The amount of people I know having babies this Spring…is ABUNDANT. ALL THE BABIES.
Some of these mamas are new, some are renewing their membership to the parent club, and some are still waiting anxiously for the little bits arrival. For the ones still waiting who are all over Facebook begging for the baby to come already because they are “uncomfortable and cant wait to meet the little thing”..I get it…I do…I was there, but that feeling you have of being well rested, coherent and showered is about to wave bye bye…enjoy that for the time you have left.
I hold a special place in my heart for those new mamas though; probably because this was me like a hot second ago and sometimes I still feel like a complete amateur, but if I was to give myself a little bit of a credit…I think i’ve learned some things. Just some. I still am amazed at how little I remember or how one child can be so different from another that it has you seriously wondering if you blacked out during the first year of your first kids life because…WHAT?! #derp.
If I were to sit with these tired new mommies over coffee, because I need it as much as y’all, I’d say this:
1. Feeling like you are clueless? Yea, me too, it kinda never goes away.
I’ve done the newborn thing twice now, both times were so completely different I am amazed they are actually both my kids. They both ate differently, slept differently, did things differently, look differently, liked and hated different things. I no longer feel like I know what to expect and I have one 2 year old and a almost 6 month old, theres no way you could possibly know everything you need to know about raising a new human and the pressure of having to know it all will give you eye strain as you google ‘why does my 3 month old wake every 15 minutes’ in the middle of the night to find NO ANSWER IS SATISFYING.
2. See those books on your bedside table? The ones that guarantee sleep and happy babies? Chuck them or set them on fire.
A. You won’t have time to read them anyways. B. They’re all hogwash. C. You know what they know about YOUR baby? Nothing.
3. Are you going to try nursing? Have you thought about it? Like REALLY thought about it?
I went into my first baby thinking ” eh, ill give it a try, if it works out super, if not…meh”. I had this nice big informative book on breastfeeding that I may have cracked open the NIGHT BEFORE Luke was scheduled to be born…but beyond that, I knew nothing. I just thought “hey, ill put his face near the nip and he’ll just like know whats up right?!”. Pshhhhhttttttt. I knew nothing of what a proper baby sucking position looked like, felt like, and I paid the price for it. Second time around, I knew a bit more, but I didn’t know how to feed and deal with a premature baby with a poor sucking reflux at first…I paid the price for that too…I successfully overcame both of these hardships, but there was so much about breastfeeding I didn’t think about like…how will I feel about nursing in public? Will I enjoy feeling like a dairy cow? (NO) How will I feel about being the sole food source at all times? (Changes by the day). How long do I want to try? (Until they start gnawing like a snapping turtle). If it comes to it, how do I really feel about formula? (Its just as good, but not cheap, so I shall avoid until I have to…because…COLLEGE).
4. Feeling like you want to cry over the microwave burning your toddlers mac n cheese is NORMAL….up to a point.
I had the baby blues with both of my kids. It’s a cute term for a ridiculous couple of weeks of random sobfests over the randomest things. Your body and mind is…F’d after you deliver that little bundle of squish…ALL OF THE HORMONES HAVE TO GO SOMEWHERE. I think mine seep out of my eyeballs. I had epic meltdowns over not being about to take my son to the park ONE TIME, over not falling asleep fast enough, over the microwave and feeding Luke food, over too many other things I can’t even remember. I basically would avoid anyone coming over the first two weeks unless I knew they could handle random acts of ugly cries because I dropped a cookie or something…but if this goes on longer…speak up. That silly questionnaire the pediatrician gives you is not enough girl, it’s not worth saving face…
5. FIND THE MOMS.
I was one of the first of my crew to have a baby. Also, should be of note that very few of my college friends live closer than a plane ride away. I basically went into this flying solo. YOU ARE WELCOME FRIENDS THAT I WENT FIRST. I had maybe 1 or 2 experienced mamas I could reach out to if I was desperate to talk to someone about baby poop or lack of sleep, but beyond that…zip. You don’t want to saddle your non-mom friends with endless stories of baby spit up or milestones or lack there of…cuz as much as they try to stay engaged it’s just not in their wheelhouse yet. You don’t want to freak the check-out lady at Wegmans by asking her if she has kids and if/when they started sleeping through the night…cuz that’s wrong…and you need to be able to ya know…GO BACK THERE. So, find the moms. Whether it’s your local MOPs group, neighborhood play date, online community (even those these things are weird and messed up, if you are desperate…ya know, do you), the quiet mom in the corner at the indoor playground at the mall who is giving you the side eye like she wants to be friendly, say hi. This is coming from one of the worlds most closeted introverts out there…it helps. Or just keep berating your friends until they have babies and can join you on the crazy train…they seem to like that. #notheydont.
To the new mamas who just held their sweet little thing in their arms for the first time and are secretly thinking “WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS” or to the mom who has a toddler trying to sit on their lap while the baby is trying to eat or the mama with the 8 month old who has no teeth and you’re freaking because your best friends baby has like 5…we’re gonna be ok.