Mom WoW- The Newbie Mom

Please welcome Suzanne from Already Right Where I Belong as she offers up her words of wisdom on being a new mom!
Hot new momma, right there!

Already Right Where I Belong

I got really excited when Nicole asked me to do a guest blog and then I thought "OMG I have nothing to say!"  Then I thought "OMG I have a TON to say."  Then I thought "OMG I hope I don't come off as an ass."  And then I thought "Whatever I’m going for it."  That was all in the span of about 20 seconds.  Anyway, the lovely Nicole asked me to talk about Being a New Mom.  Well, I am right in the thick of "New Mom-ness" what with my 4 month old and all. 
Do you die over those cheeks or do you die?  I DIE!
I have learned so much in the last few months and it is incredible how much of it was just like "well of course that is what I'd do."  However, it is even more incredible how much of it was like "WTF IS GOING ON I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO!"  Anyway, here are some of my tidbits of what I've learned over the last few months.

1)  Trust Your Gut - So, I am pretty sure that the nurses at my pediatrician’s office know me by my voice.  While some parents only go to their ped's office for well-baby visits, we have been for the following reasons: At about 3 weeks, his poop turned green (it was fine, normal, natural and nothing to cause concern); At about 5 weeks because we went to my cousin's pep rally at her middle school and he slept through the entire thing so I was convinced he couldn't hear (we got a hearing test, he can totally hear and just still had a very young and immature nervous system); Well baby visit (I went with a list of questions); He was sick with RSV (This was after I made two weekend phone calls); Check in after he had been using his nebulizer for a few days and hadn’t really changed.  That is a LOT of visits.   Also, you know when your baby needs to cry a little and when you need to swoop in and get him/her.  Trust your gut and even if you feel silly calling the doctor, you’ll be happy to be reassured.

2) “Thanks for your concern.” – If you are or have been pregnant, you know that everyone you come across will tell you what to do and how to do it and what you’ll do wrong and  you will never even have asked their opinion.  About once a week, I had someone tell me how much I would hate working after the baby was born and how I would want to quit my job and stay home with the babe.  Well, that wasn’t true. I am a worker. I like to work. I like to feel like I’m doing something.  I spent a shit-ton of money (sorry for the cursing, but I need to be that emphatic) getting my degrees and damn it I am going to use them.  Well, I got laid off really soon after coming back from maternity leave (is that typically legal? No.  Did it happen in a way that makes it legal? Yes.  If you want the specifics I’ll give them to you, but I’m not going into it).  Anyway, the best thing I learned to say was something along the lines of “OH thanks!  I appreciate it.” Or “Thanks for your concern.”  When really, all I wanted to say was “F OFF!” (I just censored myself which I rarely do, but don’t know how Nicole feels about it and don’t want to offend anyone else who may or may not have issues with excessive cursing.  You come to Nicole’s blog to read her words, not mine. You can find me cursing on my blog haha).  No matter what, people will give you unsolicited advice.  Take what you want/find useful and think about what color you’ll get on your next pedicure or your grocery list or how good a margarita would be right now when the others are blabbering on.  (What?  Just me?)  For example, I had a woman give me parenting advice left and right while I was all knocked up. (Yes, I am married. Yes, he was planned.  Yes, I still call it knocked up sometimes.)  I did not respect this woman as a parent so I would typically just think of other things and throw in the perfunctory “Oh ya, thanks.” and other phrases of the sort when she would talk. 

3) Nursing is great, but it will hurt, but then it will get better. – I thought something was terribly wrong when I started nursing because it hurt like a bitch!  I mean, I had sore, raw, cracked nipples.  My kid is a very fast nurser with a very strong latch.  Man, it hurt . . . for about a week or two and then it just didn’t.  I, being the slightly OCD person I am, did so much research before I gave birth about everything, including nursing.  And the one thing I read over and over was “If it hurts, you’re not doing it right.”  Well ya, like WEEKS down the road.  However, when you start out, IT FREAKIN HURTS!  Like “OMG NIPPLES ARE GOING TO FALL OFF AND DIE!!!”  But, like I said, it goes away.  I made good friends with the lactation consultants from the hospital where I delivered (their services are free if you delivered at that hospital) and called them regularly during those first few weeks.  They were life savers.  Also good things: Mother Love’s Nipple butter, Ameda hydro gels and some good old fashioned ibuprofen. 

