Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Advice to New Moms

Lately, I've been reflecting on parenting advice.  People gave me all kinds, and they still continue to do so.  Most of it was really helpful.  The best advice came from my mother-in-law, Janice.  She told me to let my kids be kids and not to turn everything into a competition.  As a former kindergarten teacher, I really value her input.  She said the only thing my kids need to know by the time they start school is how to use the potty.  That really takes the pressure off of me!

Some of it left me puzzled. For instance, one email from a parenting website informed me I should not watch tv, read a magazine, or even lose eye contact with my newborn while feeding her.  WHAT???  A mom would go insane if she were this devoted to her newborn.  Also puzzling was the ol' "sleep when the baby sleeps" line.  Yep, sleep when she sleeps, only if you have a live-in maid and full-time chef around to do your chores...

Daddy sleeping while Haley sleeps
A handful of advice only left me feeling more guilty and less adequate.  You hear time and time again, "Enjoy each moment because it passes by too quickly."  Guilty City to a new mom!  At least, to me, as I wasn't really enjoying a whole lot of the new mommy role I dove into.

Want my been there, done that/real world/be more specific advice?  Here goes:

1.  Buy batteries.  Lots of batteries.  Costco size packages of batteries.  When your new bundle of joy's musical aquarium stops playing in the middle of the night, those elusive C batteries will be your saving grace.
That smile turns to cries when her aquarium doesn't work!

2.  When the going gets tough, the tough gets going for a walk.  Yep, there is nothing like a little fresh air to calm the nerves for both of you.  When I was at my wit's end, I would throw both girls in their stroller and go outside.  It seemed to help...

3.  Tell your husband you will be delusional for at least 6 months after giving birth.  Sleep deprivation + raging hormones = cranky momma.  You reach a point where you have to take it out on someone.  Unfortunately, my husband was that "someone" for me.  All he had to do was sleep in an extra 15 minutes on Saturday to put me over the edge.  Before the baby comes, make a pact that neither of you will speak to a divorce lawyer until you both get a solid 8 hours of sleep for a week straight.

4.  Collect menus from every restaurant in the area.  Order takeout as often as your budget allows.  Use that extra time you saved from not cooking dinner to get some sleep!

5.  Don't stress about breastfeeding.  This may be stepping on some toes, but it just isn't worth the guilt if you aren't Bessie the Cow.  Some of my friends loved breastfeeding.  More power to them!  Just keep in mind, none of our parents and over 75% of our generation turned out just fine being fed evaporated milk and formula.

6.  Speaking of formula, don't be embarrassed to use coupons!  Sign up at and, and they will send you great ones.  Also, try to use coupons everytime you buy diapers.  Sign up at,, and   Speaking from a retail employee's prospective, EVERYONE uses coupons on diapers and formula.

Anyone have anything else to add??


Barrett said...

I totally agree! In the words of Erik B and Rakim, don't sweat the technique. You're just winging it and doing the best you can. We still sit back and ask each other if we're doing a good job.

I've learned to question anyone who takes an unwavering hard-line stance on something. The breast-feeding nazis had a big hand in that. I don't have anything against breastfeeding, but I do take umbrage to the guilt trips.

Ali said...



Team Seghs said...

THIS is great advice!!! (why didn't I read this when Harper was 7 weeks and I was at the peak of my insanity!)