Enter: me. I’m here to tell you the random and odd things I’ve learned that may or may not have occurred to you.
Hopefully these thoughts will help you and make you feel a sense of camaraderie. If they don’t, I hope they will at least make you laugh.
- Cereal isn’t as easy of a meal option as it pretends to be. This is especially true if you have a newborn. See, the second you start eating your cereal (or any food, for that matter), your baby WILL need your attention. I’m not certain what the exact science is behind it, but it’s an actual thing. The problem with cereal that separates it from other meal options is that cereal is an all-or-nothing endeavor. Once you pour the milk, you’re committed to the entire bowl; there’s literally no going back. You can’t just set cereal aside and come back for it later. It doesn’t just re-heat like a pasta dish. It gets soggy, and eventually disintegrates- eating it later would be an actual sin, I’m fairly certain. So in an effort to not be a “sinner”, you try to eat it while breastfeeding, because gosh-darn-it you already poured the milk. But of course your baby is on your dominant side so you’re awkwardly spilling all over yourself while trying to navigate your spoon like a first-timer. Cereal is a LIAR.
- Men are loud. Look. I’m not just a mom of two- I’ve also nannied for around a dozen different families. Every family was different in so many ways; but one thing was true across the board: men are loud. Even when they think they’re being quiet, they actually sound, to us, like a fog horn and the 4th of July making a baby (sorry for the really awkward visual but it’s a pretty accurate description). Moms and nannies for some reason just KNOW the beep of the microwave and the creeks of the floor in exactly X amount of spots WILL wake every child in the neighborhood. Maybe because we know how sacred sleep time is. For some reason men don’t hear these types of loud sounds? Think of it like dog hearing, except opposite. Trust me- you’ll just be a less angry person if you go into the day expecting it.
- It’s possible to have your home be free of baby/child clutter on any given day. Hahahah! Just kidding. It’s actually not. Diapers, burp rags, toys, books- feel free to tidy it up if that’s your jam, but sometimes you just have to embrace the reality that you have kids now and their existence brings “accessories” to your home. Pink Minnie Mouse everything goes great with my navy and gray living room, and Aden + Anais swaddlers make stylish throw blankets, thank you very much.
- Quick-dry nail polish is everything. I chose a non-quick-dry color the other day while giving myself a late night mani. Consequently, only one hand was painted for about a week and I will not be making that mistake again.
- Bags for laundry. Do you remember the store Steve & Barry’s? They had these awesome mesh shopping bags; similar to the shopping bags at Victoria’s Secret or Bath and Body Works, but about the size of the ones at IKEA. This is what I use when I do my laundry. Have you ever carried a newborn and a laundry basket down the stairs? Or attempted to carry anything large while wearing your baby? Turns out it can be rather difficult; dangerous, even. Maybe not everyone has this problem; I do have a toddler and a large dog, so I really can’t risk leaving my baby unattended for even a few minutes, but having a laundry BAG means I can actually make a noble effort to pretend to keep up on the never-ending laundry.
- Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Scenario: you breastfeed on your couch, baby falls asleep and unlatches, you’re watching Netflix or on your phone. You don’t move because obviously this kid needs to sleep. From your window you see the mailman/neighbor/Girl Scouts/etc approach your door. To put it bluntly, just make sure you put your boob away before getting the door, but just as importantly, before standing up in front of said window. The Girl Scouts do NOT need to see your thin mints.
- You’ll do gross things. You’ll pick a booger out of your child’s nose, lint from between their cute chubby toes, rub their spit up into your shirt, and on occasion, their diaper contents will get on your hands (or sprayed at your face). You won’t always have time to wash your hands, and when you’re tired enough, you won’t even care. Then you’ll eat lunch (aka three cold bites of last night’s leftovers) in your filth and everyone will live. (Keeping hand sanitizer near your diaper station helps a little though. My gosh I’m not an animal. Most of the time).
- Teenage boys and toddlers eat the same amount of food. It doesn’t always seem like it when they say “all done” before taking a single bite at each meal (the toddler, not the teenager), but at one time or another you’ll likely question your sanity when you notice the bag of goldfish you bought yesterday is already gone and you’ve somehow gone through three quarters of a gallon of milk in a single afternoon. Either that or I’m alone in this and my two year old daughter is secretly bulking up for her next professional weightlifting competition. With that amount of protein running through her veins she’ll probably win, too.
- You’ll lose your need for an alarm clock. Who needs a beeping notification to tell you it’s time to get up when you’re always awake? Or if you do manage to squeeze in a snooze, little voices or cries will surely wake you before you need to be up anyway. Sleep is for the weak.
- Sarcasm saves sanity. Being a parent can really take your humor up a notch once you get past the point where you think you might lose your mind (or maybe you actually have lost it?). Between sleep deprivation and trying to reason with small humans that have no reasoning capabilities and don’t understand that the chocolate milk REALLY IS all gone and you cannot produce it out of thin air, you’ll cut yourself some slack and laugh at the ridiculousness that is quintessential to parenthood. Maybe it will even inspire a blog post.
And with that, may your coffee be at least lukewarm and the naps of your children be long. 😉