There’s been a mini baby boom going on around here these days. Most of these moms are first-timers in their thirties with established careers and carefree lives. Boy, are things going to change for them now! I was once one of them — wide-eyed, inexperienced, and thirtysomething — so I made a list of some things I wish I had known when I was expecting and put them down here, in no particular order:
1. Your body will recover, but it will never be the same again. Enjoy those new curves.
2. You can’t erase stretchmarks, so wear them with pride as a badge of honor.
3. One-piece bathing suits are very stylish these days if #2 doesn’t work for you.
4. Baby blues are real. Pay attention to them and seek help if you feel like murdering your husband and your mother and burning down the house.
5. There will be days when you will be disheveled and can’t even find the time to take a shower. Try to go no more than three days without one, however.
6. When your baby is turning your life upside down and you can’t understand why anyone would want to congratulate you for being such a mess, just smile and thank them. You will eventually come around.
7. Plan on not going out to eat at a restaurant for about three years.
8. Go ahead and accept help, especially meals. You spent many years bringing meals to others, so it’s finally your turn.
9. Nursing problems and mastitis are signs of overdoing it. Remember, you are not going to be as capable as you have been all your life because now there’s a precious little one to take care of. Kick your feet up and relax.
10. Speaking of nursing, you won’t be wearing a one piece dress for a while. For that matter, no dry clean-only clothes for a few years either.
11. Don’t save baby shower gift outfits for a rainy day, because babies can fit into them for only a few hours before they outgrow them. Put them on as soon as they fit and enjoy the cuteness while you can.
12. Join a moms’ group such as MOPS. Meet up with other moms in your same shoes and you won’t feel so alone.
13. Speaking of shoes, go out and get lots of pairs of slip-ons. Your time will be so pressed that you won’t have time to tie up your laces or buckle your shoes.
14. Get a good tool box and be ready to do a lot of assembling, because you will be doing a lot of it in the years to come. Almost all baby items and kid toys come with the dreaded words, “Some Assembly Required.”
15. All babies are different. Don’t compare yours with others. Be neither haughty nor envious. (I admit that I still do this, even as I watch Olympians the same age as my son and wonder where I fell short.)
16. You will get tired of hearing this, but in time you will come to appreciate these words: They grow up so quickly. Corollary 16a: Take lots of pictures.
17. Avoid driving when sleep deprived.
18. Try not to rock while standing and talking to someone without an actual baby in your arms. I know — all moms do this.
19. It’s going to feel really weird the first time you fill out a form for your child. On the box where it says, “Parent,” you’re supposed to put your own name in it, not your mom’s.
20. Praise God for the miracle of life, and thank Him for the privilege of being able to take part in it.
And now, let me say…
Your Panda Mom
P.S. Do you have anything else to add to this list? Please add them in the comments below.