I was delighted to be interviewed by Heather Marcoux a freelance writer and mum to one little boy for Motherly. A former television journalist, she now writes for various digital and print publications. Heather lives in Canada with her husband, son and a foursome of adorable pets.

First time parents are magnets for unsolicited advice, much of it as bad as it is unwanted. (No, I will not be dipping his pacifier in corn syrup, thank you very much.) Although well-meaning, a lot of the folks dispensing advice to new and expectant parents aren’t exactly qualified. To help balance the confusion many new moms and dads feel, we assembled a panel of experts who are qualified to speak on different aspects of parenthood.

Here are their biggest pieces of advice for first-timers:

Atkins likes to keep her advice for new parents as simple as possible: Relax when you can, rest when you can and don’t try to do too much. She suggests new moms trust their intuition and disregard any unwanted tips dispensed by well-meaning relatives.

She says guilt should not be part of a new parent’s baby experience—and she doesn’t want new moms to feel like they’ve got to rush around cleaning the house when the baby finally takes a nap. She’d like to see moms devote those precious moments to relaxing rather than dusting. So go ahead and delegate the chores if possible.

“The key is to find me time,” she tells Motherly. “If you’ve got a sec, put your feet up. You’ve just had a baby!”

child and adult psychiatrist and author of The Dolphin Way: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy and Motivated Kids-Without Turning into a Tiger:

This Harvard-trained doctor says first-time parents should surround their new family with people who are not perfectionistic or competitive. Instead, the best people to invite into your home will provide emotional support, practical guidance and positive role modeling during those early days. A social group with people from different ages and backgrounds is ideal, as it brings different perspectives to your parenting circle.

“Build a positive community of support,” says Kang, who notes that doing so takes intention and effort, but it will be worth the work. “Surround yourself with honest, genuine people.”

The community you build will not only support you in those confusing early days—you gotta text those poop questions to someone!—but also prevent the feelings of isolation many new parents report.

First time parents are magnets for unsolicited advice, much of it as bad as it is unwanted. (No, I will not be dipping his pacifier in corn syrup, thank you very much.) Although well-meaning, a lot of the folks dispensing advice to new and expectant parents aren’t exactly qualified. To help balance the confusion many new moms and dads feel, we assembled a panel of experts who are qualified to speak on different aspects of parenthood.

The thing about first-time parenting is it’s the first time. So take some advice from our experts and relax, mama. Trust yourself, enjoy bonding with your baby, surround yourself with trusted people and give yourself permission to prioritize napping over the dishes in the sink. After all, as Sue Atkins says, you’ve just had a baby!

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