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.

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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My Breastfeeding Nightmare

A woman is standing at the front of the room with a knit scarf that has a large breast on each end. There are baby dolls lying on tables in front of each couple and 70+ PowerPoint slides covered in text from top to bottom that are meticulously read instead of just a couple of bullet points… this was our version of hell.

My husband and I are preparers, we like to have things ready to go and know exactly what is going to happen. That is how we found ourselves listening to a lady with a monotone voice go over how to properly massage the nipple at 8pm on a weekday. Friends of ours had opted to take the parenting course that was covered all on a Saturday but we didn’t want to give up our time for that so we opted into the once a week for four weeks course. Everything about the course up until the last one on breastfeeding had been great and not as awkward. Then this lady happened…

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Working Mom FOMO: Fear of Missing Out

I started traveling for work in 2012, which was a new experience and something I really enjoyed. I didn’t like being away from my husband (then boyfriend) but I got used to flying, presenting and feeling like I was doing something productive. When I switched jobs, I didn’t travel outside of a big conference once a year and missed it but didn’t think too much about it. Now I’m back in a position where I can travel and I’m facing the dreaded baby FOMO.

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Raising Your Child in Church?

Can you raise a child to have morals without being religious? That is something that I’ve been thinking about lately. I went to a Baptist Church in west Texas while my husband went to a private Catholic school. Neither of us are actively practicing any religion and don’t really plan on it to be honest. I believe that there is a greater good and that we should always try to be our best versions of ourselves but no one I know would label me religious by any means. Without a God in our home, does this mean our daughter will grow up without that love/fear based morale code?

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