Monday, June 21, 2010

How to be Mother of the Year (for Lettuce)

My friend is about to have a baby. I'm thrilled for her. And I think it just a little bit funny that she asks me for advice because I feel a little under qualified. But, still ... it makes my day. And I'm honest. So there's that.
So, in honour of my friend "Lettuce" having a baby I wanted to share some of my parenting advice. Or, more specifically some stuff I've learned over the last (OMG) 6 years.

  1. You're a better parent than you think. It's really easy to doubt yourself. But the truth is, no matter who you are, when they put the baby in your hands it's scary. But a lot of the stuff you do is by instinct.
  2. Some moms look at parenting as a competition. It's not. Some kids are good sleepers some aren't. Some babies nurse really well. Some don't. The list goes on. Nobody wins the parenting contest. I figure if you make it through the day without losing your mind you win.
  3. Be Selfish. Choose sleep over cleaning. Use soothers if you're baby will take one. Eat when you can. Accept offers of everything (holding the baby, a cooked meal, whatever)
  4. Play Dress Up with your Baby as long as you can. Let me explain. When Matt was a baby I was all about the cute little argyle sweaters and Osh Kosh overalls. That lasted till he was maybe 2 and discovered truck t-shirts. Chloe has been outfitted in head to toe pink and purple since birth. She's now rather demanding about what she wears (thankfully she loves princess dresses). The time you get to choose clothing doesn't last. Embrace it while you can.
  5. The first few months suck. It's great and everything to have a new baby. But you are sleep deprived, cranky and fight with your spouse. Just get through it. And know it gets better.
  6. Remember people care. I had a really rough first year with Matt. (It was far easier with Chloe). I couldn't have made it through without some people who were there for me. I had a friend who emailed me these incredible encouraging notes. I lived for those. My sister would literally just drive in and make me go for coffee. Sometimes you have to ask for help because people don't want to overstep.
  7. Finally, take pictures. Time really goes by quickly. Take lots of pictures.
Love ya, Lettuce! You will be an amazing mom!


lettuce said...

Awww!! I am so overwhelmed that you wrote a post for me. Tearing up as I re-read it. I admire you and think you are the best and that's why I often ask you for advice. You're smart, honnest, down-to-earth and never make me feel dumb.

Thank you for all your advice and thank you in advance for all the advice I will continue ask you for!

SciFi Dad said...

I'll second the trust your instincts one. That's definitely true.

I would add hold them as much as you can, because eventually they're too big or too squirmy, and you'll miss it so much.

don't_bet_on_the_prince said...

I'd add this, too:

Realize that the first few weeks or even months you are going to be one hell of a bundle of emotions. It is PERFECTLY normal to feel like having a child was the worst mistake of your life one moment and then be so infatuated with your child the next.