NO - not about having another baby - bite your tongue!!
I actually know quite a few pregnant gals right now, some of whom are my dearest friends and family.
Some are eager for advice.
Some are not.
(I wasn't, that's for sure)
But, after 2 dogs, 2 kids, 1 husband, a full time job, a graduate degree and 2 houses, I’ve learned a few things since becoming a mom.
Humor me while I share:
1. Pregnant women don’t always “glow”. I was a puking, fat, bloated, gassy, snotty mess. So if you are one of those pregnant women who don’t have a moment of nauseousness, only gain 10 pounds (which is “all baby”, I might add) and/or are working 80 hours a week and taking/teaching prenatal yoga classes up until five minutes before you deliver, the rest of us don’t want to hear it so keep it to yourself, k?
2. Don’t buy into the argument that “natural childbirth is the best thing”. Having a healthy baby and healthy mom is the best thing. You aren’t any better because you labored for 27 hours and pushed for 15 hours without any sleep or drugs, while standing on your head and playing World of Warcraft, while I was sliced open from one end to the other because my baby was breech. And anyway, C-Section babies don’t have cone heads and are prettier. So there.
3. Women who deliver babies vaginally, and without drugs, exaggerate.
4. If I had been able to deliver vaginally, and without drugs, I would have been one of them.
5. The second your baby is born, your entire world shifts in ways you never imagined and you can suddenly see yourself jumping in front of a train without hesitation to save this little human being you've know for exactly 30 seconds. And no one can ever explain that feeling - you just have to experience it yourself.
6. Not everyone bonds with their babies immediately. That's not something to be ashamed of - being a parent is scary as hell and regardless of what I said in number 5, I'd be lying if I said I was completely ready for the overwhelming responsibility of being a mother. Hell, it's been 12 years and I'm still not sure I'm ready - ha! I just wish more people would talk about it instead of being so scared of what others will think if they admit this stuff. It doesn't mean you love your kids any less - just that you can admit its not all sunshine and roses all the time, you know?
7. You will be tired until 2030. Seriously.
8. I found breastfeeding to be a wonderful, relaxing, bonding experience. For about 8 weeks. Then it became ……not so great, very limiting, and one more thing I had to try and fit into a day that didn’t have enough hours already.
9. Doing a pump and dump while breastfeeding doesn’t mean you’re a bad mom. It means you are a sleep deprived, stressed out and overwhelmed mom who needs a glass of wine and doesn’t want her newborn seeing trails and getting the hiccups.
10. You will never be as good a mother as the woman down the street. But take comfort in the fact that you will always be a better mother than the woman two streets over, so it balances out. The point is, stop comparing yourself to other moms. You’ll drive yourself crazy and accomplish nothing. Trust me – your kids love YOU.
11. Once your baby is born you will be assailed with unexplained guilt over the fact that you weren’t excited enough over the pregnancy/birth of one of your friends a few years ago. You simply didn’t GET IT. Now you do – and you’re sorry you didn’t appreciate the magnitude of the event more and allow your friend to bask in the glory of motherhood, simply because you had a date with a margarita downtown and frankly, that was more important. Call your friend and explain this. I guarantee she’ll understand and you guys will become even greater friends, not to mention that she is a fount of information, having done this whole mommy thing already. Which leads me to….
12. Other moms. They can be invaluable and full of so much experience and information. They can also be extremely judgmental (it helps them feel better about themselves) and our biggest source of insecurity. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference until it’s too late. Choose wisely…
13. You will feel some form of guilt over your parenting skills every single day from now until the day you die. That’s OK. Just don’t let it consume you.
14. Unless of course, you happen to have a really crappy day when your kids are being particularly bratty and horrible and you scream at them to “GETOUTOFTHISHOUSERIGHTNOW!IDON’TCAREWHEREYOUGOJUSTGETOUTOFMYSIGHT!GETOUT!GETOUT!GETOUT!” while hyperventilating and crying. In that case, feel free to wallow in guilt for at least 24 hours. (They went next door to my mom’s by the way).
15. There are days that you are going to love being a mom. There are days that you are going to hate being a mom. There are days you are going to want to run away (see number 14). There are days you want to spend every second with your babies because time flies by so fast. This manic behavior is totally normal. Just go with it.
16. Something has to give if you want to have any semblance of a life - especially if you are a working mom and only have the weekends to get everything done. I choose cleaning the house.
17. If my house is a mess but my family is happy does all that dog hair on the floor and dust on the shelves matter?
18. Well, OK all that dust on the shelves and dog hair on the floor does matter - in fact it gives me anxiety the very SECOND I walk through the door. But that's why God made beer. And Xanax.
19. Never, never tell another mom “I told you so” about her parenting skills or her children or get high and mighty about your own “skills”. Comes back to bite you in the ass every.single.time. And really? It's just downright mean.
20. Throw every pre-conceived notion and expectation you have ever had about being a parent out the window, because the second you say “I will NEVER do that as a parent” or “My child will be raised to be like THIS” you have set yourself up for failure. Because inevitably you WILL do that that as a parent and your child will NOT be like this. And then what are you going to do???
21. Kids are resilient. They love you. You love them. Sometimes we have to remember that snuggling at night for 10 minutes before bed can do wonders for the soul. Both young and old.
22. Even with the bad days, the breakdowns, the stress, the lack of time - you'll get all misty eyed at the overwhelming love you feel for your children. Oh yes, it'll happen - at the most inconvenient times, like when you're standing in line at the grocery store on Thanksgiving eve with 200 other people and your 12 year old offers to run to the other side of the store to get you a bottle of your favorite soda because you forgot while your 9 year old offers to unload the cart so you can get out of there faster because you have so much to do when you get home. Little things like that make it all worth it. No lie.
23. Be sure to put away enough money to pay for their therapy at the doctor of your choice or they'll get some quack who blames all their issues on their mommy. And we don't want that.
24. If parenting is anything, it’s humbling. Expect the unexpected, sit back and enjoy the ride. And above all else - relax. It'll all work out.....
25. All that unsolicited pregnancy and parenting advice that you didn't want/don't need/didn't ask for? You will now be giving it out as well. Not only to your friends, family and acquaintances, but to that pregnant stranger on the elevator.
Yes. You will. Trust me.
And you'll be a great mom :)
And you'll be a great mom :)