I. Accept any and all help
If you would have told me three years ago that I’d be the kind of new mom who felt she had to do everything herself, I would have laughed so hard at you I would’ve farted, laughed even harder, farted even harder and then finished chugging my comically large glass of wine. But let me tell you, the second I heard my first born’s screams, it felt like they were physically tearing into me, causing me to whisk him away from whomever was nice enough to try to give me a much-needed break. I felt like I HAD to be the one to comfort him.
But this time? Good luck getting me to even take him/her back. My immunity to cries is nearly impenetrable.
2. Breastfeed in public
I’ll be honest. I’m probably the biggest breastfeeding in public advocate you will ever meet who has never actually breastfed in public. I always wanted to. I always meant to. But my son and I never quite mastered the smooth and barely perceptible mouth to boob maneuver. It was more like an awkward five minutes of fumbling, the breastfeeding equivalent of a freshman trying to unsnap his first bra. So I always chickened out and brought a bottle with us.
But I refuse to be intimidated this time. It’s just a boob. It’s not like I’m showing off my ankles like some kind of two-bit hussy.
3. Not worry about how fast I can drop the baby weight
I’ll lose it eventually. But there’s a only a small-ish window of time after having a baby that you can get away with still wearing maternity clothes and I plan to stretch that window to the limits of human decency.
4. Remember that crying is not indicative of my skills as a parent
And by crying, I mean both by the baby and by me.
5. Prepare the coffee the night before
The only thing that takes longer than labor and delivery is the amount of time it takes to separate coffee filters at 3:30 in the morning while you’re holding a hungry and screaming newborn against your leaking boobs that have transformed into rock hard (and painful) granite overnight. Life with a newborn would improve a thousand times over if I can only remember to take 90 seconds and set up the coffeemaker before I go to bed.
6. Stop worrying if I’m posting too many photos of my baby online
I am. Of course I am. I one hundred percent am. But who cares!? I created life, jerkwads! Look at it! I SAID LOOK AT IT!
7. Stop apologizing for being moody and hormonal
Am I being irrational? *hurls Diaper Genie at your face* Maybe. But my only job right now is keeping this tiny, demanding infant alive. And I have to do it with 20,000 tons of weapons-grade hormones hurling themselves through my exhausted body. So I can’t always be polite about it. Everyone should just automatically assume I don’t really mean it when I call them a “useless idiotic assface.”
8. Share every single intimate (and disgusting) aspect of my baby’s existence a little less
As a new mom, it’s impossible not to be obsessed with your baby. But it’s important to remember that even though to you, lil’ junior’s poop color and consistency is the most fascinating story you’ve encountered since you finished reading “Infinite Jest,” everyone else doesn’t give a crap (pun COMPLETELY intended). Even your partner and the grandmothers can only take so much. Practice in front of the mirror if you must:
“How is the baby?”
“Well, he’s kind of really mangled my left nipple with his overly vigorous sucking so right now he’s just drinking from the right breast so I’m a little concerned he’s not getting enough to eat although the doctor said as long as his poop is consistent there is no reason to worry but then he got that butt rash…I mean, he’s doing fine. How are you?”
And here are a few things I’ll do exactly the same…
- Skip laundry, let the dishes pile up and order pizza for dinner just so I can spend one more hour lounging on the couch while my newborn sleeps on my chest. I just made a human and I’ll be damned if I don’t make time to enjoy it.
- Continue to dress my baby in whatever ragtag outfit is the most diaper accessible. Cute, unstained, matching clothes are for creatures that don’t vomit and poop every 26 minutes.
- Trust my instincts. Everyone told me this before I became a mother and I thought every single one of them was insane. I barely had enough instinct to keep myself alive. But lo and behold, when I popped that gigantic Viking baby out, those instincts kicked in and they have yet to steer me wrong (introducing him to that little red demon Elmo notwithstanding).