Thursday, August 23, 2012

insert your words of wisdom here, gentle readers

i swear i know like 48 women who are pregnant 
(and for the record, no, i am NOT one of them - just to be clear!)

one of them emailed me, asking for any mama tips:
the things people don't necessarily tell you, your favorite mommy gear, secret words of wisdom, tidbits about pregnancy, or labor and delivery, or the first days of parenthood.

i'm thinking it would be fun to do a couple of posts at random points over the next few months on labor & delivery advice, favorite gear for babies/kiddos, and new-baby-at-home kind of tips.

i'll start with some general thoughts about this season pre-baby

it's true what they say; it all goes really fast. pregnancy may feel like an eternity (i remember logging off the half weeks when i was pregnant with m; i quickly lost track of the weeks with ruby), but it really is a very short season. 

i always thought i would have easy pregnancies (i am not sure why i assumed that i'd be able to get pregnant, much less what type of pregnancy i had), but that really wasn't the case either time. i had a lot of really bad nausea that lasted way too long into pregnancy, plus a laundry list of other pregnancy related symptoms that were really not very fun, and that even involved physical therapy: sciatica, insomnia coupled with exhaustion, heartburn, pain in my hips, weird skin discoloration. even with all of the physical maladies, pregnancy can be a pretty special time to imagine, plan, and hope about the future. 

once your new little person is here, time speeds by even faster. all of those mundane but magical moments you think you will remember forever? they are quickly replaced by new ones the next day. (plus you are sleep deprived, so sorry to say your memory isn't so hot)  

exhibit a. 
my bambino all wrapped up like a glow worm was four whole years ago, 
but in some ways it feels like yesterday. 
 fast forward...

one of the things i'm so glad i did when i was pregnant was keep a journal of that time - not just what matt and i were up to, but how i was feeling about being a mom, hopes i had for my baby boy or girl, guesses for what we'd name the little one on the way. now i can't remember any of the specifics of that period of life, but i have this record of who i was and what i was thinking that someday i can pass along to my girls. 

i hate when people say, "do what you can pre-baby, because you'll never be able to {go to a movie, go out to eat, go shopping, go on vacation, ever have fun, etc.} again." because really, life doesn't completely stop when you have a child, but it does change. it won't look the same as it did before, and it won't even look similar for a little while, but if you make it a priority, you can figure out ways to do the things you enjoyed doing as a individual or couple. 

that said, soak up this time where you can hop in and out of your car without worrying about schlepping around a baby or rushing home for a feeding/diaper change/etc. i used to spend hours wandering the aisles in the grocery store, hanging out in coffeeshops, shopping, hanging out, going to the gym. no longer. one of the hugest adjustments i think about having a new child is recalibrating for all of the additional time it takes just to run a simple errand, or a quick run to the store, with a child in tow. so make the most of it now: take your time, go to a lot of movies, go out to eat, wander with no purpose, forget about what time it is, sleep in, take a nap and don't set an alarm, take your time at the gas station washing all your windows... but not because you will be on permanent child lockdown, but because it will look different, and you can be way more footloose and fancyfree now than you will be for the next (lots of) years.

last but not least, you might not feel cute, or hot, or attractive? but you are. and as much as you might want to be a cute mom- most of the time you'll feel like a hot mess once you have kids, even on your very best days.

so friends, anything you wish you'd known, done or believed pre-child 
whether you were pregnant or waiting for the adoption process to go through?
any tips, nuggets or randomness for this season before the baby's here?


  1. My biggest piece of advice is: follow your instincts. A million people will try to tell you the "best way" to feed your baby, get your baby to sleep, etc. Do what works for you and your baby, and ignore the peanut gallery. You know your baby the best!

    1. amen, leah. from day one you are the one who knows your baby best!

  2. I agree with the above post, in fact I was going to say that new moms should make a BIG SIGN where they will ALWAYS SEE IT that says "COMPARISON IS THE DEVIL." I was totally unprepared for the level of comparison that begins when one becomes a mom- the sophistication and nuance of decisions about eating, sleeping, diapering, strollering, carrying, on to walking, talking, reading, potty-training, to now when I could so easily fall down the rabbit-hole of who lets their kids watch PG movies, which kids used bad words on a sleepover, who eats too much sugar or goes on vacation or spends too much/not enough money on their kid. It is ba. na. nas. Put your hope in God, not in behavior modification, and watch everything you thought you could control shrink into a tiny circle that fits in the palm of your hand.

    1. oh goodness michele- complete words of wisdom; this is so true. it is pretty crazy how constant, and both subtle and outright the comparison is. i never realized how unrelenting it would be. the other thing is that it is both internal and external and that as moms we often feed it ourselves!

  3. i can think of 100 things to suggest but they are things that worked or didn't work for me. babyhood was years baby is nearly 9! i agree withmichele about is the devil (newborn or not). motherhood is the most tiring and most amazing experience. it changes your entire world view...all the things you said you would never do, you will probably do. i also agree with dlefler...follow your instincts. as a mama, you know more than you think you know.
    my only advice would be...nap when your baby naps and forget about making a babybook...take the pressure of yourself! oh, and those days really are fleeting...they seem like they last forever but they do not.oh and more thing...get out of the house once in awhile by kids no spouse and just be with yourself for you need to know who you are.
    yeah for mamahood.

    1. i always love that quote "the days are long but the years are short"

      oh how i love solo time!!!


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