What They Don’t Tell You: Lessons From a New(ish) Mom
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser Gerber® Pure®. All opinions are mine alone. #GerberPureWater #CollectiveBias
When I was pregnant with Max, I heard the same pieces of advice over and over again. I appreciated everyone who wanted to dispense what they learned during their first time as a parent, but it was kind of repetitive, and chances are you’ve heard the same things: Sleep when the baby sleeps, they grow up so fast so savor every moment, don’t forget to take care of yourself.
While solid advice of course, I liked hearing the nitty gritty, here’s what you can actually expect, advice a little more. Pregnant for the first time (or, really, anytime, I’m sure) is nerve-wracking even just taking those regular doctor’s visits and pee tests and blood draws into account, never mind the even more anxiety provoking thoughts of, you know, actually caring for a tiny human being.
So here are my lessons including why I use Gerber® Pure® Water:
YOUR BABY WILL THROW THEIR FOOD…EVERYWHERE
Max is a great eater. He loves almost anything I put in front of him. Actually, during his 12 months well child visit, the pediatrician was surprised at how much he ate. He said there were these classic foods that children typically shy away from due to texture (insert a lesson within a lesson!), such as eggs and some meats, but Max ate them all.
At some point, though, he started throwing food because he could – and because he realized that doing so meant feeding the dog who would come by after and clean up the floor. In fact, sometimes he’ll be eating perfectly fine and then when he hears the dog coming down the stairs, he’ll drop food everywhere. Coincidence? No way – children know how to feed their best four-legged friend.
Max never throws his favorite food on the floor so that’s kind of been my key. With his favorite foods, he’s stingy, and his toddler cereal happens to be one of them. We use Gerber® Pure® Water (purchased at Walmart) with his dried cereal, and it’s a brand we’ve used since he was an infant and just getting into cereals. We even used Gerber® Pure® Water when he transitioned to formula, and we prepared bottles.
The reason for Gerber® Pure® Water is clear (pun intended!): this water is pure, simple and Specially Purified for Babies.
THEIR CURIOSITY WILL SURPRISE YOU
It’s cute to see your child become a little explorer and thoroughly enjoy figuring things out. I mean, I used up all my iCloud storage with the many videos I took of this exact thing. Max claps for himself, and I swear I think he says “I did it!”
They just become so proud of any accomplishment of theirs and it’s the best to see. That doesn’t change no matter what.
The “lesson” here is that you will inevitably get frustrated by their curiosity. It’s just going to happen, I promise. Let’s just say that I made a special trip to the store to buy childproof locks for my kitchen cabinets. I know that that’s in any Parenting 101 manual, and Max can’t get into the chemical or medicine cabinets, but I guess I just didn’t think about the food storage containers cabinet or the mixing bowls cabinet. Or, what about the cabinet with the aluminum foil and plastic food bags? Yes, he gets into all of them.
On multiple occasions, Max has removed all of the plastic food bags from their assigned box and has thrown them all over the kitchen floor, effectively emptying the entire cabinet. Is he being destructive or is he being curious? Sometimes it’s one and the same.
There are so many more examples, but you’ll figure it out and see what exactly your baby and toddler loves to get into!
YOU’LL WANT TO TAKE BREAKS FROM YOUR CHILD
Sounds crazy, right? You’re bringing this child into the world who you’ve carried for what feels like a lifetime and you finally get to see his or hers face. Surely, no parent wants to spend a moment doing anything except staring into their sweet face, right? False. Or at least this goes for me and all of the moms I know. And this doesn’t make you a terrible parent!
Babies are so adorable and great, and especially when they are sleeping, I really could just stare and stare (the other night, I snuck into Max’s room to watch him sleep just because I felt like it), but when they get a little older and are making you say things like Can I have some of your energy? Please pleeeeasseee stop crying, So do you think you’ll go to bed soon?, you’ll appreciate a break.
Enlist the help of a friend or family member so you can treat yourself to a pedicure. Savor the nap times so you can finally flop on the couch and put on an episode of your favorite TV show. Maybe you’re like me and just want to finally get something else done around the house – then do that!
Especially when Max is teething or just having a particularly whiny day, I hand him off to my husband (and vice-versa!) whenever it’s good for the three of us. And then we each take our time to ourselves, and savor it, and then really enjoy getting back to Max. Because even with 30 minutes of quiet time, I miss the little guy and am thrilled to see him happy to see me!
In short: you probably won’t sleep when your baby sleeps, there will be a moment that you don’t really want to savor because it’s just a terrible day, and you may very well put off a much needed shower for a handful of hours because you’re just too exhausted to do anything except close your eyes and pretend you’re on a tropical vacation.
Welcome to parenthood!