"I wish I had known that my instincts were valuable. Before I had my first baby, I didn't have a lot of experience with kids, and I thought I had to read all the parenting books to learn what I could.
"At a certain point, I realized I was looking outside myself for answers to every question regarding my baby. Because I was so overwhelmed with information, I lost my own motherly instincts. Most of the time, the best 'information' is the instincts we rely on to make the best decisions for our own families."
— Gaby Merediz, Make Your Perfect
2. Postpartum depression isn't a joke.
"I knew going into having a baby that there was a chance that I would feel mopey or sad. But I completely underestimated how mopey and sad I’d actually feel. No one shares how bad postpartum depression can be. Sure, I’d read about it, and my OB-GYN had mentioned it, but I was in no way prepared for the swing of hormones that were racing through me. I thought something was seriously wrong with me, that nothing would ever feel right again.
"Thank goodness for my doctor and a dear close friend who reminded me what was going on in my body, and allowed me to cry without a lick of judgment. They only ever wanted me to feel better — and I did, eventually."
— Jillian O'Keefe, Baby Doodah
3. It really does take a village.
"When my first child entered the world, I was desperately hoping to find the ultimate guide for how to raise a child. I quickly discovered that there’s no such thing. Instead, creating a village comprised of friends and family became my go-to 'handbook.'
"My advice to parents who are about to start a family: Surround yourself with wise men and women. They are an invaluable resource and will continue to guide you throughout this roller coaster of a journey."
— Lori Alper, Groovy Green Livin
4. Don't be afraid to say no to visitors.