If only I had known then what I know now…
When I became a mom, I felt prepared…for the most part.
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The whole taking care of a baby thing wasn’t necessarily new to me, but the whole me being crazy and hormonal thing was definitely new to me. ha!
I look back at that time now and laugh about so many things:
In preparation for the arrival of our first baby, I read all kinds of different books. One of the books I devoured was Baby Wise, and I am convinced that this well-meaning book basically ruined a good bit of my first weeks of having a new baby at home. The Baby Wise plan sounded good in theory, but when I attempted to apply the strategy to my baby…um, no. Not working. Not working for him – and definitely not working for me. ha! While I feel I may – to this day – have held on to a few little takeaways from that read, I am so glad I finally realized that when my babies cry, it’s okay to just toss them up on Thelma and Louise and call it a day. Everyone is much happier – and they eventually settle in to a perfect little schedule that works for everyone. I know now.
…but that’s not all.
Note to Self:
- When other moms say their babies are sleeping through the night, that may or may not mean what you think it does (8-12 hours ha!). For an infant, sleeping through the night might simply mean that they’re sleeping approximately 4-6 hours straight – and when they begin to give you those 4, 5, 6-hour stretches, it will be enough sleep for you to be able to then in turn conquer the world. I know now.
- When the instructions on the breast pump encourage you to keep all of the parts sterilized, this doesn’t mean you meticulously sterilize EACH.OF.THE.PARTS. after EVERY.SINGLE.PUMPING.SESSION. – including nighttime pumping sessions. This emphasis on maintaining a sterile pump is just a general reminder to keep things clean. Oh yeah, and your other babies might not be as happy to take a paci or bottle as your first one was, and that’s okay. That’s where Thelma and Louise come in again. I know now.
- When a lactation consultant tells you, “Breastfeeding doesn’t hurt…if you’re doing it correctly.”, it might actually hurt…a lot…for a few weeks…with each baby you have…and that’s okay. You’re not doing anything wrong – except listening to that lactation consultant. I know now.
- When your baby turns a year old, people will want to get in between the sheets with you and hubby to discuss your plans for future children. When you announce your second pregnancy, people will once again want to join you in the bedroom to discuss how this all happened a second time. They will do this again with the third baby…and most definitely again with the fourth – and you will reply with questions such as, “How sweet! Are you offering to babysit?” or “Wow! Is this your way of saying you’re planning to send us a monthly child-support check?” Actually, you wouldn’t dare be quite that snarky, but you will want to be. I know now.
- When – in the fog of motherhood – you decide to post a photo on social media of your child sleeping in their crib – or riding in their car seat – you will receive all kinds of unsolicited advice concerning safe-sleep guidelines and car seat safety rules, and you will regret ever posting such photos. I know now.
- When you go out in public, people WILL touch your baby. No matter what measures you might take to avoid this, it will still happen. You can’t get upset. Some people simply can’t resist. The first time this happens…in Kohl’s…when your first baby is 6 weeks old…and you clearly have them covered with a Car Seat Canopy…and an old lady rips the blanket back and starts touching.your.baby’s.hands, your husband will threaten to call the police, but you will have to hold him back. Then after you have your fourth baby…and you’re in Kohl’s…six weeks post-partum…you will be simultaneously pillow shopping and breastfeeding. Your husband will be nowhere in sight, and when the little old lady walks by and reaches out for your baby, you will hand your infant to her and ask her if she wouldn’t mind cuddling your newborn while you try to get the straps of your nursing bra adjusted. I know now.
- When you hang out with other moms, they are going to be reeeallllly intense about co-sleeping, baby-wearing, and rubbing babies down with essentials oils. At first you’ll question your mothering instincts. You might even leave a baby shower in tears because you feel overwhelmed with all the ways you are doing this whole thing wrong. Then you’ll reach a point in your parenting where you’ll be able to respond to this kind of intensity with a smile and a nod, and you’ll arrive home from that Girl’s Night Out and pick up your littlest one and whisper to them:
me and you…we’re doing okay together…doing this whole thing our way.
I know now.
**This post includes actual events, and no names have been changed to protect the crazy.**
Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to offend Baby Wise followers, lactation consultants, non-co-sleepers, co-sleepers, non-baby wearers, baby wearers, non-essential oil users, essential oil users, non-bottle users, bottle users, non-paci users, paci users, non-Kohl’s shoppers, or Kohl’s shoppers. I am simply sharing my personal experience…with my babies. I trust you will laugh with me about the crazy things we go through as moms and remain my friend even though we might be different.