With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, I can’t help but notice the marvelous abundance of new babies coming into the world of late. Whether I’m walking in my neighborhood or staying connected with far-off family and friends on social media, offering up congratulations to new parents seems to be the norm. With that one final push, so many lives change in ways you can’t even imagine until it happens to you. Ahhh, it’s good stuff.
The thing is…it’s also kind of terrifying stuff. Seriously. Sure, you feel that overpowering sense of love and all, but eventually when you look at your brand new baby—who, by the way, weighs not much more than a couple loaves of bread—there’s also the overpowering sense of being out of your depth. I’m a mom, you think. Now what?! And this quickly snowballs into more questions and doubt. Who in their right mind thinks I could be completely responsible for this little being? I’m clueless, and my child is sure to be as well. Poor little one.
Yet somehow the hubs and I have survived 14 years of parenthood since the birth of our first son, even adding two more along the way. And guess what? They seem relatively normal. Relatively being a very subjective word. 😉
Sure, we’ve made mistakes along the way. I have no doubt there are more to come. And that’s okay. We’re not perfect, and we don’t strive to be. We all love each other (most of the time). We take responsibility for our actions (or lack thereof). We apologize when necessary (words are powerful). And we hug (a lot)—because hugs are good, and they save lives. True story.
While your instincts will kick in when you arrive home from the hospital with your wee one, you’re bound to have moments of complete bewilderment. And when you do, it’s nice to have someone or something to turn to for guidance. Since your own mother may not appreciate you waking her up at two o’clock in the morning anymore—even though you know she’d pick up the phone, ’cause moms are the best—you should have a small library of trustworthy titles on your bookshelf.
The next time you get caught up in one of those I’m a mom…now what?! moments, Selene River Press has you covered. These books wield the power to make those flashes of doubt a bit less terrifying.
- Super Nutrition for Babies: The Right Way to Feed Your Baby for Optimal Health by Katherine Erlich and Kelly Genzlinger. The straightforward tone of this book is sure to ease your mind about all things baby. The authors help you maneuver through the first two years of your baby’s diet and tackle other day-to-day topics, including fevers, sunshine exposure, and the truth about rice cereal. On any random page you’re likely to find a simple recipe, a compelling sidebar with loads of practical information, or even baby food ads from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. With so much wisdom packed into these pages, this book is one you’ll turn to regularly.
- Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby’s First Foods by Nina Planck. What a great find for anyone still starry-eyed about the possibility of motherhood. As the title suggests, Planck outlines the best choices before pregnancy and beyond. Her writing style is engaging, and you’ll completely relate to the stories she tells about the inaugural years of parenthood—including how to not totally freak out when your child eats unhealthy foods. It happens.
- Nourishing Healthy Babies: First Real Foods by Monica Corrado. This is a convenient tool that all parents will love. Slap some magnets on the back of this laminated chart and clear some space on the fridge: you’re going to reference this chart often.
Even if life hasn’t taken you down the path of motherhood, chances are pretty good that someone you know and love is headed in that direction. And if she hasn’t already, it’s likely she’ll be asking herself the same Now what?! question that all new mothers grapple with. So pass on the onesies and skip the cute little socks. Instead, wrap up a couple of these books. Before she knows it, she’ll be earning those parental gold stars we all yearn for.
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there—past, present, future, or by proxy. You’re awesome, and you’re doing a first-rate job.