Unsolicited Advice

I’ve been the mother of one child for six months now so I am obviously an expert. And everyone loves receiving unsolicited baby advice, right?

  1. Three weeks post-partum is too soon to try on your pre-pregnancy pants. Just don’t do it. You’ll feel sad. You have lost a lot of weight. But not that much.
  2. Breastfeeding may or may not “melt the baby weight away” (thanks, every female celebrity who has had a baby, ever) but it doesn’t restore muscle definition. It also doesn’t make my bellybutton look the way it used to.
  3. Speaking of breastfeeding – it’s okay not be starry-eyed about breastfeeding. I’m thankful for it and I do feel proud over the fact that somehow my body can single-handedly nourish a person, but sometimes I also want to sleep in on weekends or have a second beer or not plan my outfits by their ability to undo in the front.
  4. Oh, and another breastfeeding fact: The parenting classes lied. Breastfeeding does hurt at the beginning but for some reason no one tells you until you already have your baby and are gritting your teeth and trying to figure out why your baby’s latch looks just like the baby’s in the video but causes so much pain. Don’t worry, it does get better.
  5. The amount you brag about your baby’s sleep is exactly inverse to the amount of hours your baby will sleep that night. Babies can hear you and they want to keep you humble.
  6. You can’t spoil a newborn. You just can’t. And you will never look back and wish you had cuddled your baby less. (Well, maybe you will. I guess I’m not that far along and my baby is still a baby so I haven’t hit that point yet. It seems unlikely though.)
  7. Do whatever the heck you want while the baby sleeps. “Sleep when the baby sleeps” is so drummed into parents but you need awake time without baby too. I’m a big fan of “read when the baby sleeps”. Or eat ice cream while the baby sleeps. Or paint your toenails or just sit and stare into space while not being responsible for keeping a person alive. (I also lean towards, “Check if the baby is still breathing while the baby sleeps.”)
  8. If someone tells you your baby’s name is “an interesting choice” (which we all know is a polite way of saying “what a weird name”), you can respond by telling them their baby has “an interesting face”.
  9. People will judge you on the length of your baby’s fingernails. Baby fingernails grow fast; it is a battle you will never win.
  10. You can live on less sleep than you think you need. There will come a time when you pray for just four uninterrupted hours. Please, baby, just give me four hours! (Related: Sometimes you might join in with your baby’s crying. Especially when it’s three in the morning and you just fell asleep after spending an hour getting the baby to sleep and she think thirty minutes of sleep is enough.) (Also related: This scenario actually hasn’t happened to me in a couple of months. It does get better! Or, at least, it got better for me and my super baby who sleeps so well! I’m such a good mom!) (See #5)
  11. Your life, much like this list, will revolve around feeding your child and trying to get more sleep. This may go on for the next ten years. Twenty years? I don’t know. I have no idea what I’m doing.
  12. The correct response to any and all unsolicited baby advice is, “Hmm, I’ll think about that.” This includes responding to this blog. (What you think may be, “That is insane advice. What a craze-o!”)

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