Everyone loves advice. Especially unsolicited. Which is why I am craftfully disguising my unwanted advice into a witty post titled “My Unwanted Unsolicited Advice” for my sister-in-law, who is joyfully expecting her first baby. Naturally, it will include plenty of do’s and dont’s (I may or may not have a disproportionate number of dont’s but don’t worry, they will have supportive evidence so you won’t notice the uneven distribution). And it will conclude with a heartfelt message, something warm and fuzzy about babies. And rainbows. Or both.
So, number one. Don’t listen to anyone’s advice. Except mine. And the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics for you newbies) which is pretty much the government of babies. They know everything and your pediatrician will let you know when they have changed their mind on a variety of topics since new studies have completely negated their previous advice. Wow, this is easier than I thought.
Number two. In the slew of said ignored advice, you will come across some that sounds like perfectly reasonable guidance. My favorite being SLEEP WHEN THE BABY SLEEPS. But be aware, this is the equivalent of an Internet hoax. This wrongfully implies that you then shower while the baby nurses (don’t try this at home) or do dishes while you change the baby’s diaper. Yes, sleeping while the baby sleeps sounds smart, but if you do so, you risk missing the most luxurious five minutes of self cleaning per day you’ll get in roughly six months. Trust me on this. So when someone says this to you, politely nod and file this recycled verbiage next to your hopes of winning the HGTV dream home. Not gonna happen. Moving on.
Number three. Your baby registry. It’s true, it’s the most fun you can have with a gun without hurting someone. But you won’t need 90% of what’s on it. Initially, you’ll feel giddy, selecting such essential supplies like a wipe warmer or newborn shoes (which are super helpful if you have one of those babies that hits the ground running straight out of the womb). Then you’ll realize your baby probably can’t survive without a bouncy chair, play gym and swing. The decision of what color to get is only overshadowed by deciding what furniture will have to go to accommodate said bouncy chair, play gym and swing. By this time you will have probably stumbled upon the bottle wall, which will conjure feelings of standing in Times Square. On New Year’s Eve. In a blizzard. The truth is, the baby world of merchandise is a lot like a Brookstone. There are a bunch of cool things that might make life a little easier, but they will end up costing you more than your first car. In short, try to keep your gun in the holster.
Number four. Birth stories. Do not under ANY circumstances ask anyone these five words “What is labor really like?” If you do, know that you are signing a virtual waiver to be privy to a story you can’t un-hear. The answer will either keep you up at night or make you blissfully unaware of reality. Pretty much like any show on Bravo. Labor? It hurts. But it might be less painful than watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, number five. The secret. Once your tiny human arrives, your going to have a bucketload of wonderful. You have undoubtedly heard you will never experience a love quite like this. This is the only unchallenged truth. But what no one will tell you is there may be a day (or a few) where you find yourself in a puddle of sleep-deprived tears because no one told you it was going to be this hard. It’s going to be hard. But what I want you to know is, you’re not alone. Even the mom who looks like she has it all together in public – you know, the one dressed in Michael Kors with a Quinny stroller and a latte? Yep, she’s had that day too. You are a new mom. We have all been there. Motherhood is going to be by far, the hardest thing you will ever do. Just remember the storms will pass. And luckily, motherhood also comes with a plenty of rainbows.
P.S. Warm and fuzzy. Rainbows. Check.