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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baby Basics Part One: You Can Do It!

This is the first post in a series to help those of you that are expecting for the first time prepare for the shitstorm that is about to hit your life. Enjoy.

First things first: Don't take this whole baby thing so seriously. Calm down. You are not going to break your baby by burping them too hard, they won't need therapy after you yell at them to SHUT UP! after a solid hour of crying for no reason and standing over their crib checking to see if they are breathing every 15 minutes isn't helping anyone. Just relax. You will do a much better job if you just kind of approach things organically and have some self-confidence. Screw that mom that instantly lost the baby weight and is always perfectly dressed and groomed at your Gymboree class. So you were the last one to know about BPA being a bad thing. Who cares that you use the five minute rule when the pacifier falls on the ground, even in public. You are a great mom. Give yourself credit for the things you do get right and shrug off the things that are a little less than perfect. Your baby loves you even when it seems like you can't get anything right.

Second off: As wonderful as 12 weeks off from work with nothing to do but cuddle your new bundle of love sounds, maternity leave can be extremely isolating. Don't get yourself too deep in a hole before you ask for some anti-depressants to go with your bottle of Jack Daniels. Also, if you know any other mamas that have babies around the same age, make mommy dates to vent to each other. Their baby's germs are the same as yours. Tell the other mommy that you are exhausted and that sometimes your baby cries for no reason and you tell them that you want to throw them down a well. Chances are, she has a similar story. No mommy is perfect and if you have a friend that seems to be and makes you feel like shit about yourself, fuck her. She is lying.

Thirdly: Trust in your husband and tell him thank you for all that he does. Yes, you can do this on your own but believe me, sister, you don't want to. Even though you are much better at changing diapers, holding the baby, calming them down, mixing bottles, mixing martinis, etc., you don't want to be doing it all alone. Let go of your criticisms and just be happy that he is willing to change a diaper and tend to a crying baby in the middle of the night. Your husband won't break the baby and harping on him about every little detail will just make all three of you miserable. Even if that diaper goes on backwards, it will still hold pee. Tell your husband you love him, and get some much-needed shut-eye while daddy takes over for a while.

Seriously, a good relationship with your husband is one of the most important things you can have during all of this. Raising a baby is a battle that is more easily won as a team. Take time to remember that you once loved this person enough to want to have a baby with them. Often during the first few months you will look at them and want to punch them in the face for putting the wipes in the holder wrong. Don't.


  1. I've already done the baby thing twice. You have great advice and I love that you do it so that normal people can relate! Great job!

  2. Great advice! I am 5.5 weeks today with our first. It's amazing to me how many couples think a child is a solution to a troubling marriage. You said it perfectly when you said that it is easily won as a team. Great post.

  3. Especially on #3. I let my husband do everything when that baby was born. He wanted to. He still wants to. I need to be more thankful for him.

  4. My father-in-law is blind as a bat and will often put the babe's diaper on backwards (when we sucker them into watching them for us) and yes, you are 100% correct when you say it still holds pee. And poop.

    And of course, you're correct on everything else, too. Good post!

  5. This was fantastic. I read the whole last part out loud to my husband and he gave me a look like, "Yeah, bitch. I'm awesome."

    And I didn't punch him!

  6. I couldn't agree more about lightening up as a parent. We live in such a forced society now, that we think we're supposed to fit this mold. I've had so much fun as a parent since Day 1, because I've pretty much ignored the mold ... we like to create our own shapes in my house!

  7. This is SUCH great advice, and it's as true when they're newborns as it is when they're toddlers and older. Our kids range from 21 years to 11 months, and I still get self conscious around Posh Mom while we're waiting to pick the kids up at school, and I still need to be grateful when my daughter eats too many hot dogs and my husband is the one who cleans up her vomit sheets and puts her back to bed, and I still sometimes need reassurance from other mamas that I'm not crazy for freaking out because one of the kids rolled their car window down while it was raining. Great post, and hilarious as always!


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