Writer, Editor, Stand-Up Comedian

What you don’t read in the baby books

Posted: October 5th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Editorial | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Two women I know are embarking on first-time motherhood and it got me thinking: what are some of the things I wish I knew when I was about to have a child?

Maybe the number one thing was that some of those old wives’ tales are true. Every time I look at my very round belly I think, “Why didn’t I band my belly like my big sister told me to?” The short answer, of course, is that I thought that idea was rubbish. Muscle springs back once the baby’s out, doesn’t it? (Uh, no, it don’t.) The truth is unless you’re into some kind of regular exercise with an intense ab workout component, you’re going to end up with at the very least a pooch, or in the worst case, a pot belly. Band it. It won’t kill you.

Breast feeding is not over rated. Do it for as long as you can. It’s the best thing for the baby, it’s cheaper than formula, it’s less work and more sanitary and it’s definitely better for the environment. Breast feeding also helps with your post-partum tummy. (See above.)

Relax. Motherhood is hard, hard, hard. Make sure you take time for yourself and get some sleep. Don’t make your job or husband a priority right now. They’ll keep. The baby needs a lot of attention and he or she will get it, but you won’t unless you make yourself a priority.

You’ll miss stuff in The World while you’re getting used to being a mother. Even when the kids get big, it might happen. Don’t worry about it too much; The World will still be there when you are able to and interested in going to see what it’s up to.

Love your baby. Trust me, this is harder than it sounds sometimes….

Get support. Your mom, in-laws, friends etc will all be lining up to help you. Don’t be proud, and don’t let their alternate ideas on parenting put you off accepting their help. Gently but firmly let them know what you prefer, but by all means let them come and help. It makes life a million times easier.

Babies are expensive. But the money always comes.

What are some of the things you experienced parents out there learned about that you wish you’d known when you were a first-timer?

5 Comments on “What you don’t read in the baby books”

  1. 1 Sean Douglas said at 10:40 pm on October 5th, 2010:

    Disposable diapers are expensive, and no modern young woman wants to wash cloth diapers.

  2. 2 lise said at 5:16 am on October 6th, 2010:

    I did! They have their own expense, in terms of time. But I would definitely recommend cloth over disposable, or a mix of the two rather than disposable alone, if the parents have the time or enough help to use cloth.

  3. 3 Janelle said at 4:41 pm on October 6th, 2010:

    Cloth diapers are worth their weight in gold if you plan to have another and the ever popular blow out is much less likely with cloth.

    Don’t forget that there needs to be time with dad, it’s not hard to make baby your focus but it is very easy to forget that he also needs your time.

    The first few years go by WAY too quickly, sounds cliche but it’s true. If you have the option to be there don’t even think twice jump at the chance because you’ll miss it before you blink and long for it when it’s gone.

    Don’t waste time longing for the next developmental milestone, enjoy each one that you are in, you’ll miss them when they’re over.

    I could probably keep going but I’ll stop here. The fact is motherhood is the most important job you’ll ever do and you only get a few short years to do it. Enjoy every single moment (including the crying ones), you’ll only have the memories when it’s over, so make as many as you can.

  4. 4 Giselle said at 4:47 pm on October 8th, 2010:

    Taking LOADS of pictures is not unnatural. I got teased a lot, but when I look at them now, I would have it no other way. EACH picture brings a smile, a laugh, a feeling that only I understand. That’s why I took the pic in the first place. :)))

  5. 5 lise said at 4:57 am on October 9th, 2010:

    Good point… and a co-point: don’t FORGET to take pictures. LOL.

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