Advice to the mom to be

I recently attended a baby shower for a friend who is expecting this December.  One of the "party games" was to write down on a slip of paper your advice for the mother to be.  Of course, I could think of nothing profound at the time, but got to thinking over the days that followed.  So here is my advice to her, as well as any moms period.

Disclaimer:  I am a Mom.  I am NOT a Mom expert.  I'm just like most of the world, trying to get along the best I can and do the best I can.  With that said...

  • Being a mom is emotional.  You're going to're going to laugh and not always at the right time.  Go with it.  If anyone asks just say:  I'm hormonal and hope that it shuts them up.
  • With that said, if you're feeling depressed or down; don't be afraid to reach out for help.  Whether you call it postpartum depression, baby blues, etc., it is NOTHING to be ashamed of. And it is more common than you might even imagine.  There are resources out there to help you; take advantage of them and don't let ANYONE poo-poo your feelings.  EVER!
  • Everyone's mom experience is unique.  Remember that.  You (and your child) are UNIQUE.  
  • You will be sleep deprived and do stupid things.  It's ok.  You WILL eventually sleep for more than 2 hours at a time.  It just doesn't seem like it.  You'll get through it and then look back and wonder how the hell you did.
  • Find a good diaper brand (if you're using disposables...if you're not God Bless You!) and stick with it.  Your sanity is worth the price whatever it may be.
  • All the "stuff" people tell you that you’re going to need; you won't need it.  The problem is what you don't need is unique to you.  For example, I was convinced I needed a boppy pillow.  I didn't.  (But then again I didn't breast feed.)  On the other hand, the baby bouncy chair was a life saver.  (And I cried when I had to give it up because my son got too big for it.)  Try to be discriminating when you make purchases, but don't beat yourself when you by crap that it turns out you don't need. Of course there are a few things that for me were invaluable! 
  • Diaper Genie:  My opinion:  Waste of money.
  • ExcerSaucer:  Life saver.  But have wipes on hand; these things can get sticky!
  • Speaking of wipes; you can never have too many.  Carry them with you everywhere. Have extra in your purse, bag, name it.  Doesn't matter how old your child is, always have wipes.  (Same advice goes for tissues.)
  • Pictures:  Take LOTS of them.  In this digital age, you CANNOT have too many photos. (It's not like you're paying to have them developed!).  The first year flies by and you will not remember as much as you think you might.  Take photos!  Then take some more.  Family and friends may get sick of seeing so many photos, but who cares?  Take photos!  (Besides you can always share with me.  I LOVE photos.  Show me all your baby photos!  All your toddler photos!  Seriously!  Share them with me; I will love every second!)
  • Along the photo line; keep notes.  Keep a diary.  You don't have to write full paragraphs or even sentences.  But write down what you can. (Or document in whatever way best suits you.)  You're going to forget stuff that you're going to want to remember years down the road.  Fill a box or jar with thoughts.
  • Breast or Bottle:  Who the hell cares?  What works for you and your child?  That's the answer and it's no one else's business.
  • Take advantage of help when people offer.  Let them do for you.  (It will make them feel good too so you're actually doing them a favor.)
  • Go with your gut.  Stick to your feelings.  If something is off or not right and you feel it, go with those feelings.  Doesn't matter if it's not rational.  It's like the force, you don't see it, you feel it.
  • It's ok to record how many time your baby/kid poops each day.  At least for the first year; after that...
  • Potty training is HARD work.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  There are those "freaks" out there who get it done early and easy.  They are rarities. Toilet training can be extremely frustrating (and not just for your child).  You're going to be in diapers for longer than you think. If find "trick" out there that works, great!  But don't expect it! 
  • Despite what is said above, your child WILL eventually be toilet trained, eat solid food, walk, talk, etc.  Don't buy into the hype that it should happen by X month or year.  It WILL happen, but each child has their own schedule.  
  • Your house will never be as clean or as organized as it once was.  Accept and acknowledge this.  It's ok.  Really it is.
  • The only time you may get your child to eat vegetables is when he/she starts on solid foods.  While we all want our child to have a healthy, nutritious diet it may not happen.  Plenty of people will tell you that their child would only eat "x" for "y" years when they were growing up.  They will also tell you that their kid turned out fine.  This is one thing you can believe.  
  • "Normal" will never be "normal" again.  Accept it and embrace the constant change of being a mom.
Truth be told, parenting is hard.  Parenting changes as your child grows, but it never gets "easy."  Take care of yourself as best you can.  Take care of your family as best you can.  Let your family and friends take care of you.  It IS hard, but it is worth every second.  


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