Unfortunately, the hard way seems to be the way that I learn everything. Sometimes I wonder if God gave me a bit of stubbornness for His own entertainment :). On the bright side, when I do learn a lesson, I really LEARN it. So I thought I would share with you all, especially expecting mothers, some of the things I learned the hard way in pregnancy and motherhood:
- When suffering with baby brain, ALWAYS check and make sure that you are wearing pants before leaving the house…
- When your doctor tells you to eat nutritiously during your pregnancy and try to get some exercise, actually do it. Unless you want to gain 55 lbs. You will want to hit your doctor in the face and say something like, “Are you carrying a human in your body? Oh you’re not? Well ok then. Shut it.” You will also want to allow yourself to eat things like pizza and Chipotle for every meal followed up by warm brownie and ice cream deliciousness. By all means, allow yourself to enjoy pregnancy cravings- that may be the only fun part of pregnancy! But also know this, 55 lbs does not just melt away after baby.
- While pregnant, SLEEP! All the time, any time, whenever you can. You will feel more tired than normal, give into that! Once you have the baby, it’s all over (sleep that is). Or if you’re like me, at the end of your 3rd trimester it’s over. And think, once you get pregnant with baby #2 (should you have the desire or ability to do so), you will not be able to do this since you have another child. So in your first pregnancy, SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP! You are not being lazy. You are being smart.
- Enjoy as much “you” time as you can before baby comes. Go to a movie by yourself, read at a coffee shop, go on dates with your significant other, and hang out with your girls! Once baby is here, those times are much more difficult to make happen. Live it up! Do all the things you love doing 🙂
- Make sure you know how to work the car seat, adjust the straps, etc. before going to the hospital. Otherwise, you may be in the hospital parking lot for what feels like hours not knowing what to do and the hospital has a policy that they cannot help with car seats for liability reasons. Then you’re left questioning why God would ever let someone as incompetent as yourself ever be responsible for this little life in your hands…
- Also make sure you have your bassinet/sleeping place for your baby is set up before you return from the hospital. Or that you at least know how to assemble it. Otherwise, once again, you will be left questioning your parenting abilities and may or may not have a massive meltdown. And your husband may or may not wonder what the heck he has gotten himself into when both his wife and his baby are inconsolable (at the same time).
- When going to the grocery store or Target, be sure to park beside the Cart Return! Or at least as close to one as possible
- Don’t be afraid to ask your friends without children if you can hangout at your place, be flexible with the meeting time, or meet somewhere in the middle. Unless you think you’ll enjoy waking up your infant, driving 25+ minutes away having them fall asleep in the car 10 minutes before you arrive (which wakes them up), having a grumpy infant at the restaurant, leaving for another 25+ minute drive home where once again your infant falls asleep right before getting home, having to wake them up again, and then having a miserable remainder of your day. It’s not worth it. And friends are a lot more understanding then you may give them credit for. People understand that your life has changed (or they should, at least), so you don’t have to act like it hasn’t.
- When going shopping, do not bring your baby in a baby carrier unless it’s a short trip. You may end up having to use the bathroom. Talk about an awkward situation. Can’t put your baby on the bathroom floor… don’t want to, eh hem, use the bathroom with your baby attached to you… see the dilemma? Yea… learned that one yesterday.
- Always make sure you have everything needed to make coffee (Filters, coffee, creamer, splenda, etc)! Trust me, you do not want to wake up at 6am after having been up throughout the night to find out that you are not able to make a
cuppot of coffee.
- Don’t read 238909348 parenting books. You’ll only become 238909348 times more confused. But do buy “Baby 411.” It has an index for things like, “my baby seems to be pooping a lot, is this normal?”
- Be confident in yourself. Sure you’ll make some mistakes, it’s impossible to be a perfect parent. But God designed you to be who you are, and He chose you to be this baby’s mother. Be yourself and concern yourself more with how to point your child to God and His grace more than about how to “do things right.”
Other moms out there, what would you add to the list? Please comment below 🙂