One thing that blew me away (and continues to blow me away) is the amount of unsolicited advice given to me starting the nanosecond I announced my pregnancy this time last year in January 2013. Now, I'm by no means an expert on parenting. In fact, I would venture to say that there have been more days in the last 6 months and 9 days where I am convinced that I know absolutely nothing about anything than there have been in my entire life. So, there's that. I'm not trying to be a know-it-all.
Just wanted to share with you guys my little bambino of inspiration for this post, Beulah (whom we affectionately call Boo, Bizzou, Shmaroo, B, etc.) I love her so much, we are so lucky to be her parents.
Yes, she is making a silly face in this picture, and that is ok because she is silly just like her mama.
Anyway, back to all the advice I got. Some of it made me roll my eyes, some of it made me grateful for not being the first of my friends to have a kid (because not all advice was unsolicited, ya heard!?!), some it made me want to rip someone's face off (woah, woahhhhh. i kid.) A majority of the advice I was told I heard, I understood, I concurred.... but I didn't get it. It didn't sink in. I didn't really process it.
Five things I was told or heard about babies/parenting that is absolutely legit.
1. SLEEP NOW WHILE YOU CAN. To all of those people whose babies started sleeping through the night at 4 weeks, stop reading right here. Because all of you people need to come to my house and spend the night and wake up with my precious little cherub as she wants to party all night. And I don't like you very much because I am insanely jealous. But in all seriousness, I haven't had a nap or slept in or slept more for 4 hours consecutively in about 6 months. Well I take that back, I have, but I can count those instances on one hand. So, sleep. Sleeeeeeeeeeeep. Because who knows when you will ever be able to sleep again.
2. A BABY DOES NOT FIX A RELATIONSHIP. Now, I am very blessed and lucky that this advice was not ever said to me directly, but I have heard it from many people when talking in general. My relationship with my wonderful husband is wonderful. However, having had a baby and also thankfully having a great relationship with my husband, I cannot imagine how much difficult things would be if my marriage/relationship was on the way down the pooper. Things are stressed enough when you are sleep deprived, you've hand washed a trillion bottles that day, and you've had to rewash the clothes in the washing machine because you keep forgetting to throw them in the dryer. A baby would do the opposite of fixing any relationship on the rocks.
3. ANIMALS WILL TAKE A HIT IN THE PECKING ORDER. BB (Before Boo), I posted pictures all over Instagram and Facebook of me and my animals snuggled up wherever we were in the house, and now sometimes I just need them to LEAVE ME (the fffff) ALONE! Now, I'm not one of those crappy people who stop loving their animals when they have babies. Those people are messed up. Or even worse, people who give their animals away because the burden of taking care of all these dependent things is too much. Those people are irresponsible, selfish and have a special place in the fire and flames for giving away their animals. But, they do go down a couple notches on the totem pole. They. just. do. You still love them, just as much as before, but there is someone else demanding (sometimes very loudly) your love and attention, and that someone is your new little baby.
4. STAY AT HOME MOM = HARDEST JOB EVER. I sometimes wonder how the addition of such a small little person has SO multiplied the amount of laundry. Her clothes are so small. Why am I doing laundry every. single. day? I am not going to lie to you. I thought of my maternity leave - "sweet!!!!! I will have some time to get refreshed on life, rejuvenated, get back into a workout routine, and bond with my sweet baby. We will look at bright pictures in board books, I will wear her everywhere so I can continue doing everything I was doing before, and when she naps during the day, I will." PSHHHTTT. All of that, aside from the bonding part, is a damn lie. LIE, I tell you. I have worked out maybe 2 times (aside from taking her out for walks in the stroller) since she was born. You want to know why? Because if she is sleeping, I have laundry to do, reports to write (for work), dishes to put away, maybe I'll even take a shower.
5. SLEEP WHEN SHE/HE SLEEPS. When I heard this, I thought that this piece of advice was a no-brainer. People who gave me this advice would always preface it with "I never did, but..." and that is exactly what I will say to you today. Because it all goes back to number 1 - Sleep while you can!!! In those early days, I absolutely should have taken advantage of her newbie desire to sleep all day. But I was too busy facebooking pictures of her, or just holding her and staring at her. Those things are wonderful and important too (maybe not the facebook part), but I should have definitely done more sleeping. Because now, her naps are 2 hours at BEST, and usually half that time. and I would love to sleep while she naps but truly there is just too much to do! Sometimes I do take this advice though, and it is pretty glorious.
There are countless more pieces of advice that I could post about, but these seem to be the ones I hear ringing in my ears as I do my day-to-day stuff. And if you gave me advice, don't think that I was pissed the whole time you were sharing tips with me! Chances are, if you have access to this blog, I was grateful for your advice.