My sister-in-law is pregnant and I am so excited to be an aunt! But something has happened to me since hearing the news. I have suddenly become this crazy person who has this overwhelming need to impart all of my parenting wisdom on them. It spews out of my mouth like lava. It’s as though someone else has taking over my body and I can’t help myself. The worst part is I hated those people when I was pregnant. Cornering me by the water cooler to share some ‘amazing parenting tip’. I felt like an advice magnet. Everyone needing to stick some note of parenting information on me. And now I have become one of those people!
The truth is I know my brother and sister-in-law are highly intelligent people. And I actually think they are going to be amazing parents. So why do I feel this need to tell them that newborns need two layer of clothes or that no matter what those parenting books say, breastfeeding hurts.
I guess after having kids I realized how much I didn’t know. I think surviving the first couple of years of your child’s life should earn you a medal. Maybe a giant trophy. And if you have a second child or if you are crazy enough to have a third of fourth – you deserve a title like “the duchess of motherhood” or something. Because each one of the cute little minions you birth comes with its own unique set of challenges.
I mean when my son was born and thought, no problem. I’ve done this before. I’m like a pro now right? Hahahaha. NO! Joke is on you. You know nothing. My son, unlike his sister, hated the car seat, swing and soother. What? So all those months I spent mastering my daughter’s needs meant nothing? nothing??????
Yes that’s right. Back to square one. Back to new sleep strategies. New feeding issues. Back to being so tired you want to cry. And yet I still feel like I must spew all I know about parenting on the pregnant people of the world.
So here is my best advice:
1. Someday your children won’t want you to carry them, sleep in your bed or let you hold their hand. So never feel bad about doing it now.
2. Tomorrow will be better. But the day after will suck.
3. Never judge another Mom. Like ever!
4. If you feel like everyone is staring at you and judging you remember this – it is more likely that they are staring at you and wondering if you are judging them. Because people think about themselves. Not you.
5. Always pee before you tend to the needs or anyone in your family. Think of it like putting on the oxygen mask first on an airplane. You will never regret peeing first. You will only regret that you didn’t.
6. Love them. Hug them. Tell them how amazing they are as often a you can.
7. Repeat number 6 above but replace the word “them” with “yourself”
8. Don’t beat yourself up about what you did or didn’t do yesterday. Do your best with the information you have today.
9. Smile. It makes you look beautiful.
10. I’ll let you fill this one in. Because at the heart of all things, we have some good advice of our own.
Until I write again…