I know, I know, you shouldn’t give baby advice. But I can’t help it. I just think I am so Damn Clever for having survived the first 10+ months of this experience. I must. I must.
1. Make goals, and I mean big personal goals, for the time after your delivery. Here is my list: Take a shower every day (even if it is 9:00 pm before it gets done). Put on real clothes & tennis shoes every day (ok, this was a white t-shirt, grey athletic shorts & my trusty Solomons… but it still counts). Make the bed (ok, this won’t happen every day but maybe 3 times a week). Brush your teeth at least once a day.
2. Get a clear shower curtain. You can shower & watch the baby in the bouncy seat/bassinette at the same time. Besides, it lets in more light so you don’t hack your legs apart speed-shaving.
3. When people give you advice, nod, smile and do whatever you were planning to do anyway.
4. Don’t be afraid to change your mind about anything. Parenting style, breastfeeding, daycare, diaper brands…. Anything.
5. Ask for specific help.
6. Don’t be afraid to bribe your family. “If you empty the dishwasher I will let you hold the baby…”
7. Take lots of pictures.
8. Start a daily calendar. I wish I had done this the minute I found out I was pregnant. I never got around to working very hard on the baby book (yet!) but I wrote down a lot of little things on a desk calendar & it is so fun to look back.
9. Ask for food as a shower gift. One of the nicest gifts I got was a lovely lasagna, bread & salad a few days after the baby was born. Fed the swarming masses of family & comforted me.
10. Take a take-out menu to labor and delivery. When we left the hospital we headed straight home and sent the family to Staggering Ox to get food. This gave us a few minutes at home as a “family” and it provided our first meal post-hospital without too much stress.
11. “What To Expect When You Are Expecting” is crap. Some of what they say is good general information but any book that says, “There is no place in the pregnant woman’s diet for soda.” And “To reward yourself, have a small bagel.” Is just plain WRONG. I don’t even like soda and that line made me want a Big Gulp. And rewards…. Reward is when I eat the WHOLE pan of brownies instead of just the half-pan that is my usual diet. Hah!
12. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
13. Use a sling & Robeez shoes… even if it shocks the boot-n-belt-buckle portion of your family…. It is just breaking them in for when you whip out your tit during “Fear Factor” and start singing “Beep, beep… here comes the nipple bus.” (Ok, I stole the Beep, beep phrase from Brain, Child magazine…. But ya’ll know what I’m talking about… everyone has some form of the “Shitty Pants” song in their repertoire.)