My Unsolicited Advice for New Parents

Posted in Parenting by

A few weeks ago I met a nice young man who is excitedly expecting a baby. I held my tongue and refrained from sharing any sort of advice, comments, or anything that may make him more stressed than he already is.

But it made me wonder. What would I tell him if he were to honestly ask for my “expert advice.”

Off the top, this is what I came up with:

1. Sleep as much as you can now, because you won’t get to anymore.

I know! So obvious! It’s the one everybody talks about. And they tell you how exhausted you are all the time.

naptime cuddling nursing breastfeeding

But really. Seriously. You don’t know sleep deprivation until you have an infant. It’s a type of pain that effects you to your very core. And there is nothing you can do about it.

(Ignore the “sleep while they sleep” BS because it doesn’t work that way. Unless you don’t have to eat.)

2. If you have a sensitive gag reflux, attempt to prepare yourself now (whatever that entails). Kids are really gross!

Another obvious one. You may not wipe that snotty nose with your hand like some people I know, (ahem), but you’ll have to take care of it somehow.

Better put a huss on it too before the kid licks it off.

3. Take plenty of time off of work because recovery from birth is rough.

infant hospital recovery time

There are those amazing women that have easy births and they are out skiing the next day.

But for the other 99% of us, it will take time and it will be terrible. Just keep looking at that kiddo and remember why you are dealing with that pain, and why you have these wonderful meds.

And to anyone “dealing” with the recovering mama, tread lightly and do whatever she asks.

4. Spend alone time with your spouse -friends-significant other as much as you can.

Parenthood is 24/7. Even when you’re out and you have a sitter, your mind will be with the kid(s). This takes away the FULL enjoyment of being away.

You’ll still have fun while you’re out, it’s just, instead of talking about the incredible movie you just watched, one of you will wonder aloud whether the kids are sleeping or not. Just a heads up, they aren’t.

5. Kids are boring.

There. I said it.

They want to watch the same stupid movie over and over again, and they won’t even let you sing along.

Then they want you to read the book from the same movie.

6. Breastfeeding, if you choose to do it, sucks.

Ha. In more ways than one.

The excruciating pain of labor lasts one, maybe two, days. Nipple wound pain can last for several weeks-and that pain is no joke.

7. Your house will be messy.

If you or your significant other suffer from OCD, find a good therapist. You’ll both need to find a strong coping mechanism.

I know I’m missing plenty, and I wouldn’t bombard a person with every single one of these…not all at once at least.

I would be sure to end on a good note:

One of my favorite things about being a mom is when my kiddo looks at me lovingly and admiringly. Motherhood is a thankless job, but sometimes that “look” is all the thanks you need.

If anyone were to ask, this would be my advice for new parents.

If someone honestly asked for your parenting advice, what is the one thing you would tell them? Perhaps something you had to learn the hard way?

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28 Comments

  • Reply TwoPlusCute

    If say, my best friend asked (because I refrain from freaking out parents to be with my tactless honesty), I’d say:
    “Hang in there, it is going to be very hard+boring+mind-numbing even physically painful at times and I’ll be here so you have someone to whine/scream about it. But know there will also be times, when you will feel the greatest joy and purest, perfect bliss, precisely because of your baby.”

    January 23, 2015 at 10:19 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      That’s great advice! I said something very similar to a friend of mine.

      January 23, 2015 at 12:58 pm
  • Reply The Champa Tree

    Ha ha. I particularly liked the last tip! My parenting advice is that take a vacation right away because later, there would be none!! And even if you do plan to take one, it would be all about packing and unpacking..:(

    January 23, 2015 at 12:18 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Ha-yes, taking a trip when you have kiddos is quite the different experience!

      January 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm
  • Reply Naomi

    Do you school and baby sitting research before you have kids, too. You just don’t have time to do anything that requires concentration unless they’re asleep, and most places are closed before bedtime.

