Oh, you. Look at you. Look at you sitting gracefully with your hair washed, dried, AND curled. So pretty. So lovely. So stupid.
1. Stop complaining about being tired. Just stop. You’re embarrassing yourself. I know you got up to pee three times last night and you think you’re prepared for life with a newborn because you’ve always been a night owl, but unless you’ve spent time in a Vietnamese prison (and I know you haven’t because we’re the same person), you have no idea what you’re in for.
2. Please also stop complaining about not having enough time for stuff. Oh, it’s too much to ask to go to the grocery store AND make dinner? Couldn’t get around to reading that book? Don’t have time to go to the gym? YES YOU DO. Pretty soon brushing your teeth twice in one day is going to be too much to ask.
3. Your birth plan is four pages long and it’s utterly useless. You’ve planned for absolutely every scenario except being woken up in the middle of the night to have an emergency surgical birth — so that’s what’s going to happen. Also, that 15 minute race to the hospital is the only time you’re going to use the breathing techniques you learned in your 6 week Hypnobirthing class so… money well spent.
4. C-sections aren’t that bad. It’s your biggest fear right now and the most painful part of the whole thing is going to be when they put in the IV. Recovery isn’t going to be easy, but it’s not nearly as bad as you imagine. You will have help. And the bullshit book you’re reading right now about how c-section births delay the mother/child bonding process would be better put to use by propping your feet up as you’re snuggling the perfect creature you fell in love with instantly in the operating room.
5. Figure out a way to block your TV and Internet from telling you about all the children who are being abused or neglected because you, my friend, cannot handle that shit. I know those kind of stories depress you already, but it’s different now. Now the headline morphs from “Child Drowns After Being Tossed From Bridge” to “YOUR CHILD Drowns After Being Tossed From Bridge And WHY DIDN’T YOU SAVE HIM?” Not only do you picture your child in every devastating situation the sadistic journalists decide to share, you feel for their grieving mothers like never before. You can’t even type that sentence without crying. It’s gonna be rough.
6. Speaking of crying, you’re going to cry. A LOT. Usually because you’re overwhelmed and don’t know what you’re doing. The other times because you’re just so damn tired. Or you just heard about a child who died after being forced to drink two liters of grape soda as a punishment and your views on the death penalty suddenly become incredibly conservative. Either way, your hormones are going to do a number on you the first month or two (or twelve). The good news is that most of the time you’re crying because you had no idea you could love something so much.
7. Breastfeeding sucks. Big time. You are going to get some really bad advice in the beginning and it’s going to be terrible and painful and agonizing. I know you diligently read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, but guess who hasn’t read it? Junior. Both of you will have to learn the breastfeeding dance together. It’s going to be torture at first, but I promise if you stick it out, it’ll be super easy down the road. You’re going to want to quit every hour of every day the first six (six!) weeks, but now you have a one-year-old who’s still nursing and you cry at the thought of weaning him. Did I mention you’ll cry a lot?
8. Motherhood is going to be hard. Much harder than you’ve ever imagined. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to be told conflicting things. You’re going to feel like an idiot, a failure, and an amateur all in one. You’re going to second guess every single decision you make from where he sleeps to what lotion to buy (the answer: ain’t nobody got time for lotion). The good part is, all mothers before you didn’t know what they were doing either. And guess what? We’ve survived as a species. So chill out.
9. That kid in your belly is the freaking best. Seriously he’s awesome. He’s smarter and cooler and funnier and better than you could ever imagine. I genuinely feel bad for you that you haven’t met him yet. I’m not even kidding about this, he is the best baby on the planet and your love for him is merit-based as well as unconditional. I know you’re supposed to love your baby because he’s your flesh and blood and moon and stars, and that’s all true. But you also love him for the same reason you love pizza cookies topped with ice cream — because it’s the best creation on earth. People may say you’re biased because he’s your own, but don’t listen to them. He wins the baby Olympics and you’re about to agree with me.
10. Please upgrade our storage in our cell phone. You’re going to take 1,500 photos and I’m tired of having to delete them to take just one more.
Photo by Dalila Sotelo-Clatterbuck