Motherhood has taught me a lot. Some of it is serious and profound, a lot of it goofy and related to bodily functions. Here are ten things I wish somebody had told me when I was
1) Everyone will tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps...but don't feel like you have to. If you need rest, take it. But don't feel guilty if you'd prefer a bubble bath, or to catch up on laundry, or to watch a Battlestar Galactica marathon with your hubby.
2) Pee before you breastfeed. In those early days, nursing will bring on uterine contractions and they are way more uncomfortable with a full bladder. It's okay to leave the screaming hungry baby with somebody for the thirty seconds it takes to empty your bladder.
3)Sometimes breastfeeding is really really hard. Even if you're doing everything right, it can hurt while your breasts get used to the process. And sometimes none of it happens the way you thought it would. Seek help, read books about it, ask friends for advice. Don't feel ashamed or guilty if you don't love every second of it. We can all relate, but for some reason we forget to share that part with expectant moms.
4) Strangers will say stupid things. Often. Like, "How old is the lil' fella?" about the girl with the pink bow. Or "Wow, she's tiny. Are you sure you're feeding her?" Or "No socks!? He'll catch a cold!" in the middle of a summertime heat wave. Just smile and nod.
5) When it's up to you, don't buy button up sleepers. The zip-up ones are way way WAY more practical for the 300 diaper changes you'll do every day. (okay, so maybe it only feels like 300...)
6) Nobody expects your house to be clean all of the time. Or if they do, they are being ridiculous and forget what it was like to have little ones around. You don't have to live in filth, but you also don't need to put unreasonable expectations on yourself or your family on account of other people. Mess is a part of living life, clean it up when you can and allow yourself some grace when you can't.
7) When you lose a sippy cup full of milk somewhere in the van, just buy a new one. When you find that old one, you're gonna want to throw it away. And for the love of all that is good, please do not open it.
8)When you think to yourself "Hmm, it's going to be time soon to lower that crib mattress" it means it's time RIGHT NOW to lower the crib mattress!
9)If something smells a little bit like pee or puke and you can't figure out for the life of you what it is, it's you!
10) It gets easier. I promise. And then it gets harder for a while. And then you find your groove again and it gets easier for a bit. The point is that today won't last forever and you will make it through. Don't forget to find the gift in the mundane.
Becoming a mom is exciting, and terrifying, and worth every single pain and discomfort and difficulty it brings. If you are expecting your first, congratulations. Your life is about to change in all the best ways I can imagine. God Bless you and your new little life!