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If you've had a baby, then chances are you've had a baby shower.  I had a lovely baby shower.  My mother threw it for me at her house.  We had it outside by the pool - and even though it was early August in Northern Virginia - the breeze was blowing, and the booze was flowing.

Sidenote:  Don't have a baby shower without booze.  The pregnant lady may not be able to drink, but if you are going to force other people to sit in 100 degree heat and Oooh and Ahhhh about little pink outfits for two hours...Make sure their half lite while they are doing it.

My sister gave me a scrapbook at the end of the day, with pictures that she took throughout the day of all the guests that had come - with little "words of advice" that each had written for me - tucked near their picture.  All of them were really nice...really they were.  And at the time, I'm sure I read each every one of them and tried to burn them into memory.  Most of the women that were there were already mothers, so I just KNEW that they knew something that I didn't.

However, five years later, I still haven't been able to take most of that advice.  For example:

Someone said..."Sleep when the baby sleeps".  Yea, I never did that.  I watched the baby sleep. Amazed that I had a baby.  And terrified that if I fell asleep she wouldn't wake up.  That just isn't advice I could take.

Someone else said...."You aren't your mother. Your house WILL be a mess"  Yea, that didn't work either. I still clean as much as I can, and I have an obsession with wicker baskets to keep all the crap hidden away.

My kid sister is currently growing a person - ready to blow any minute - so I've decided to give her some REAL advice.  None of this ooey gooey crap. Real sage advice that she can take to the bank.

*  Don't have a couch that has back cushions that can come off.  That shit is going to drive you crazy. Actually, if you can manage it - find a couch that goes ALL the way to the floor.  The amount of shit under my couch is disgusting.  Regardless of the amount of wicker baskets in my house.

*  Find a pediatrician that admits directly to the hospital and actually has PRIVILEGES at the hospital.  This will save you a lot of trouble if, God forbid, you ever end up there with double pneumonia.  Waiting 30 hours to see a doctor will give you an ulcer.  Trust me on this one.

*  You may sound like a bitch, but limit the amount of stuffed animals in your house.  What other people find cute, your child will probably find revolting and give him nightmares. I have trash bags full of teddy bears.  I will never end up as the crazy cat lady...but I run the risk of dying in my basement surrounded by 3000 teddy bears that I didn't know what to do with.  This rule also applies to legos and play doh.

*  I actually DO own a leash.  I don't CARE what people say. I have a child that runs. One day she and I will get past it, and some how I'm sure the 37th technique I try will work.  But for now - when we go to Disney, we use it. I sleep fine at night. The advice is:  If it works for you, go with it. Screw everyone else. 

*  If you have a funny feeling about your daycare. Trust it. Even if you are wrong - you lose nothing.

*  Right now you probably argue about money, or sex, or maybe who cleans the toilet.  Hell, maybe you don't argue about anything.  In a little while you are adding a person to the family. You WILL argue about that at some point in time.  Either diapers, or who gets up at 2:00 am, or just BECAUSE YOU FEEL LIKE IT. It's fine. It'll pass.

*  Don't watch Oprah. Or 60 Minutes. Under any circumstances Law & Order:SVU.  Or any show that involves children in bad situations. Basically just stick with the Food Network and Discovery Channel.

Any body else got anything? We want the good stuff y'all....


Margaret said...

It'll take about three months to get into a groove and really feel like you're getting the hang of it. And then the baby will decide that whatever schedule you adopted was silly and change it up on you. So just do WHATEVER WORKS. If it works to nurse your baby to sleep, don't let people make you feel bad. If your baby takes naps in your bed, HEY at least the baby is SLEEPING, right? Perspective!!!

Also, it takes a baby a good two months to learn what a smile is and when it's appropriately used. Until then, remember that that day is coming. And don't get discouraged after another hour of crying followed by more quizzical, smile-less looks. He/she loves you and needs you anyway.

mumma boo said...

1) Even if you plan on nursing, buy a couple of baby bottles and a can of formula. If the baby nurses like a champ, you can always donate it to the local food pantry. If, like both my kids, the baby looks at your breast and says WTF, then you already have it and don't need to send hubby on a mission, one in which he will bring home every kind of formula and 6 types of bottles.

2) As Margaret said, do whatever works best for you and your baby. Half the population will think you're the smartest mom ever and the other half will think you're a ninny, but you and your baby will be happy, and that's all that counts.

Good luck!

Brakes and Gas said...

You about covered it: I esspecially like the, "If it works for you, go with it. Screw everyone else." Along those lines: Try really hard to give other mothers a break. Don't judge; she is doing the best she can too. (Obviously judge freely is said mother is abusive, nasty, or looks suspiciously awake and pulled together with a brand new baby in tow. I kid. Mostly.)

Mad Woman said...

Do what works for YOU. Everyone else can shove it.

just making my way said...

I think you said it all with this line:

"If it works for you, go with it. Screw everyone else."


The only other thing I can add is, don't read too many baby books in the beginning - they can make you think you are doing everything wrong.

SmartAssMom said...

Fantastic list. I concur with everything. I'd add don't read any books! People that read books have expectations. No expectations is the way to go. Just follow your gut and do what works for you.

The Black*Bird said...

Ahahahaha! Funny! I agree, drunk people are way more fun!

Aunt Becky said...

Don't compare yourself to anyone else.

Anyone who judges you isn't worth your time. Fuck them.

kys said...

That was really good. I might add "Don't be a martyr. If you can't take it anymore, ask for help. If you are going crazy being home with the baby all the time, find a way to get some time for yourself." (I wish I'd hung up my cross when my oldest was small.)

PS I HATE stuffed animals. My MIL gave my son a stuffed giraffe that is as big as him for his 6th b-day. WTF?

Sandy said...

Whatever the stage is: sleeping too much, not enough, not crawling or walking, getting into everything - whatever, just know that it will change and the next stage will be something different to adjust to. Try to go with the flow whenever possible. You can never enjoy your child too much! I know you will do a great job.

Aunt Juicebox said...

I have no advice. I barely remember my daughter being a baby. I look at her know and think wth?

Cairo Typ0 said...

Hi, stopping by from BPOTW! :)

I was with you until you put the kabosh on lego. I still have all the lego i rec'd as gifts as a child. It's a great way to keep kids and husbands amused. :p

BPOTW said...

My only advice is this: If it won't matter a year from now, then it's not worth arguing about.

Belle said...

I'm not a mommy yet, but I'll take this real advice and burn it in my brain for later: Screw everybody else.
That has a nice ring to it...

Christine Bilek said...

Amen, Sister to the couch cushions one...seriously, my kids take the cushions off 10x a day, drives us bat-shit

get some rest before the baby comes, try to go on one last "date" while it's still just the two of you, stash some dinners in the freezer, and go with your gut!