Parenting Advice I Wish Someone Told Me

When your friends, family and even strangers find out that you are going to have a baby, you are going to be buried beneath mountains of advice and wisdom. Some of the advice is helpful but most of it is just going to freak you out. I remember someone warning me about having to have my downstairs cut open to pull the baby out for it to be easier on the doctor… what the heck. Another piece of sage wisdom I received involved feces, your SO and a room full of surgeons and interns (I’ll spare you the details).

It’s funny now to think about all of the things we were told before P got here and the things we wish we would have known. So instead of terrifying you with stories of stitches and fecal matter I’ve put together a list of things that you should really know about having a baby:

You won’t be able to go anywhere alone anymore (but you won’t want to).

At least in the beginning (our little one is still super cute and doesn’t have a cell phone) you won’t want to be apart from this new addition to your family. The first night she stayed with my parents all we could think about was what she was doing. We were texting asking for pictures and spent our “date night” at Target buying her clothes. Sure there are times when it would be easier to run out the door without having to get another human being ready to go, but they make up for it with kisses.

You will never sleep again (If your spouse sucks).

If your spouse doesn’t let you take naps when you are exhausted then y’all should have a serious conversation about the side-effects of being that tired. Hubs and I switch off when we are both on the brink of exhaustion (both working parents with super long commutes in decently stressful jobs). Since we switch off we are always at different levels of needing sleep so P is never just running amuck while we are passed out. When P was a newborn, we even took shifts to let the other sleep and recover for even moments at a time. If anything, the phrase should be “you’ll never sleep at the same time again” and even that passes.

You’ll never get to shower (any time you want).

There will be times when the baby is crying and you are covered in all kinds of disgustingness and you’ll want to get in the shower, but you can’t. That doesn’t mean you’ll never shower again. In fact, when the baby is a newborn it is much easier to shower because they can’t go anywhere (at least P couldn’t). When they can’t even roll over you can put them in a bouncy in the bathroom with you and get in the bath/shower. Now that doesn’t mean you won’t look out every minute and a half to check on them but you are getting water on your covered in snot body. There are also going to be times when you are just too exhausted to get in the bath but that’s fine too. Your baby will love you no matter what you smell like.

Stick to your guns (but not everything is a mountain to die on).

I’m more of a every fight is a mountain to die on type of girl, but I quickly realized that you can’t be as a parent. If you don’t want your baby to eat certain things then let it be known but if grandma or grandpa sneaks them a treat don’t lose your cool (I say this from experience). Not everyone feels the same way about foods and grandparents and other family members with children don’t always agree with you. That doesn’t mean they are right to give your kid something you specifically expressed you didn’t want them to have; it also doesn’t mean you should ban them from your next get together. Unless it is a detriment to P’s health, I’ve had to learn to let some things slide. Family members aren’t intentionally trying to hurt your child (it was hard for me to come to grips with too).

Moral of the story, it’s all going to be okay. If you poop on the table during birth, if you have a c-section or natural, if the baby has a head as big as a melon… it’s all going to be fine. Here are my parting words of wisdom:

No child is exactly alike, your combinations of life choices are never going to match perfectly to someone else, and that’s okay. Love them, keep them healthy, safe and don’t raise them to be a jerk and you’ll be good to go.

Let me know in the comments or on Twitter a crappy piece of advice that you received when you found out you were going to be a parent.

Find the Perfect Daycare

As a new mom it was really hard to find a daycare that didn’t have a wait-list a mile long. I know that isn’t the same in all areas but where we are we had to wait a full year for an open spot at our daycare of choice. Picking who is going to be a surrogate parent for your child during the day is stressful. Here are the tips that I wish we had before we picked our first daycare:

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When Things Just Make Sense

Standing at the sink all I can think to myself is “this makes sense.” When everything is crazy hectic, the dishes make sense. They are dirty so they need to be cleaned. We have a set amount of dishes; they need to be ready to go for the next night, so into the sink they go.  You can only fit so many bowls, cups and silverware in your dishwasher, so once you are at your max, you know you’re done (unless you hand wash the rest). My mind has been going all over the place lately; when the water finally gets hot enough to actually clean I can just let myself be calm and think about nothing else.

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I Love This Crazy Life

I read a post the other day where the mom described her baby laying on her chest as two puzzle pieces fitting together. That’s how I feel when P is sick and she rubs her snot and slobber all over my shirt and then falls asleep drooling on me. She’s sick again with a stomach bug which means we have been in cleaning mode to keep up with her. My husband is also sick so it’s bedtime at 7:30 PM for all of us tonight. I’m sure she will be up at 10 ready to play and eat and I’ll be wishing I had just stayed awake. I came home from work to take her to her appointment because my husband was feeling terrible. I was working at the table in the kitchen with her on my lap (wouldn’t stop crying if I wasn’t holding her) and she fell asleep sitting there, head on my chest with me typing away.

Vomit Tub
When she’s really sick vomiting she likes to lay in her tub on a blanket so it’s not as messy.

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Working on Myself, Marriage and Family

A successful marriage isn’t something that just happens. You don’t meet someone and fall in love then everything is roses, sunsets and happily ever after. Like most things that are worth a damn, it takes hard work from both sides. I didn’t marry someone who is exactly like me and I’m sure you didn’t either. Your differences are what make you love the other person but it can also drive you to want to let the air out of their tires in the middle of the night. Everyone fights, everyone disagrees and the people who are successful learn and grow as people and as couples. That’s all fine and dandy, you are growing and learning and adjusting but then BAM another person has entered the ring.

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