There are a million books for new and expecting parents out there, but every mom I talk to has said that there are things she wishes someone had told her, before she had the baby. I felt that way, too. So I’ve compiled a list of my top 8 things I blundered through the first time. These are also things I am having to remind myself that I learned, now that I’m doing it all for the second time, so don’t think I’m being all high and mighty by sharing this shit. I’m just trying to pass anything that might qualify as “wisdom” along.
1. Whatever piece of hell you’re currently going through right now? It’s going to change. Nothing lasts forever, with babies. That means those crazy nights of colic will come to an end. Or that sleep regression will disappear as strangely as it showed up. I know it doesn’t feel like it’ll end, right now. But it will. For real.
And you smug parents in the corner, with kids who started sleeping through the night at 3 weeks? It’ll change for you, too.
2. Breastfeeding can be fucking hard. Trust me, it ain’t all instinct. And it’s not for the faint of heart. However you decide to feed your child, you are still a good mom. Unless you’re giving him caramel frappuccinos or something. Just sayin’.
3. At some point, you will find yourself touching your child’s poop with your bare hands. That’s right. You will get shit under your fingernails, or find yourself scooping up a turd out of the bathwater at the speed of light, or something else that you would’ve found beyond disgusting in your pre-baby life. Don’t worry. If it hasn’t happened already, it will.
4. At some other point, you will find yourself holding a handful of your child’s vomit. Don’t believe me? When you’re over at your friends’ place and your kid gives you the 3-second warning: “Mommy, I don’t feel so good…” you will automatically shove your hands in front of his mouth, to prevent that puke from hitting your friends’ sofa, so you don’t have to foot the cleaning bill.
5. You will inevitably compromise on one or another impossibly high standard you set for yourself as a parent, and then feel guilty about it for years. Try to forgive yourself.
6. You are not alone. Whatever you’re going through with your little one, right now, you are more than likely not the first one to experience it. Google that shit, if you need support, and I bet you’ll find someone out there who will give you advice, or just commiserate.
7. It will all be over in the blink of an eye, so cherish every moment! Just kidding. Some days will feel like they are fucking WEEKS long. But they will come to an end. And there will be a glass of wine (or a pillow) waiting with your name on it.
8. Your child will be an asshole, at some point or another. You will not be a bad parent for thinking this. You will still love your child, despite thinking this. She will still be an amazing, intelligent, fantastic human being, despite being an asshole. Why else do you think I called this blog “The Joy of Cooking (for little assholes)?”
Do you have anything you wish you had known, early on, as a parent?