New Mom to New Mom: Stop Reading the internet and other things that will keep you sane during your first year as a parent
Stop reading the internet. No seriously. Stop reading the internet. I know it seems like a good idea to google everything and the more research you do the better off you’re going to be, right? Wrong. So wrong. The only thing the internet actually does is scare the shit out of you. The diaper rash your child has? Deadly. The sex you’re not having because you’re sleep deprived (and, ahem, just pushed a baby out of your vagina)? Marriage suicide. The non-organic vegetables you’ve decided to feed your baby? You may as well be giving him razorblades to eat. Keep in mind that the internet is filled with women who had a friend of a friend who’s kid got sick because he ate a vegetable that contained a pesticide that he was severely allergic to but that’s the exception, not the rule. And the chance that you’re the elusive unicorn is pretty implausible. You’re the regular old horse and that’s fine, too. The internet can be so good for so many other things: puppy videos, being one, that you really don’t need to Google everything. Watch the cute puppy try to climb the stairs for the first time and save the child advice for the doctors. Which brings me to my next point…
Don’t listen to everything the doctor says. One of my husband’s favorite lines is “what happened to the fifth doctor? They always say 4 out of 5 doctors recommend…” And he’s right. I have three friends that had babies within three months of each other and their pediatrician’s give them different suggestions than my pediatrician. Hell, one of my friend’s takes her son to the SAME pediatric office as I do and we still get conflicting information. I love my pediatrician but when she told me that I needed to “let him cry it out,” I wanted to punch her in the face. Don’t take everything at face value, listen to what works for you and do that.
Keep your ears open and your mouth shut when it comes to other new moms. The irony of me spewing advice to new moms while telling you not to listen to other new moms, is not lost on me. That being said: don’t listen to what other new moms are saying. Newsflash: they have not done this before either. Unless they have a gaggle of kids that they’ve raised from infancy, they have no room to give you advice on how to raise your child. The competiveness between new moms these days is gut-wrenching and at the end of the day, we are all trying to keep our new babies alive, well, and happy. If at the end of the day I have a sleeping baby, a happy husband and a clean kitchen, I feel like I have done pretty damn well for myself. It doesn’t matter that my son is sleeping next to me on the couch so my husband can get some sleep. That’s neither here nor there. I have succeeded in my mind. End of story.
When registering avoid all of the shiny, expensive things that you just need to have. Don’t tell my husband this because it will give him way too much satisfaction but he was right about not needing a lot of the stuff we registered for. Now, I’ll never say that out loud because, well, I still like a lot of different things that he says we don’t need and would still like to buy them even so. But you know those really expensive swings that the stores put at the end of the aisle because it’s all the rage? They look like a saucer and are upwards of $300? Yeah, you don’t need that. In fact, our son didn’t even like it and we used it a handful of times. The big expensive running stroller that everyone needs, again upwards of $300 (actually more like $400), you don’t need that either. You’ll use it and it’s great but when all is said and done, you need something safe and something that allows you to get in and out of the car quickly and that can maneuver nicely through aisles of the grocery store; this stroller does neither. Do you know how many diapers you can buy with $400?
My final piece of advice? Diapers. Ahh, diapers. I’m a hippy at heart but lack the motivation and drive to be against so many different issues. I love the environment and animals but I also like convenience and steak so I’m between a rock and a hard place, really. The super expensive diapers that are all-natural, disintegrate quicker in a land-fill, and are made by blind monks (I made that last part up) are an all-natural waste of money. Pampers are great. Use them. The organic diapers sound nice. They have an adorable baby on the box that tells you these are the best ever! When it comes down to it, they are scratchy, they don’t absorb a lot and will give your child a really bad diaper rash if you don’t change them EVERY time they pee (do you know how many times a baby pees a day? A lot.) and don’t get me started on the amount of time I have spent cleaning up poop that spews out of the side of these all-natural diapers because they absorb as much as a Q-tip. Seriously. Save yourself the time, energy and pretty penny, and buy the regular old diapers.