Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Things I'd Tell Expecting Moms

I love moms expecting their 1st child because I was once one.  I truly adore the sweet innocence about expected realities of a first time mommy - I wish I could still see motherhood in the same light as before I had kids. There is nothing horrible, or suprising about becoming a mom - it's just different (at least from what I expected). I had the luxury of working at my mom's sewing store when I was pregnant with Georgia. I was surrounded by mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers; all willing to volunteer their battle stories of motherhood. Some advice was just utterly stupid, like "don't climb stairs," or "don't pick up anything heaver than 15 lbs" (this one was my favorite because the elderly woman insisted that it was an actual law in California). Some were just mean, "I birthed babies so big that my vagina swelled shut."

And in the midst of all of this wonderful advice, I became aggravated and started telling myself that these women didn't know what they were talking about. If you didn't sleep for 5 years, then why would you have any more children. Why would women keep reproducing if this all was such a horrible, awful experience? Looking back, there are some honest truths I wish someone would have sit down and told me.

1. You won't sleep for 5 years, but your body will amazingly learn to cope.

2. Baby products are over-rated, but really cool.

3. Disposable diapers and formula are a privilege. Don't take either for granted.

4. Believe the crazy birth stories, you might have 1 of your own!

5. I really don't want to buy you a $150 baby shower gift, so please register for something practical, and don't be afraid to buy your own items.

6.  You can never hold your baby too much.

7. Ask! Someone is always willing to give advice or clothes, or even hold your baby so you can brush your teeth and pee.

8. Don't get caught up in "mompetitions."

9. Attend a birth class and parenting class. Though I think labor classes don't help with actual labor, they teach the fundamentals of labor and delivery, and wonderful resources are always available.

10.  ABSOLUTELY send your baby to the nursery EVERY night your entire stay at the hospital. They will return him/her to you every time to feed, but you will be tired, exhilerated, sore, and the next several weeks you will hardly sleep, so take advantage of great nursing staffs. Your baby won't remember you didn't keep them in the room their first couple days of life...I promise.

The greatest advice (and I'm not really sure you can call it such) someone ever gave me was that, "giving birth is like taking a giant, warm, wiggly, poop. It's not so scary." I have to admit...she was right!

If you are a experienced, new, or expecting mom, what's the best AND worse advice anyone ever gave you?

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  1. I had my fair share of unwanted advise and didn't want to be one of those moms. I am a HUGE advocate for breastfeeding like you are for cloth diapers so I agree with you. And also, baby products are ridiculous, we did without 90% of what is sold and my child is JUST FINE! Who needs a thermometer to tell you the temp of your baby's bath water, REALLY?!?!?!

  2. This one cracked me up -I love the vagina swelling shut comment! Oh I can't even remember all the horror stories i heard but my current most hated is when people look at me and look at Gracie and say ,"oh you will have your hands full, thats too close together you're going to be so overwhelmed and exhausted." Umm yeah THANKS have you noticed its a little late to go back now so thanks for the encouragement! But the best advice: not to give up on breastfeeding. It was so hard I nearly did and am SO GLAD I didn't. Best thing I ever did hands down! The other great advice i got was from my FAVORITE baby book author (I met her at a book signing). She told me that I was doing the right things for my child (co-sleeping, breastfeeding, feeding on demand, paying attention to her cries) and that I could feel assured of this because a.) Grace was healthy and happy and b.) it felt right for me. So while not everyone chooses the same things I chose I KNEW they were right for me and Gracie. It was SO freeing to have someone validate me and my choices- especially someone as educated and informed as this author!

  3. Agreed on all accounts! I always try to be careful what I say to new mommies, but I also suffer from diarrhea of the mouth - I heard it's a genetic disease. My favorite response when people would tell me, "don't lift that, don't eat that, don't walk up those stairs," was "my docter said it was okay." Usually shut them up. In the end though, I 100% agree that you have to do what is right for you - and that's advice that is seldomly handed out when you are a new or expecting mommy.