Everyone, and I mean everyone, has advice to offer when they lay eyes on a pregnant woman. It doesn’t matter if they know her or not, they feel that they have some bit of wisdom to offer and offer it they will. Sure, sure, it is all well-meaning but, seriously–shut the fuck up. There is some advice that is worthwhile and there is some advice that you can cram in your cram hole because it is either total bullshit, it is near impossible or you just won’t do it. Let me break it down for you:
*Disclaimer–any advice I offer to my pregnant friends is flawless and should be followed to a “t”.*
- Bake a shit load of food and freeze it to make meal preparation easier– OF COURSE!! I would hate to think of anyone missing out on a fresh home cooked meal just because I am lazing about, recovering from giving birth! No worries, though, I slaved over a grocery cart and managed to freeze up some Eggos and pot pies. I also froze some take out menus. Bon Apetit! I can also point you in the direction of some cereal, if you get desperate.
- Sleep when the baby sleeps– Sure, okay. If someone will just let my other three children know that this is a new rule, that would be great. I am fairly certain that the authorities would frown on me leaving my 10-year-old in charge of a 2-year-old and 5-year-old while I sawed logs. Even first time mothers will typically disregard this advice. When the baby sleeps that is the only time you have any “you time”. If you want to sleep, sleep. I suggest grabbing the phone and a bottle of wine and catching up on what gossip Judy has on that fat bitch, Amy, who told people that you would never get your old ass back and got you a baby shower gift that wasn’t on your registry.
- Eat healthy– Yes, you should make healthy choices but, realistically, you are lucky to get time to shower, much less make a healthy meal. My go to diet with my youngest two was tapping a keg of coffee and doing “drive-by” bites from the plates of my kids and my husband.
- Sanitize everything!- Little known fact: you can do more harm than good by trying to protect your children from coming into contact with germs and pathogens. The human body is an amazing thing. Let the immune system do its job. Do NOT disregard this advice to a flaw and let your child lick the tile in the pediatrician’s office.
- Don’t worry about losing the baby weight!-Sure, because I am sleep deprived, malnourished, stressed and hyper-emotional–a fat ass and a few extra chins shouldn’t even ping my radar. When I am crying about my recently acquired wing span flapping under my arms or the new herd of stretch marks running across my stomach, do NOT say “that just shows you are a mother.” or “Well, you just had a baby!”, or anything similar. I fucking know I had a baby, jackass. I am pretty sure that I was there when it came screaming out of my body. A little vanity, by the way, does not translate to any resentment of my child. I can love him and want to fit in my old clothes at the same time.
- Don’t hold your baby too much, you’ll spoil him/her.- Please punch this person in the junk. If your baby is crying, hold your baby. If your baby is not crying and you just feel the urge to hold your baby, hold your baby. You are not going to spoil an infant. Your brand new baby is not manipulating you. Anyone that thinks that the same being that doesn’t comprehend object permanence is capable of masterminding manipulation is an idiot and should never be sought for advice. I have a sling and have “worn” my babies because it frees up my hands for things like coffee and facebook—I mean, cleaning.
- Make sure you get them scheduled as soon as possible– “Your baby should eat every 3 hours”, “Your baby should sleep for, at least, XX hours.”, “He/she should sleep through the night by xx weeks/months old.”. Even an infant is capable of experiencing hunger. When your child is hungry, you will know. Feed your baby. When your baby is sleepy, you will know. Put your baby to sleep. (With newborns, feeding is usually the ritual that gets your child to sleep.). Your child is ready to sleep through the night when he/she begins sleeping through the damn night. There isn’t a magic number. Some newborns will sleep through the night at two months, however, most will not. Suck it up. If you want to sleep through the night, I would not suggest having a baby. I would also avoid getting a puppy. When you are pregnant, stock up on coffee. Register for coffee and a badass coffee maker. What you need is coffee. Lots of coffee.
- Don’t let your child watch television-Bullshit. As soon as the big magic box manages to grab your child’s attention with its hypnotic powers, take full advantage. People will point to the “experts” and “long term effects” but, really, what is more important? Getting 20 minutes of uninterupted quiet time to do things like shower, eat or down a glass of wine or your child having a perfect attention span in a few years?
If you need advice, come to me. I am the only one who knows what I am talking about.