100 THINGS ABOUT PREGNANCY FOR FIRST-TIME MOM. Pt. 2
100 THINGS ABOUT PREGNANCY FOR FIRST-TIME MOM. Pt. 2- I want to share 100 things I’ve learned in the last year about pregnancy, birth, postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, caring for a baby, and being a first-time mom. I make no apologies that this will be a long post, but I really hope it serves you… or at least makes you smile. Because motherhood, after all, really is the greatest joy and privilege.
51. Four months is not too early to begin teething. If in doubt, just keep sticking your finger in there to check.100 THINGS ABOUT PREGNANCY FOR FIRST-TIME MOM. Pt. 2100 THINGS ABOUT PREGNANCY FOR FIRST-TIME MOM. Pt. 2
52. Decide on a lullaby song for your baby so that every time you sing it they know to expect that it’s naptime/bedtime. (Just make sure that you like it, or make your own up.)
53. Just because your baby sleeps through the night consistently at a few weeks old doesn’t mean they will continue as he gets older and hungrier. Just know that in advance. Sometimes this really feels like two steps forward, one step back. (Or one step forward, two steps back.)
54. Traveling with babies is fun and adventurous and you often get to jump to the front of the line. Take advantage of kind security guards and airline officials. No shame here, ladies, no shame. Take favors when you get them – DUH. 100 THINGS ABOUT PREGNANCY FOR FIRST-TIME MOM. Pt. 2
55. Leave the diaper bag in the car unless you really, really need it. You have enough to carry around.
56. Don’t wait months and months to introduce the bottle – you underestimate just how much you baby really does love your boobs.
57. There will be some diaper blowouts that are not worth trying to clean up outside of the bathtub. We’re talking a right, hot mess. That goes for both you and baby.
58. Don’t be legalistic about starting solids at exactly six months old. Get educated about a baby’s gut development, but then learn to listen to your baby’s cues and trust your instincts. Don’t start them too soon (again, read up on that gut development!), but remember that something magic doesn’t just click on their half birthday.100 THINGS ABOUT PREGNANCY FOR FIRST-TIME MOM. Pt. 2
59. It’s okay to pull your baby into bed with you sometimes when you’re just too tired to get up yet. Do what you want. (Just do it safely: bed rails are your friend, move away your blankets, safety first, ladies! . . . with comfort and convenience being a close tie for second.) And seriously, don’t worry — you’re not going to ruin them by co-sleeping. I promise you co-sleeping is not the evil that will turn them into disobedient, overly dependent narcissists. (Don’t allow any rigid parenting book to convince you otherwise.) Remember, these are BABIES. Let them act like babies. They have plenty of time to grow up. And remember, you are TIRED. Do what you need to do to get a little sleep, too. DUH.100 THINGS ABOUT PREGNANCY FOR FIRST-TIME MOM. Pt. 2
60. There will be lots of times when the baby is crying and you don’t know why. That’s ok, babies cry. Sometimes they are trying to communicate something, but often they are releasing their big emotions and pent up baby angst. Just do your best and remember that sometimes even you specifically choose movies based on the fact that you need a good cry, too.
61. When introducing solids to your baby, strip him down to a diaper and bib, roll up your sleeves, put on goggles, and make sure an assistant is standing by (with a camera, of course).
62. Be prepared when you’re encouraging your child to learn to crawl. I know it’s fun and super cute, but there really is no turning back. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you, you overly keen first-time mom, you.)
ABOUT BEING A FIRST-TIME MOM:100 THINGS ABOUT PREGNANCY FOR FIRST-TIME MOM. Pt. 2
63. Never judge a parent that is bribing their baby with food… there will be times when you end up doing it too.
64. Be prepared for spontaneous mama-tears when you have love-saturated-heart moments. (And don’t rush them – they are precious.)
65. Although you already thought you were a responsible driver, you will start to drive even slower and even more cautiously. Just sayin. Your wild days are over. . . at least temporarily. (But seriously Grandma, please at least try to drive the speed limit. You don’t want to get pulled over because a cop thinks you might be driving stoned. BE NORMAL.)
66. Congratulations, you will now forever be known as “so-and-so’s” mom.
67. You will be tempted to spend more time making sure your baby looks cute than making sure you do. Keep it real, girlfriend. Brush your hair for goodness sakes.
68. Diaper bags are for carrying important things, like snacks for mommy.
69. Your baby will sleep through the night sometimes… and when he does you will have insomnia.
70. Even though you think you won’t be one of “those” parents who wants to buy their kid everything, you will come home with a big ridiculous Baby Einstein exersaucer. (And he will absolutely love it.)