    January 23, 2015 at 12:23 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Oh, yeah! That’s excellent advice! I never would have thought of that! My lids arent school age yet, so I just never would have thought!

      January 23, 2015 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply Naomi

    “your” even. You can tell the kiddo and I are sick together.

    January 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Fun. We are too. Not the best day. Feel better!

      January 23, 2015 at 1:01 pm
  • Reply triciathegoodmama

    I usually say a few words about my experience (no sleep at all, breastfeeding tough in beginning but than really easy, etc.). Then I also mention that babies are all so different, so you won’t know what to expect until your in it yourself. I also say I really hope they are blessed with a good sleeper! Great post!

    January 23, 2015 at 1:40 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Thanks! Thats a good idea-its so true, all babies are so different. They just might get a fantastic sleeper!

      January 23, 2015 at 1:48 pm
  • Reply threeboysandamom

    These are great. All true. But it is totally worth every second! ☺

    January 23, 2015 at 2:23 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Absolutely!! Maybe venting is my coping mechanism. Haha!

      January 23, 2015 at 4:14 pm
  • Reply lisa170

    I generally say be prepared. Babies then toddlers then kids are hard. Really hard. Even the easy ones are hard. I have a great one and my cheese has totally slid off my cracker. But I would go without sleep for the rest of my life while bathing in banana slime for the look on that kid’s face when I walk in to his room every morning and he sees me.

    January 24, 2015 at 3:56 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      All too true! Crazy how seeing the kid’s face makes everything worth it!

      January 24, 2015 at 10:39 am
  • Reply melissajane01

    Love your very honest advice! Yes, kids can be boring sometime. I think I’ve read “Snowmen at Night” about 100 times this month. Luckily, I like the book so it helps.

    January 24, 2015 at 5:04 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Its always nice when you like the book or movie. But sometimes, they fixate on one that is just terrible!

      January 24, 2015 at 9:04 pm
  • Reply maggiemaysgifts

    Amen to the clean house part!! Need to get over expecting that right away!! ha

    January 24, 2015 at 7:33 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      My husband got a bit of a shock! Haha!

      January 24, 2015 at 9:03 pm
  • Reply threeboysandamom

    Great advice and great post! All so very true. Parenthood changes everything…but even with thibgs like wiping boogers with your bare hands and never astonishing a though that do want belong with your children, it’s all so worth the trade!

    January 26, 2015 at 8:36 pm
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Thanks Rachael! Haha! It definitely does! I surprised myself the first time I wiped a nose bare handed, but after that, I never flinch. It is absolutely all worth it!

      January 26, 2015 at 9:58 pm
  • Reply andthreetogo

    This is spot on, and HILARIOUS! This line “They want to watch the same stupid movie over and over again, and they won’t even let you sing along.” ring so true. I try to sing along and I get, “Mom they are singing, you should stop”. LOL

    January 27, 2015 at 12:06 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Ha! Thanks! That is so funny!! I know all the words to Tangled (as I’m sure you do too seeing your Z in her Rapunzel dress!) My Z always just says, “stop singing!…stop it!”

      January 27, 2015 at 12:12 am
  • Reply nancy@thethinkinhat.com

    Some real pieces out here! I took a month’s break before my delivery. I feel so happy about it now 🙂
    And messy house! Ha ha.. I ve stopped picking up the strayed toys on the floor. I’ve signed a peace deal 😀

    February 23, 2015 at 2:07 am
    • Reply mamabyfire

      Messy, messy house! Yep! Something to come to terms with for sure!

      February 23, 2015 at 2:10 am
  • Reply Lauren

    I totally agree with all of this.. two of my very best friends are about to have their 1st kids and I am thinking, “You don’t even know!!!”

    January 7, 2016 at 9:30 am
    • Reply mamabyfire@gmail.com

      Exactly! Every time someone I know is having one, I just think, “just wait…”

      January 7, 2016 at 1:38 pm

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