Aug 21, 2012

What every expecting mother should know! Part I

(I wrote this first for www.firsttimemomanddad.com.  The following is the candy coated crap uncoated. Warning, it may scare you... Part II and III will follow...)

A few days ago I was contacted via email by one of my dearest Blog followers about an idea for a post.  The email reads as follows…

“…Whenever I go through a new parenting experience that I feel like I
should have been prepared for, I think back to what my Been-There-Done-That friends told me about the experience and I feel completely screwed! What I mean is they sugar-coated EVERYTHING.... like "Get all the sleep you can before baby comes..." but never did anyone tell me honestly how tired and horrible I would feel on 3 hours of sleep. What I would have liked to hear was "It's going to suck, you are going to be perpetually tired for the next 3 years, so get used to it and you CAN function off 3 hours of sleep, but it will be hell".  “….I'd love to hear from you and comments from others what sugar-coated things people told you while you were pregnant and now that you are in the thick of being a new parent what you wish they would have honestly told you. Kind of like a top 10 list or something.”


Here is my Top 10 list of Sugar Coated Baby advice I received while I was pregnant, and the real meaning behind it.

  1. “Don’t worry, you get amnesia after you deliver. You won’t remember a thing about your pregnancy!”  Really means, “You black it out.” Pregnancy, labor and delivery are so traumatizing you try like hell to black it out so you can attempt to do it all over again to give your child a sibling!

  1. “Sleep Now!” Means “Sleep Seldom” You will sleep for no more than 3 hours at a time for the first 6-8 weeks, then if you are lucky you will get four hour stretches until 6 months, and then who knows, teething, sleep training, weather, poor naps...  The Good news, you think you will loose you mind, but you won’t!

  1.  “Nothing tests a relationship like a baby.” Means,  “Your relationship is screwed for the first 6 months to 2 years once the baby arrives.” Nothing tests the strength of a relationship like high levels of fear, anxiety and insane sleep deprivation. You will argue, bicker, plot painful deaths on each other, throw the divorce word around like a football and then cry together when the baby finally falls asleep.

  1. “Motherhood is so rewarding!” means “Motherhood if so full of tests that when you pass one you should get an award!” You have no clue what you are doing at first.  It’s scary and full of challenges.  Your mother’s instinct will help, but you will still have obstacles and challenges that will boggle the most genius of minds.  You will never get an award so learn to live off of your own praise.

  1. “Breastfeeding is so good for your baby” really means, “Breastfeeding is super hard and painful at first. It is so good for you baby that it doesn’t matter how much it sucks for you.”

  1. “Baby wearing is so wonderful and convenient.  Really means, “If you want to get anything done, strap that baby to your body!” Get one of those baby-wearing contraptions because your back and ass will break from the constant picking up and putting down and carrying involved with a fussy baby that is only happy when he’s being held. 

  1. “Make time for yourself everyday.” Really means, “You will be so covered in vomit and baby goo/poo that you will need to shower everyday.” You have to shower and put on clean clothes every day. Just because you can’t see the throw up all down your back doesn’t mean it’s not there, and just because your hair is in a ponytail, it doesn’t mean it’s ok to be rock hard from the coating of spit up.

  1. “Savor each minute because it goes so fast!” really means, “Time does not slow down so your mind can catch up to your child’s constant growth.” Thanks the extreme exhaustion and overall constant work involved with having a baby, minutes become hours, that become days, that become weeks that become months of blurry hazy confusion. Then surprise your baby is six months old already!

  1. “Join a mothers Group” really means, “All of your friends without children will fall off the face of the earth so you will need to make some new friends.”  Even the friends with children are hard to catch up with now that both of you have child filled days.

  1. “You are going to be a wonderful mother.” Really means, “Just wait, you are going to think you are awful and doing all of the wrong things! Luckily babies are resilient and will overcome your crazy ideas and methods, while teaching you how to be a wonderful mother.”   I don’t think you stop thinking you suck for long periods at a time, because once you think you have it figured out, boom the baby rolls off the couch!




A good friends list of things she wishes someone would have told her.... she is a mother of a 6 year old and a 9 month old.

1.Being a mom is not easy.

2.Babies don't sleep through the night until they are 2.

3.How much having kids would test the strength of my marriage, or how friends who don't have kids fall off the face of the earth.


4.Don't buy baby clothes out of season for the next year, because your child won't fit into the size he is supposed to until he turns two.  Both babies wear/wore clothes way outside their age range.  Gavin's 12 month onesies are getting a bit small.
 
5.How hard it is to take a child's paci away.
 
6.That you have to take the baby to the doctor every couple months and endure shot after shot and that the doctor only works Tuesday through Thursday right in the middle of my work day.
 
7.That some kids are scared to poop on the toilet and that you might have to hold them down and force them to do it just to get them into big kid underwear...AND...when you get them into big kid underwear, they still have to wear a pull up at night.



Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com

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