I am going through pregnancy blues, did I mention, baby #2 is on the way?! These days I am stuck in a thick daze of all-day sickness (because it should NOT be called "morning sickness"), headaches and very low energy while dealing with a non-stop threenager (that's exactly what she is). In thinking about this new chapter I am about to embark on, I was transported, to what seems like forever ago, to when my little Lola was just a wee little thing. I know we make incessant claims to how fast time can pass but having a baby just puts a clear stamp on this.. It zooms by very VERY fast! I was thinking about what I have learned in these past three years and what advice I can share with a future or soon-to-be mommy and here are some VIT (very important things, haha) to keep in mind:
Be flexible w ur own rules - Yes, I know you will never use a pacifier. Breastfeeding will undoubtedly be the best and most stress-free experience of your life with baby. Of course tablets and tv shouldn't exist for your child. I understand that a part of getting ready for parenthood is reading up on the many, many things you will be embarking on and the do's and dont's of what will help you have the most perfect parenting experience (and let's not forget the much solicited info on what will supposedly cause some lasting negative impact on your baby). I cannot say this enough, be flexible with your own rules. Becoming a parent is by far one of the most trying, exhausting, stressful and gratifying experiences but, you will drive yourself nuts (especially at the beginning) if you aren't forgiving of those big "Not's" you find yourself struggling not to do.
Sleep when they sleep - You remember how you have this crazy schedule that doesn't allow for your apartment to be as tidy as you want it to be? Well, watch out, it's about to get crazier. Fight that urge (if you still have the energy) and sleep when that baby sleeps because you don't know when you will have the opportunity for some shut eye. I know it sounds super cliche, but newborns are very unpredictable (well, maybe kids in general) so take advantage of the few minutes or, if you are lucky, hours and get some rest. You'll really need to function now that you are taking care of another human being.
Set a visiting schedule - I remember way back when, the onslaught of visitors we had, some great help, others inopportune. Don't get me wrong, we were super appreciative of the love but when you are getting used to the whirlwind your life has just become and you want to sleep when the baby sleeps, visits are not top of mind. There is nothing wrong with setting a schedule. Personally, I know a lot of people that are quite clueless about having a child and would greatly appreciate having a designated day/time to help ease the stress of a newborn.
Don't be super mom (or dad) - As much as you want to nurture and care for your child in the most perfect way (that only you know how to provide), you will come crashing down because sleep deprivation can totally take a number on you. Accept the help! Allow your partner to take on an equal role and change diapers, feed and burp. I know soon you will be alone during your leave while they are off to work but remember that just like they have to function to perform their role, so do you. Come to terms with the fact that each of you will have your own way of doing certain things and let it go. Fast forward to two or three years down the road, when you have a screaming toddler because only Mami can bathe her, only Mami can read her a night time story or only Mami can put her down, you will wish you could go back and lose the grip on the reins.
I am definitely going to take my own advice for this next rodeo ;-)