Welcome to the club Newbies!
My office had a bit of a baby boom this year – 3 new mommies since January (all boys btw). First, I would like to congratulate the new moms and welcome them to the mommyhood club. Second, I would like to take this opportunity to pass on some things that I have learned in my 5+ years of being a mom. “Newbies”, this is the insider scoop, stuff you wont read about in books. Some of you may read this and say Oh my…no, however, in time you will become a believer. (This list is in no particular order)
1) If you have gained a total of 15lbs your entire pregnancy, please do not tell a seasoned mom that you are “huge” and will “never get back to my normal” size. I gained 80lbs, 50lbs and 50lbs with each pregnancy so I think you will be fine.
2) The baby you give birth to in the hospital is NOT the same baby you take home. Hospital babies are trying to adjust to the bright and loud world outside your womb, therefore, they sleep, stay swaddled and are perfect creatures. M (my “oldest” twin) was the ideal newborn during our 4 days in the hospital (he was a c-section). I remember begging him to wake up to eat or so that I could admire him and take pictures. Well the M that came home with me cried the entire car ride home and didn’t stop for the next 3 months.
3) Tired will take on a whole new meaning to you. Yes, you have pulled an all-nighter or partied all night at a club but that is NOTHING compared to the tired you feel one week into mommyhood. In fact, there are no words to even describe it properly, it is just something you have to experience for yourself.
4) When family/friends visit you and your newborn, don’t start proclaiming that you will have the baby on a strict schedule by 3 mo. When you tell a seasoned mom this we laugh. We may not laugh in front of you but we laugh in our heads and as soon as we leave your house we call our other mom friends and laugh like crazy! This is also true for when you tell us that you will not: allow the baby to sleep in your bed; rock the baby to sleep; pick the baby up each time he/she cries; allow a pacifier and/or thumb-sucking and get the baby to sleep in its crib by 8 weeks old.
5) Please don’t chastise a seasoned mom for giving their child non-organic food (this includes snacks and fruits/veges), juice, soda (gasp), fast food, chocolate, processed nuggets, cookies or frozen pancakes for breakfast. Moms want to feed our kids healthy and nutritious foods but life happens and you do what you need to do.
6) Don’t “tsk-tsk” the mom in the grocery store who does not have her child in a cart cover. I am guilty of this one. The twins were my first(s) so I had all the new mommy gadgets (of 2006 they have changed since) and could not wait to break them out of their happy, little boxes. We would go to Target or BJs and out came the cart covers – no way would my child’s skin touch those filthy seats. Fast forward 4 kids and 3 years later and there I was in BJs watching L put the strap from the cart in his mouth AND I had no wipes! Life happens.
7) Television and dvds are not the enemy, they are friends! Embrace “Baby Einstein” dvds and PBS, Sprout and Nick Jr. Had it not been for Baby Einstein, I would not have taken a shower or vacuumed the house the first 6 months of the twins’ lives.
8) When seasoned moms get invited to your baby showers we LOVE to look at your registries. It is fun to see all the new gadgets and “essentials” available at Babies r Us, stuff we managed to live without 2-3 years ago. However, we also like to critique some of the items listed. Don’t get me wrong, I remember agonizing for weeks over the type of bedding the twins would have. Everything had to match/coördinate and it was imperative that I bought the matching bumpers, quilts (with their names and birth dates embroidered), sheets, valance and rug – I also bought this at Pottery Barn Kids and it cost more than my mortgage. Guess what? The twins didn’t sleep in their room for the first 6 mo (thank god for the swing and bouncer) and the quilts didn’t get used until they were 2. Sure I would “make” the cribs when company was over but seriously, infants don’t need a pillow and sham for their crib.
9) Husbands and fathers very seldom hear the baby cry at 3am and will come up with every excuse imaginable to get out of changing a diaper.
10) If you are the mom of a girl, please don’t EVER ask/tell a mom of all boys So…you gonna try for the girl? or Ohhhhh don’t worry, boys are so much easier than girls or my personal favorite when people see I have 4 boys Ohhhhh were you trying for the girl?
Again Newbies I welcome you to the club. It is life changing and the journey of a lifetime. Please do not be offended by my suggestions, I mean them all in fun (except #1 and #10). It is important that moms support one another because no one understands being a mom more than another mom.