When you’re pregnant, everyone is bursting at the seams with advice; how to eat, how to sleep, how to exercise, how to tell the sex of the baby, how to avoid looking like a beached whale. And it doesn’t stop once the baby arrives. People love to offer their two cents, which I appreciate, except I feel like there were some some major things missing.
What I heard: Babies are hard, babies are messy, babies are cute, babies are tiring.
What I didn’t hear: You will lose all your hair and accidentally pee your pants.
I feel like that’s pretty important, no?
Here’s a list of the top ten things I wish I’d been told. Happy Tuesday.
1) Point the peep down. For some reason no one tells you that when you’re changing a boy’s diaper, you have to point that sucker down or else get soaked. Maybe it was general knowledge, but I had no idea what to do with a tiny baby peep.
2) Don’t buy newborn clothes because everyone else will buy them for you. Waylon has piles and piles of clothes he never wore. Piles. Actually, maybe I should change it to don’t buy anything. This is a baby, not a space alien. It doesn’t need half the crap you think it does. Major necessities include plenty of spit rags, a comfortable chair to nurse, and a swaddling blanket.
3) Breastfeeding is a commitment. Learn how to do it lying down. When Waylon was born I was determined to keep him in his room all night long. The problem with this is that at 3am, sitting in a rocker for a half hour is brutal. The best way I can explain it is this: Let’s say you are required to get up four times a night to hold a watermelon. You can either a) sit in a chair and hold the watermelon or b) lay beside the watermelon and keep sleeping. The choice is obvious.
4) You will lose your hair and it is totally gross. I literally pull out handfuls of hair every day. It’s all over the sink, the floor, the couch, our baby. Lately I’ve taken to keeping a lint roller beside the bed so I can sleep without ending up with a mouthful of hair. I don’t know how I’m not bald.
5) You will lose your mind. You lose all sorts of things post baby; your keys, your phone, your wallet, your general mental capacities. Why? Because you are very busy not losing your baby. So tell your husband to relax when you forget to buy floss for the third week in a row. Maybe also mention that not flossing for a few days won’t kill you (Austin).
6) Pooping is terrible. It’s no secret that labor and delivery hurts, but where was the pamphlet on how much worse it is to waddle around for weeks afterwards with a sore front and rear? I know I’ve talked a lot (too much?) about post-baby pooping, but it’s no joke. It is worse than pushing out a 7 lb. infant, especially if you’re in constipation station and have fissures or hemorrhoids.
7) Just say no. Babies are chick magnets. Everyone wants to visit the baby, hold the baby, talk to the baby, kiss the baby. The problem is that you are a sleep deprived, hormonal mess who just had the most painful poo ever. Give yourself a break. Don’t play host unless you are up to it. Don’t feel bad about cancelling at the last second. Don’t feel bad about asking people to leave. Don’t feel bad about crying in front of your husband’s cousin’s wife who just wanted to drop off a casserole.
8) You might want to start lifting weights because that car-seat is heavy. Admittedly, I lack basic arm strength. But seriously car-seat makers? Why does that thing have to weigh so much? You are breaking my back.
9) Sleep When The Baby Sleeps is total crock, especially if you were planning to ever do laundry, dishes, or feed and bathe yourself again. The time when your baby is napping is precious. Sacred. Sleeping through it is impossible if you want to get anything accomplished. My advice? Put the whole family on the same bedtime.
10) You will always be late. I am a prompt person. I don’t like being late and I don’t like when other people are late. This all went out the window when Baby Baer arrived. Not only am I late to everything, I’m really late and probably forgot my wallet.
It all comes with the territory, I just wish I’d known.
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