September 23, 2011

Things I wish people told me

As every expecting mother or a mother of an infant will tell you, once you spill the beans that you are expecting/have a young child, others immediately become baby-having experts. Unsolicited advice falls upon you like a hammer and there is NOTHING you can do about it:
  • "To induce labor, try castor oil/spicy food/sex/walking/standing on your head/breakdancing/squats/eat eggplant/etc., etc., etc. By the way, NONE of those things worked for me.
  • "Give your baby cereal right away and they will sleep through the night!" (actually, research proves that there is no correlation between babies that are given cereal earlier and sleeping through the night, SO THERE. The established recommendation for introducing solids is 4-6 months so THAT'S WHAT I'M DOING AND KNOCK IT OFF WITH THE CEREAL NONSENSE.) ...Can you tell this is one of my pet peeves?
  • "You can't tell how much the baby is getting to eat while you're nursing. If you gave her a bottle you'd know." Every time I heard this one I thought my head would explode.
  • "Just let her cry it out. She's manipulating you and just wants to be held." Um, no. Just no. I HAAAAATE this advice.
  • "That baby looks cold. Put some socks on those feet." SHUT UP. IT'S JULY.
  • "Letting your baby stand on her feet too soon will cause her to go bowlegged." (pshhh.)
  • The list goes on and on.
Don't get me wrong, I will take unsolicited advice from people who are well-meaning and provide FACTS. Don't give me old wives tales. Don't give me "well it worked for my kid so it should DEFINITELY work for yours." Let's not forget: I have the diva baby. What worked for your kid and 1,000 other kids will probably make my kid's head spin off. Figuratively speaking.

Instead, these are the things I wish people told me:
  • If you are lucky enough to induce labor on your own, you are just lucky. And that's it. In all likelihood, your body just went into labor on its own and you had nothing to do with it.
  • There are no medals for going "med-free." I, personally, had a hard time with this one because I wound up on narcotics, anesthetics, all kinds of fun stuff and wanted so desperately to have as little medical intervention as possible.
  • Breasfeeding doesn't come naturally to everyone and not every baby "nurses like a champ. (gah!)" The recommended one year of nursing is a long shot for a lot of mothers.
  • If your baby sleeps better on his or her tummy, let them sleep there. But be vigilant. SIDS is a serious risk.
  • Sleeping when the baby sleeps is IMPOSSIBLE. I will never give this advice to anyone. There will always be something better to do. Just get used to being a zombie creature.
  • No stain remover, laundry detergent, or gift from God will remove certain poop stains (gross, I know, but there will be poop on her clothes. And most likely on you). Put those soiled clothes out in the sun after a good wash and 99% of the time those stains will disappear. Okay, maybe the sun does count as a gift from God.
  • That nursery you spent all that time and money on? If your baby isn't sleeping in there from the get-go you won't spend any significant time in there for WEEKS.
  • It is okay to go out once in a while and have someone you trust watch the baby. It will save your sanity, and in the end a happy mommy is a happy baby.
There are plenty more, but princess just woke up from her nap and is demanding my presence.

So to my mommy friends out there...what kind of unsolicited advice did you get? What kind of advice would you give an expecting/new mom, since you've been "in the trenches?"

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