Posted by kellycarcione | Posted in Kelly Carcione, Mommy-To-Be | Posted on 09-03-2013
Tags: advice, baby, breastfeeding, infant, Kelly Carcione, lessons, Mommy to be, new mom, pregnancy, siblings, sleep, strategies, tips
Oh, the joys of being pregnant with your first child: midnight ice cream runs and baby showers, parenting books and pregnancy journals. And oh, the first night home from the hospital: sleep-deprived panic. Too often, I dismissed advice from veteran moms with a polite, naive nod. Two kids later, and with a third on the way, I think I’ve learned my lesson. Now that this Bugaboo’s been around the block a few times, I plan to get it right when baby #3 arrives.
- I will sleep when the baby sleeps. I seriously scoffed at this adage because I like to “get things done.” I once tried to do my income taxes during nap times; I do not recommend that strategy. Of course, with two older children, I’ll have school schedules to consider. But if you are a first time mom, I implore you: rest!
- I will ask for help. So lucky I have been to receive offers from friends and family to lend a hand; and how gracious I have been to say, “That is so nice of you!” and never take anyone up on it. My husband went back to work a few days after my second child was born, and I had an 18-month old to care for at the same time. Not asking for help was a big mistake!
- I will go outside at least once a day. My best baby days started with a solo walk to the coffee shop to clear my head.
- I will breastfeed, but this kid is getting a pacifier ASAP. I once walked a mile down the Embarcadero hunched over a stroller. I was trying to calm a screaming child by putting my pinky in his mouth (this was the sage advice I had read in a parenting book). If breastfeeding is going well for you, don’t feel you have to adhere to the 3-week rule. Which leads to #5:
- I will wing it once in a while. I EXCLUSIVELY breastfed my first child. Seeing how exhausted I was after my second son was born, my friend Erin suggested that I sub in a bottle of formula here and there. Guess what? I got a few more hours of sleep and he survived!
- I will challenge my crazed hormones to a dance-off. Picture a madwoman pacing the floor at dusk with a crying infant in a sling and a toddler on the brink of a tantrum. When the witching hour arrives for me, doing something wacky, like having an impromptu dance party, breaks the monotony.
- I will put on the television. There, I said it. My kids can watch T.V. sometimes and I will no longer judge myself. I’m not suggesting you get an infant hooked on Days of Our Lives, but don’t feel like you should be teaching one kid sign language, while teaching the older sibling chess strategy on 2 hours sleep. The first time our neighbors invited us to have a glass of wine while the kids watched a Disney movie, I nearly wrote them into my will.
- I will not attempt to go to a restaurant/family reunion/long car trip/or God-forbid an airplane for as long as I deem fit. I have no illusions now that I won’t have to change my lifestyle when an infant comes along. So I am sorry to report that I will not be attending your destination wedding in Puerto Rico two weeks after my due date.
- I will be more social, on my terms. Nothing makes you feel more isolated after having a baby than completely isolating yourself. The thought of entertaining a crowd is daunting, so I’ll keep a few cheesecakes on hand in the freezer – Golden Girls style – and invite a friend to stop by. Or, I’ll call an east coast confidante and eat the entire cheesecake myself. (Hey, I’ll be breastfeeding!)
- I will be more present and positive. I can’t wait to see the joy of embracing a new sibling through my children’s eyes. I’ll even get in front of the camera this time, to fully document our growing family in its most precious, fleeting moments.
Is there any advice you wish you’d taken in the first few months of becoming a parent?