You are already doing it.
I am a mother. You could argue that June 15th-ish 2018, the day I found out I was pregnant, I became a mother. Literally, everything changed. My body, my perspective, my relationships, everything. But it was exciting, and new, and a little bit scary. At the time you don't realize how easy it is. For example, my first trimester was pretty bad, not terrible. Matthew got to experience the worst of it. Hormones, a bunch of hormones, a bit of nausea, and Mrs. Cranky pants was in full affect. Side note, I still remember feeling pretty icky and Daddy Matlock ran out and got me and coke icee. Those helped with the nausea and he new it and he is the sweetest.
Second trimester was ah-mazing which was a little sad because Matthew was away for almost ALL of it. I felt good, I looked cute, I wasn't sick, my hormones were only the good ones that make you super happy. I wish that Matt could have experienced that with me, but he was busy working in Fallon. By the time I flew out to see him graduate and come back home I was nearing the end of this serotonin and oxytocin feely-goodness time (super scientific verbage, duh). Not to mention the last time he saw me I looked like I ate to much sushi and 4 months later I had a basketball belly. Lets just say he was pretty shocked when he first saw me. Nothing better than your husband seeing your for the first time in a while and saying "Wow, look at you!" I guess it could have been worse.
Anyway, fast forward to us being back home and semi settled in. Now, I'm 7 months pregnant and starting to feel uncomfortable. I didn't even realize how good I had it. I mean poor sleep and frequent bathroom breaks at night are supposed to get you ready for what its going to be like when the baby arrives. HA. HA. HA. I wish that transition would have been a little bit more manageable. Comparatively, sleeping at this time was the best sleep until 7 months of baby Noah life on the outside. Its funny how at the time you think its probably the worst its going to get. Well, then there is labor and you know that is probably going to be the bulk of the challenge during this process, but I digress.
What they don't prepare you for is the "4th Trimester". This happens when baby is out and you are home healing physically and sometimes emotionally, trying to not mess up being a parent, and still try to have a decent relationship with your spouse. Oh, by the way, your hormones disappear leaving you an empty black hole of hatred towards everything except your precious and perfect little baby.
They don't prepare you for all the normal things that come up that do not seem normal at the time. Like breastfeeding and latch issues that could be caused by a tongue or lip tie (no one brought this up), severe and sometimes detrimental lack of sleep (you think you have it bad when you are pregnant), and there are times when your prefect and precious little baby won't stop crying and you feel awful about it. Oh, maybe the amount of poop that comes out of your little angel baby sweet boy, its impressive. Still normal. These are all normal things new parents can experience along with a plethora of other things. If I were to go back and tell myself anything it would be that you are doing a great job. You are doing the best that you can with the tools and knowledge that you have. Its going to get bumpy but that is okay too. Its all new and you truly have no idea what you are doing. Thank God He mad us with these built in abilities to just act and turn on "super mom powers" and be able to still function and care for our littles in the middle of the night, without sleep, and you have to pee.
These is so much pressure on new moms, even new dads, these days to do raise your child one way, oh, and you better NOT do it that other way. I hear all the time, even from other moms, "I did it this way so my baby would sleep through the night, you should do it so you can get some sleep". Or "why don't you breastfeed", "why are you breastfeeding", "use cloth diapers", "don't let your baby sleep with you", "put a paci in it", etc. Its a tough world out there for new moms. Especially in this 4th trimester. I can't tell you that you won't ever hear this, or that some well intention person my hit a nerve with you when they remind you how to raise your baby, but what I can say to you just receive it, appreciate it, and then clear it. Let that shit go. Don't internalize it (something I also would tell my new mom self).
Make room mentally and emotionally to be a new mom. Experience something and maybe even do it wrong because that's how you learn and that's how you become a better mom. You're already are doing it right. You love your baby and you show up every. damn. day. for him/her tired, hungry, frustrated, happy, blessed, dehydrated (insert any emotion, seriously, you feel them all). I'm only 8.5 months into this and don't know whats coming next. Actually, yes, yes I do. He is starting to walk so I'm screwed. Nothing is baby proofed in our house expect the outlet covers. We. are. so. behind. Digress...... We are all still new moms, evolving as our children evolve and grow. I was lucky enough to have such a support group of friends and family but new moms could always hear that they are doing a great job. So next time you see a momma, just tell her that. If she asks for advice then give it not the other way around.
You are doing a great job, momma!