4) Find “new mom: friends. – After my first trimester, I joined a prenatal yoga class and ended up with a couple friends from that class.  I also met a woman through Junior League who was a couple weeks ahead of me.  These women have become invaluable to me.  When you have grown kids/kids who haven’t been babies for a while you forget shit.  You forget that most babies don’t sleep through the night at two weeks (see above re “Thanks for your concern” to learn how to deal with these assholes).  You forget that things just happen.  When you have friends who have little ones, you get to go through things together.  It’s great.  Plus, you get to have play dates where moms gossip and just have adult conversations while babies do what babies do.  Trust me, you will want this.
Mom friends are the Best!
5) Newborn Clothes are BS! – Seriously, my kid was in his “newborn” clothes for about 2 weeks.  Granted, my 4 month old (as of January 6) is a GIANT (seriously, he’s close if not already to 20 pounds and like 26 inches.  GIANT!).  However, please don’t waste your money on a TON of newborn clothes.  If you have plenty of 0-3, those will suffice.  They may be a little big on your sweet babe at first, but they will quickly become “just right.”  Also, don’t pay attention on the “month” sizes on clothes.  Figure out what the sizes mean and go off of that.  For example, for Carter’s fleece jammies (which are THE BEST EVER), 9 month fits 16.5-20.5 pounds and 26.5-28.5 inches.  Now, I find that you can get a bit more wear out of these clothes than that, but seriously, focus on bigger clothes and just roll the sleeves/pants.

6) Google and Baby sites are your frenemies! – Asking what is going on with your baby will cause you to realize that everything is perfectly normal or cause you to believe the worst case scenario. If you’re freaked out, please refer to #1 above and call your ped.

7) Your baby will have opinions and MAKE THEM KNOWN – My sweet baby boy knows what he wants and damn it he will demand it.  If he is wet and we don’t get to it on the first “eh eh” whines, we are on the express train to Meltdown City; population: Me, B and LB; run by a little 20 pound dictator who rules with a piercing scream.  Learn your babe’s preferences and what they like/don’t like then live by it.  We were lucky that LB would take just about any bottle so long as there was milk.  However, he hated pacifiers until just a few weeks or so ago and even then he only likes 2, as in 2 pacis of the same type.

8) Speaking of preferences – It’s ok to take a pic of your baby’s fit before comforting him/her – Seriously, after a few months, you will start to laugh when your little one starts throwing a fit.  I’m so serious, it gets funny.  B and I have spent so much time making LB’s fuss face (along with all of his other faces) at each other and just rolling with laughter.  So for as much as this face is sweet:

This face is hilarious:

P.S. I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS go and comfort my baby after the photos.  Sometimes he is just ridiculous though.

9) Schedules are gold. – It is damn near impossible to start a schedule until, at the earliest, about halfway through the second month.  I let LB lead our schedule, but I watch the clock and make sure he goes down when he first starts showing tired signs.  I also make sure to stimulate him with play and books and talking as much as I can when he’s awake. 

10) You can never take too many photos or videos. – My boy is so tired of having his photo taken, but I will never tire of it. I have over 1000 photos of my kiddo already and he isn’t quite 4 months old. 

11) Get out of the house – I go to the grocery store and run other errands every Saturday.  That is my “me” time and I covet it.  I love my son and my husband more than anything, but sometimes, I need some “me” time and when I don’t get to run my errands, I get antsy.

I am sure there is so much more, but I can’t think of it right now and you are probably thinking “UGH won’t this broad just shut up!”  However, if you can’t get enough of me/want to ask me anything else, come on over to my little spot on the internet or email me at suzanne (dot) r (dot) Phillips (at) gmail (dot) com.


Lindsey said...

What great tips! Thanks or sharing! And your little guy is adorable!!!

Danielle-Marie said...

This is all really great advice! I especially wish I had known better than to "google" things when I was a new mother haha. You live, you learn I guess!