After reading “20 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Had Kids,” I was inspired to share some wisdom of my own.
So without further ado, here are ten things I learned as a new mom:
1. People Will Hate Your Kid’s Name
There’s no way to win this one. Classic, retro, unique – someone is going to hate it. Choose a name you love. Even then, there’s still a good chance your kid will eventually hate it.
2. Only Celebrities Drop All Their Pregnancy Weight Through Breastfeeding
It’s a lie, people. No one drops all their pregnancy weight through breastfeeding unless they’re personally breastfeeding as their sole personal source of nutrition.
3. Natural or Epidural or C-Section: There’s No Good Way to Get a Baby Out of Your Body
The Labor and Delivery room is not the place to be a hero. Do what works, no matter what you planned. You’ll end up with a wonderful gift, but the gift wrap and opening process is Mother Nature’s joke.
4. Congrats, You’re a Mammal!
Yeah, yeah, the miracle of birth and breastfeeding and all that. Amped up on hormones, few things make you feel worse than leaking from multiple parts of your body simultaneously.
5. Your Post-Birth Care Involves Office Supplies
In the haze after my emergency C-section, I received a visit from my OB, who was there to remove my STAPLES. Yes, I’d been stapled shut like Frankenstein. Good times.
6. “Sleep When the Baby Sleeps” is Advice From People Who Hate New Moms
Your newborn will sleep erratically at best. You’ll be sleep deprived. You may even have another child, or more, at home. So dropping off into sleep when your infant finally knocks out is completely unrealistic. “Watch Crap TV When the Baby Sleeps” may work. Or “Have an Anxiety Attack When the Baby Sleeps” and “Furiously Attempt to Reclaim Your House and Life While the Baby Sleeps” could work as well.
7. Yes, People Are Judging You
Hopefully they’re doing so silently. But the ones who actually tell you their judgments are doing so out of insecurity. Still irritating, but true. I’ll never forget having a rare well-behaved moment with my 18-month-old at a donut store after a Mommy & Me class. Another mom’s kid was being crabby, but she looked over at us having our time together and exclaimed, “Well! Look at you!”
8. Your Family Will Wish You Ill
Brace yourself for stories from your parents and in-laws about what a hellacious child you or your spouse were and how you totally deserve what’s coming to you. Payback’s a b*tch. You can be one too. Play dumb and ask for their hands-on expertise on how to change an explosive diaper or clean spit-up riddled clothes.
9. Stretch Marks Suck
Despite the recent viral “Tiger Stripes” campaign to embrace your post-pregnancy body of stretch marks, I have yet to meet a real person who believes they deserve this particular “win.” I have a real child to remind me of my pregnancy. Looking down at shiny white skin is just an insult.
10. Giving Birth Does Not Make You More Able to Handle Pain
Bikini waxes will still suck, as will plucking your brows.
The silver lining: Yes, it can be painful, gross, frustrating and expensive – but in the end, it’s all so, so worth it.
What did you learn the hard way after giving birth? Care to add anything to the list?