Childrearing

Scary Mommy: 14 Truths Every New Mom Should Know

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mom-and-baby1. It does not go by so fast. People who tell you “it goes by so fast” do not have babies at home. It goes by so slow. And it only goes “by so fast” in retrospect. But you know what? That’s good! There’s more room for error!

2. Hold your baby as much as you want. You can’t spoil babies. You can, however, spoil teenagers. “My Super Sweet 16″ is proof of that.

3. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Fretting over nursery paint colors and stroller brands is a waste of time. You know why? Because babies have low expectations.

4. Breast is best but… We get it. We’ve heard. Breast milk rocks. There is no chemical composition that can ever replicate what we lucky women can make ourselves for free. But even though it looks ridiculously easy, breastfeeding is not ridiculously easy. So, please be prepared and be patient. Breastfeeding can be difficult at first. And at second. And at third. And sometimes it doesn’t work out. Or it doesn’t work out for long. And that’s – newsflash – okay. Even if you don’t breastfeed, your baby might still get into Harvard anyway.

5. The phrase “maternal instinct” stinks. Here’s a quote from a popular website: “Once you give birth… feelings you never expected to have will surface.” Feelings you never had before will magically surface? Is a switch flipped during delivery? And what if you’re a new parent who didn’t give birth? Does this mean you’re screwed? Sorry. That’s stupid. And it’s a disservice to a lot of parents. If you bond right away, terrific. If it takes much longer, so be it. Either way, one day, your kid will still be embarrassed by you at the mall.

6. Newborns – they’re just like stars! They’re photographed a lot. They get sent free clothes. And, dammit, they set their own hours. As long as they’re eating at least every four hours, you need to follow your newborn’s lead – and not vice versa – when it comes to a schedule in the first couple of weeks.

7. Take care of yourself. You just had a baby. Put your feet up whenever possible. Drink a lot of water. Don’t forget to eat. And sleep whenever you can. Remember, when people come to visit in the first weeks after you come home from the hospital, they are there to see you and the baby. Remember, they don’t expect you or your house to look perfect. And remember, if you are talking anywhere near the baby monitor, there’s a good chance they can hear you.

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