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The best advice I ever got… (from mums like you)

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We asked 150 mums about the wisdom that worked for them. Here are eight of the pearlers most commonly shared.

1. Keep an open mind about your birth

“Go into the birth of your baby completely open-minded. Have no birth plan or expectations, except that you are going to have a healthy amazing baby!”– Stephanie

“Many people feel disappointed when their birthing plan does not go to plan. Remind yourself: a healthy bub and mum are all that matters in the end. Not having a birth plan is the best type of birth plan.” – Karin

“I personally don't think you should get your heart set on anything other than a healthy bub and mum because it is so easy to feel like a failure if your birth doesn't go according to your plan.” – Annabel

2. Be a present parent

“Live in the moment and don't wish for the next stage to be here. Before you know it you will have a toddler running around or attached to your leg asking a million questions.” – Rebecca

“Enjoy every moment you have with them, even when times are tough during pregnancy! It all goes so fast so take time to literally sit and feel how you are right in the moment. Jot down these things into a journal so you can read back on them. It doesn't have to be a novel; dot points will take you back. When you are having your toughest day, your little one doesn't get it. They don't know and they don't care. Embrace that simplicity, as there are few things in life that are that fundamental! Enjoy motherhood, as some of the best people don't get this opportunity.” – Elise

3. Join a support network

“Find a support network, even if it's just via the 'Canberra or Inner West Mums due December 16' Facebook page (or whatever month you’re due). This is great outlet for midnight worries – just having people to vent to when you are struggling. I have found hearing about other people's struggles and triumphs a great encouragement for me.” – Lucy

“If mother’s group doesn’t work out, find a play group in your area, or start your own group of like-minded women. I started my own group after not quite clicking with my original mothers group. It worked for me!” – Miranda

“I've a huge list of things I'll do for my next bub, but the only absolutely essential thing is join a mother's group and make hanging with them a priority. Other mums will keep you sane (or at least join you in your madness), and having a variety of babies about the same age to compare is always a good reality check.” – Arianne

4. Accept difference

“All kids are different. The milestones stuff is a guide only. Don't compare your child to everyone else's in terms of size, sleeping, rolling, sitting, crawling, walking, talking etc. I have three kids, they came out of the same womb and were raised the same way, and they're all completely different.” – Tess

5. Listen to your elders

“I was told to listen to your mum and your grandmother for advice. They were doing it all without today's technology and have some really helpful tips.” – Maria

6. Make time for a shower

“In my farewell card from work before going on leave with my first bub, an older gentleman wrote: ‘Don't forget to shower, brush your hair and check your top for spew’. I remember thinking ‘What the?......’ He was soooo right.” – Lisa

“One of the biggest surprises for me about motherhood was how hard it is to find time for a shower. When I did, it made me feel a million times more human. Put your baby in a bouncer close by while you shower, or nip in while he or she is asleep.” – Jennifer

7. When in doubt, feed

“If you’re not sure why your baby is crying, offer them a feed before you move on to any other settling technique – I followed the mantra, ‘when in doubt: feed’.” – Jessica

8. Get snapping

“Take photos in the birthing suite. No, not the gory stuff. Just of you or your partner plus the baby so you can hold on to the moment that changed your life forever.” – Hannah

What's the best piece of parenting advice you have ever been given? Tell us in the comments section below.