One thing every new parent realizes very early on is that everyone will have an opinion about raising children or a piece of advice to give. I wish I could limit this to saying all other parents but no even people without children will bombard a new parent with their views and ideals.
Unfortunately, you’re given so much advice most of it gets lost in the euphoria of the ever approaching due date. After baby makes their big arrival the advice will continue to roll and get pushed aside to only be retrieved at that detrimental moment where you’ve tried every solution that you can come up with on your own!
As LJ’s due date approaches ever so quickly, I thought I’d piece together some of the best advice I’ve received since becoming pregnant with Lil Mister almost 3 years ago!
1) Have necessary medication on hand before baby is ever sick! No this doesn’t mean antibiotics and such prescriptions, but rather over the counter handy things. Before Lil Mister was born I was stocked with Panado, some Gripe Water and Milk of Magnesia, supplements for teething, rehydrant for if his tummy was runny and even suppositories. I had Detol and Savlon for cleaning the ouchies and plenty of earbuds and cotton wool. It seemed extreme but sure enough the first time Lil Mister got a fever it was in the middle of the night when everything was closed! I never was so thankful for such advice!
2) Give his bum air and cover! I’ve managed to only get wee’d on a handful of times. Of those few times only once was while changing a nappy (the rest was my silliness of letting him roam without anything on his bum!) I was told to undue the nappy, open it and then cover him over with it. I didn’t have to redo it but letting some air in is what would make him wee and covering him back prevented the Hollywood picture of the wee streaming upwards to me!
3) Sleep when he sleeps! I know this seems almost impossible with a newborn because the moment they sleep you can finally do a load of laundry, clean bottles, bath, or just have a cup of coffee! But…all of that can actually wait. You WILL learn to do this stuff with baby there as well! In the beginning, sleep any opportunity you get because no body, not even baby, enjoys a cranky mom and there will be lots of sleepless nights!
4) There’s no such thing as over prepared! Thinking of running to the grocery store just for milk so baby doesn’t need extra nappy, clothes, ect….WRONG! That one time you leave the house with nothing will be when baby gets a poo-splosion! Check out First Time Mom to learn about an emergency diaper kit. It is a great idea for those quick trips out of the house and keeps you from carting that huge nappy bag around! I cannot stress enough…ALWAYS BE PREPARED!
5) It’s never okay to let yourself go. Don’t all attack me at once! By no means do I think you have to be dressed to hit the runway with hair and makeup perfect all day everyday. It is unrealistic! However, even though you’re at home, you are going to feel SO much better if you just get yourself together. A quick shower is all it takes! Save the shaving and pampering for a night when Daddy can look after baby. But do something with your hair. If you want a pony that is fine, but at least do it right! Get yourself cleaned, teeth brushed, and showered. You will feel better if you feel good about yourself! MAKE TIME FOR YOU! Explain to Daddy that you need just one night to go take a bath, relax, SHAVE ;-), primp and pamper! He will be thankful too! Go get your hair done every now and then. Eat good and fit in some exercise! It all seems like so much but I PROMISE you’ll be glad you did it!
6) Just stop doing. As a new parent, especially moms, we find that there is so much to do! All the time. I wish I could say that goes away, but it doesn’t. As LJ approaches and Lil Mister grows ever bigger, I find there is more and more. Laundry gets more, dishes are more, the house is bigger, and the yard needs done. There’s bottles, and toys. There’s dinner and lunches. However, there is a child that needs played with! I still have to remind myself, that 30 minutes after Lil Mister is in bed is MORE than enough time to clean the kitchen because I can do it in peace. He isn’t going to remember Mommy didn’t do dishes before he was asleep. What he will remember is that I played cars on the dining room floor and loved EVERY second of it! He will remember I spent time with him and focused just on him!
7) Make your house baby safe not baby proof! Yes, the oven needs to not be able to be opened! But all the kitchen cupboards locked closed? Where’s the fun? Where’s the exploration? I got told move things high that baby can’t have and leave your Tupperware where he can climb into! Yea, I have literally spent hours over the last 2 years repacking those cupboards but he loves it! And he can’t get hurt. (okay once he got the sprinkles open and was on a major sugar rush but that too was fun in a way!) Tall bookshelves must be attached to the walls but instead of always rushing baby away from them, put books they can play with at their level. Dedicate a shelf to toys for them to explore! Don’t shut your house up. Just put up locking screen doors. You’re baby learns by exploring their environment. I hid toys and things inside my TV cabinet and rather put the wires away on a closet shelf! I put Lil Misters bottles at the bottom of the fridge and all the breakables at the top. Lil Mister has learnt independence and boundaries!
8) Keep your camera available and charged! You won’t get baby to do it twice! Don’t glue the thing to yourself but keep it somewhere central where you can grab it in an instant. You can never have too many photos! You’ll love that you captured that moment and cherish all the photos in between!
9) Don’t loose sight of who you are! You aren’t just a mom now! You’re still a wife, finance, girlfriend or whatever. You’re still that DIY crafter, musician, or intellectual. You are still you! There are boundaries….the girls who are in the club 5 nights a week after baby is born…personally I find it crossing the line. But if you are a social person, then make some time to socialize! Get together with girlfriends and have some alone time! If you love your job as an accountant, then go back to work! We all make sacrifices and you must decide which ones are worth it and which ones aren’t but always keep yourself. If you liked doing your makeup and wearing heels before baby, then do it! Make it work! Make it you! You’re adding a new title but not taking away yourself!
10) The last tip I was given about being a new mom is probably the best! Listen to your own intuition! All of this that I’ve given you as well as what others will tell you is advice. Strictly that. There is no set right or wrong necessarily and you must travel your own path. Yes, we’ve been there and experienced a lot of the same things but our children, husbands, and families are different! We can’t tell you what choices you must make. We can only be there to support you and cry with you during the trials and rejoice during the victories! Trust yourself and do what you think is best and right for you and your child! If it doesn’t work stop and find a new path! Never be scared to admit you made a mistake. This parenting thing doesn’t come with a handbook, but then again the child part doesn’t either!