I know a few people who are pregnant with their first little ones and I know I wish someone told me what to really expect. The books give you an guidelines that seem like rules and can make you feel inadequate. And people tend to give you unwarranted advice at the worst possible moment (like when your baby is screaming their adorable little head off). So take this as you will. Read and ignore it, or love it and share it. Your choice. This is meant to be a little informative, a little funny, but mostly just make you smile.
- 1 -
Labor and Delivery
You will forget the pain. DO YOUR KEGELS. Pushing is NOT like taking a poop. If you do poop while delivery, it is no big deal. You are so into the moment you won't even notice. TAKE A SHOWER as soon as you can afterwards. You won't feel like moving but it will feel amazing. And whether you have a c-section or vaginal or natural birth you are in no way more or less of a mom. You brought a HUMAN into this world. And THAT is amazing anyway it happened.
- 2 -
Do you drink coffee? You better get a taste for it NOW. And stock up while your at it. You have to be able to function all day at work after a baby screams you awake every two hours the night before. I suggest Donut House coffee and International Delight French Vanilla Creamer.
- 3 -
Read and inform yourself.
Don't Google anything. And remember books and parenting websites are great resource references but they are just guidelines, not rules. With feeding/sleeping schedules, milestones, etc. Every child is different and something that works for one family, won't necessarily work for another.
- 4 -
Sleep when the baby sleeps.
No seriously... if the baby is napping right now, GO TAKE A NAP. And sometimes sleeping in the carseat/swing/bouncy chair isn't a bad option; it's the ONLY option.
- 5 -
Let people do things for you.
You don't have to be super mom starting off. Take care of yourself before you take care of the house. Someone may offer to help out with the housework but no one will offer to come over and brush your teeth.
- 6 -
Watch the baby and not the clock. The clock will drive you insane. Pee before you sit down to nurse. Even if you don't think you need to. Because you will once you can't get up. It will hurt like *heck* the first two weeks...at least. That's okay. Power through because you can do this.
- 7 -
You cannot spoil a baby
with too much holding, nursing, cuddling, kissing, carrying, soothing, etc.
- 8 -
Go with your gut.
Your critics may seem to be disguised as your best friend (or mother or in-law or...) but really they are your worst enemy. You are the mom. You know what is best. PERIOD.
- 9 -
Involve your Hubby as much as possible.
And trust him to know what's good for the baby too. You are a TEAM in this! And if you seem too overbearing when he is helping out, not only will it make it where he doesn't want to help out but it will hurt his pride too. Don't say a WORD about how he does stuff. Just encourage him and thank him!
- 10 -
Be open to feedback from well intentioned people.
And I'm not talking about Grandma saying to put cereal in a bottle. I mean like if someone tells you your chest clip is too low or not to put the car seat on a carriage, don't get so defensive that you might have screwed up that you refuse to hear the logic.
- 11 -
Go with the flow.
And try not to plan ahead too much. If you have an outing and plan for your baby to sleep on the way because it's a long drive, they will be wide eyed and bushy tailed the entire ride and then throw a fit as soon as you get there. And that's okay if they sleep through an event. Everyone loves a sleeping baby. Schedules suck but routines are your friend.
- 12 -
Learn to laugh.
When its four am and your child projectile poops onto the wall, laugh. Laugh because it's funny. Laugh because you're tired. Laugh because it feels so much better than crying, and remember that this stage will be over before you know it, and you'll miss it.
- 13 -
Take tons of pictures
and back them up in MULTIPLE locations. Always have an extra charger/extra batteries for your phone/camera. Something awesome will happen and your battery will be dead. Record that newborn cry, you may think I'm crazy now, but I promise - you will miss it. Make time write things down (even 5 minutes will do) because in your lack-of-sleep induced stupor by the time you feel like you have the time to write things down you will forget the details of things that mattered most.
- 14 -
You are going to make mistakes.
Fortunately that little baby isn't going to know unless you repeatedly tell them and they will still think you're the best mom ever.
- 15 -
Last but certainly not least,
When your baby grows up, they won't remember how many toys you bought for them, or whether your house was always tidy - they WILL remember whether you played with them or not. Time. Kids just want your time. So let the housework slide and have a tickle fight.
Thank you to all the mommies that helped me with ideas for this list. And remember first time mommies, these aren't rules, each baby is different and each parent raises them differently, as long as you love them and try your best, you are doing great.
And for you experienced mommies, what is some advice you would give to a first time mom?
More from parenting