A few weeks ago I met a nice young man who is excitedly expecting a baby. I held my tongue and refrained from sharing any sort of advice, comments, or anything that may make him more stressed than he already is.
But it made me wonder. What would I tell him if he were to honestly ask for my “expert advice.”
Off the top, this is what I came up with:
1. Sleep as much as you can now, because you won’t get to anymore.
I know! So obvious! It’s the one everybody talks about. And they tell you how exhausted you are all the time.
But really. Seriously. You don’t know sleep deprivation until you have an infant. It’s a type of pain that effects you to your very core. And there is nothing you can do about it.
(Ignore the “sleep while they sleep” BS because it doesn’t work that way. Unless you don’t have to eat.)
2. If you have a sensitive gag reflux, attempt to prepare yourself now (whatever that entails). Kids are really gross!
Another obvious one. You may not wipe that snotty nose with your hand like some people I know, (ahem), but you’ll have to take care of it somehow.
Better put a huss on it too before the kid licks it off.
3. Take plenty of time off of work because recovery from birth is rough.
There are those amazing women that have easy births and they are out skiing the next day.
But for the other 99% of us, it will take time and it will be terrible. Just keep looking at that kiddo and remember why you are dealing with that pain, and why you have these wonderful meds.
And to anyone “dealing” with the recovering mama, tread lightly and do whatever she asks.
4. Spend alone time with your spouse -friends-significant other as much as you can.
Parenthood is 24/7. Even when you’re out and you have a sitter, your mind will be with the kid(s). This takes away the FULL enjoyment of being away.
You’ll still have fun while you’re out, it’s just, instead of talking about the incredible movie you just watched, one of you will wonder aloud whether the kids are sleeping or not. Just a heads up, they aren’t.
5. Kids are boring.
There. I said it.
They want to watch the same stupid movie over and over again, and they won’t even let you sing along.
Then they want you to read the book from the same movie.
6. Breastfeeding, if you choose to do it, sucks.
The excruciating pain of labor lasts one, maybe two, days. Nipple wound pain can last for several weeks-and that pain is no joke.
7. Your house will be messy.
If you or your significant other suffer from OCD, find a good therapist. You’ll both need to find a strong coping mechanism.
I know I’m missing plenty, and I wouldn’t bombard a person with every single one of these…not all at once at least.
I would be sure to end on a good note:
One of my favorite things about being a mom is when my kiddo looks at me lovingly and admiringly. Motherhood is a thankless job, but sometimes that “look” is all the thanks you need.
If someone honestly asked for your parenting advice, what is the one thing you would tell them? Perhaps something you had to learn the hard way?