. The umbilical cord is way less gross/ scary than you expect. I was really freaked out by just the thought of it but it’s totally fine and don’t be surprised if you get weirdly nostalgic for the time before it fell off.
5. Enlist help. Grandmas are great at clipping baby fingernails. And trust me, you need back up on this.
6. Wear burp cloths. Spit up is real and laundry’s a bitch.
7. Get outta the house! I was so tired and overwhelmed by new Mommyhood that I didn’t leave my apartment for three or four day stretches. Don’t do this. Baby needs fresh air and so do you. Also, newborns sleep so so so much that you can basically shlep them anywhere that isn’t too loud (there are great noise canceling headphones for that) and they’d sleep.
8. Prep meals before you deliver. Freeze them. You’ll thank me for this.
9. Keep Dad posted at every turn by sending an outrageous amount of pictures and videos documenting your every move. You’ll think it’s overkill but it’s not.
10. Pass on the knowledge and also the stuff. Moms buy a lot of gear to get through the first year and then baby grows out of it. Pass it on!
11. There’s this feeling like “what?! They’re gonna just let me take this human home w me from the hospital/ birthing center?! I dunno how to care for this tiny person!” You do. And they’re not “letting you”. You made her. She was once part of you and still very much is. It’s totally normal to feel daunted but there is no one more equipped to do this than you.
12. Please please please take care of Mama. Baby experiences the world through you and if you’re dismissing or ignoring your needs, let’s just say that can’t be good for anyone.
13. The world can wait. This is your time with your perfect human. There’s a lot of noise out there about how to be a mom and a woman in this world. Shut it out and just do you. Don’t even take my advice. Follow your heart and that sweet baby of yours.
I can’t wait to meet her!! Oh how lucky she is to have you as her mom!!!
Your Sister in Life + in Motherhood,
ABOUT DANIELLA/ Daniella Rabbani is an actress/ filmmaker based in NYC where she lives with her dreamboat of a husband, five month old baby superstar Ness and a pooch named Bernardo. Her film OMA, based on her experience as third generation Holocaust survivor, is currently on the festival circuit. You can find Daniella on your TV and at a meditation retreat near you.