71. During those first few months, be prepared to go through baby’s clothes every 3-4 weeks and pack up the too-small ones and pull out the bigger ones. (And be aware that you might get a little teary on occasion about how fast it’s all going.)
72. Even though it feels like a lot of work to think ahead and make double portions, it’s worth the effort to have homemade meals to pull out of the freezer instead of frozen pizzas on those nights. (Although frozen pizzas work too. See a theme here, ladies? Again, no shame.No shame.)
73. Write milestones down on a calendar if you’re not into doing a baby book – it’s a lot easier than scrolling back through all your facebook status updates to remember when baby learned new tricks.
74. Make sure to regularly go through your photo files and delete 30% of the millions of photos you’re taking of sweet baby. (They really are more similar than you think.) But don’t stop taking the millions.
75. Plan for “quick errands” to take twice as long as they used to. Actually, make that three times as long.
76. There will days when you want to return to work just so you can have a break.
77. Being a stay-at-home-mom is the only job in the world that doesn’t come with coffee breaks, lunch breaks, weekends, holidays, or sick days. And there’s nothing you can do about it except to learn to roll with it. You really can learn to be a SAHM without losing your marbles.
78. There will be days where you cry as much as your baby. This is normal. There will also be days when you cry more than your baby. This is also normal.
79. When your baby is going through a growth spurt, cut your to-list down to 25% and give yourself lots of grace when it comes to house work and errands.
80. You think hearing your baby say “mama” for the first time will melt your heart… It will, but know that it’s even more than that. It will also blow your mind and make you weak at the knees. (So basically it affects your whole body, it’s that good.)
81. Different babies have different milestones at different times. Do your best not to compare.
82. Weekly menu-planning has never been so important. I know it’s boring and not spontaneous, but it really does help. And I’m NOT one of those women who have binders of home organization stuff (bless their hearts), and yet I’m telling you – just plan the freaking meals. You’ll thank me later.
83. If you’re having one of those days where you feel discouraged because you’re getting nothing done, take 20 minutes to play with your baby without multi-tasking. It will instantly give you perspective.
84. Take long moments to stare at your little wonder and drink in that baby goodness. They really do grow way too fast.
85. Keep in mind that immunizations are harder for mama than for baby.
86. Find an on-line forum to join for encouragement and support.
87. Your bookmarks bar will become overrun with parenting websites and forums… but save your other links too. After the first couple of months you’ll want them again.
88. Always try to leave five minutes earlier than you need to. Then you will only be five minutes late to wherever you’re going (instead of ten) after you’ve changed the pooey diaper that inevitably happens when you’re walking out the door.
89. Be prepared to wonder if you ever knew what love was before you had a child.
90. Doing a load of laundry, folding it, and putting it away all within the same day will make you feel like wondermom. (Go ahead and congratulate yourself and tweet about it when you accomplish this.)
91. Make feeding yourself as big a priority as feeding your baby. (That way everyone wins.) You really do need to be intentional about taking care of yourself.
92. Don’t stress about baby-proofing. Your baby will help you when it’s time.
93. Watching your husband be a daddy will make you fall in love with him even more. Relish it. Appreciate it. And make sure he knows how much it turns you on.
94. Don’t wait too long before finding a mom’s group. It really is more fun than you’d expect. You’re entering into one of the biggest changes of your life (maybe the biggest) and it helps to have others going through it along with you. They don’t even have to be your best friends. They just need to be willing to share the mom life and the little years with you. Solidarity, girls. #WeNeedEachOther
95. You might find yourself accidentally speaking in a higher pitch or saying things like “bye bye” or “night night” or “poo poo” when talking to other adults. You’ll grow out of it as you get used to this gig, so just have fun making fun of yourself in the meantime. You might also find yourself swaying the childless shopping cart back and forth as you read labels or scan the shelves looking for an item during the rare kid-free grocery run. Again, just laugh at yourself and then tweet about it later. These days are over fast.
96. You will re-define “sleeping-in” to any time past 7:00am, and thankfully it will happen every once-and-a-while.
97. Don’t put off buying a video baby monitor if you can afford to swing it. Not only will it provide endless entertainment for your first few days of having it, but it will save you from playing the guessing game about naptimes.
98. Be careful not to underestimate the small things. Starting your day with simple things like making the bed, having a shower, and eating breakfast will make the entire rest of your day better. Seriously, DO THIS STUFF.
99. Don’t get defensive when friends without children (especially single friends) ask you what you do all day at home. They honestly have no clue what it’s like to maintain sanity as a stay-at-home-mom.
100. Remember that you’re doing a great job. Being a mom brings out the best and the worst in you. Know that you’re normal and try to learn from all of it. And more than that, enjoy the ride — you’re a far better mom than you probably think.