For all you new moms out there, I have a few tips I’d like to share.

OOOOH I BET YOU ARE SO SICK OF HEARING THAT!!!  ONE MORE FRIGGIN TIP!  ONE MORE…!!!

I know!  I KNOW!   I’m totally new to this baby thing, so I read all the advice and listened to everyone, and went completely batshit nutso crazy by the 2 month point.  I’m just going to put a few tips I’ve learned down in print because I am at the very crucial 3 month old stage…so I’m still IN it.

You’ll notice as you google “my baby won’t sleep” or “what do I do when a booger is too far up for my pinkie nail to fit”, that the answers are so TIDY –

“When I had Fabian, we started at one week with a schedule on the fridge for breastmilk pumping and naptimes. Now he eats four times a day, takes one poop at noon, and sleeps from 6pm til 6am.  And just an aside, you NEVER use your pinkie…only the suction bobble is meant for tiny nosies”

Well Lah Dee Friggin Dah,  MarineMom6.  I’m so happy for you.  (Note to self – never tell anyone you pick your son’s nose – they’ll judge.  Also don’t mention that you can’t find time to pump, your kid eats every two hours and you are starting to feel like he has an obsession with food, or boobs, or both, and he doesn’t like bedtime til midnight – sometimes).     Then you spiral into madness thinking you are doing it wrong.  YOU AREN’T.  Is he/she alive?  Does he/she:  eat/poop/pee/sleep/cry/love/look really cute yawning?   Then you’re fine.  You did it right.   These are generally moms that have a ten month old btw – they seem to forget the trenches.  That is why I’m writing this now.  I figure in about six months I’m gonna be an unbearable know-it-all who tells you that I cannot BELIEVE you didn’t use bleach wipes on the changing table at the restaurant bathroom.   Let’s get to it before I’m “that girl” –

1.  MAKE A LIST

“You’ll get Mommy Brain”.  Unfortunately, this is true.  You actually forget shit.  Constantly.  It’s irritating.  I had to remind myself to start this blog five times today, and got distracted by everything under the sun.  I kind of look like a goldfish turning round and round in the bowl.  (and NO not because of my scaly skin…eyes the lotion…perhaps I should go take care of….AH BLOG BLOG)    –     The ultimate thing to help you, is from day ONE have a pen and notepad next to you, and jot down your thoughts before they flee.  Just write a grocery list.  Write three things you want to accomplish that day.   Lists will be your sanity’s best friend.

2.  SLEEP WHEN HE SLEEPS

Here’s the deal on this one.  DO.  Do sleep when he sleeps.   Or don’t.  And really don’t if you are driving and he’s in the carseat…   But you are going to need sleep to make it through the newness, the hormonal changes, and just functioning in society.   You cannot be sane without it.  So adapt to the baby at first (because he will NOT adapt to you in the first month for sure) – as much as you can – figure out the naptimes when you can get things done, and the naptimes you need to join him in, and get a coffee habit.   You will learn how to get things done when he is awake, too.  You’ll be tired for a while – most of my friends who have toddlers still are, but they all say it gets better, and I believe them.  Believe that it gets better.  An infant is only that for so long…this too shall pass.   It sucks to hear it, but that is because what they don’t tell you is motherhood totally sucks.   Luckily we get a really cool little person to share in diaper jokes with later on, and baby pictures to show his or her first date.  Get through it.  Soldier on.  Sleep.  When.  He.  Sleeps.

3.  LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER

Yeah.  She was right.

It does not matter how much you fight it, the person who raised you knows how to raise someone that will thrive and live on.  You are that proof.  She did something right.  She is going to have crazy ideas – like “Oh well he’s four months old now.  You should be filling a bottle with warm pancake batter and syrup once a week so he learns to eat people food.”   Maybe not so extreme, but you’ll get it.   It might be “These were the best bottles when you were a baby” or “always put on diaper cream and he won’t get a rash.”  Those things can really help when you don’t know what you’re doing, and they are sometimes better than what your friends and google tell you.   Your mom is from a different generation (duh) and the trends change, so she’ll say some stupid stuff.  But LISTEN to it.  It can give you insight into when you hit developmental stages, and your kid will probably follow suit.  Tailor what you want to do with your child and put it into her time frame she is giving you.   This will give her validation and then she can do the wonderful job of being a grandmother that she has earned the right to do.   Don’t forget, this little one will someday be calling you with frantic questions that you will know the answer to!

And for my Mom, who is reading this….NOT YOU!  YOU NEVER SAY STUPID STUFF.  I do everything you tell me for your grandson.  😉

4.  DON’T RAISE A MAMMA’S BOY

Let your husband/boyfriend/S.O. hold, comfort, feed, and change the baby.  To some this is gonna sound nuts, but I had the hardest time not getting my two cents and my nose into everything my Jim was doing with our son.  It causes stress for you both, and is completely unnecessary.   Jim said the most poignant thing and it sticks with me – “I am not babysitting.   I am his Dad.”   I have to remind myself of that constantly (like I said, I’m still IN it)- and let him take the boy and put him to sleep his way, or feed him a bottle.  When the baby is screaming and crying, I can’t let myself get INSANE while he tries to comfort him.  You two have to work as a team – and this is more for your relationship than anything.  It will save a couple to let each other parent fully.  Include each other and give each other a break.  If the kid is alive each day, you’ve done good.  This is hard psychological and physical work.  You need each other to make it through.   And if you happen to be doing it on your own – first of all God bless you and secondly, enlist friends.  It’s really just all about setting the baby down…walk away from the baby…. and keep sane while someone you know handles it for a second.   It’ll be ok.   It doesn’t just take a village, it takes a Mom letting go a little and allowing a village.

5.   A BABY IS A HUMAN BEING

I had to tell myself this when I was afraid to leave the house because it was sprinkling.  Now, we have a little bit different situation than most of you probably have.  We do not have a car.  We live in the city, and walk and take buses and trains.  So leaving the house meant I needed to get one of those rain covers for his carriage, and we had to urban jungle it to the bus stop.  I had to remind myself he is a little person, but a person none-the-less.  As sweet as he was, the rain wasn’t going to melt him like cotton candy.   After we went out in it and he enjoyed it, I tried to push myself to not be so afraid of things that humans can handle.  Not to say an infant shouldn’t be sheltered from extremes or kept out of the sun – but they are resilient little buggers that can probably handle more than you or I.

 

So that’s it.  Not so bad, right?  Take it or leave it new moms!  You are on the front line my amigas.    All the best to you.   My little dude just woke from his nap – he has excellent timing btw.  Let’s me get through an entire post, and edit five steps each time.  Thanks, kid.