I one hundred percent believe that I am the best wife and mother in the world, for my husband and our little Brooke, but probably not so much for YOUR family. Because I was made to be Jon's wife and Brooke's mom, how can I not be the perfect one for the job?
Along the road here, the three weeks and two days I have been a mom, I have learned all about being the perfect mother, and it is my intention to share what that looks like with you, all the bloopers and bumps along the way to being perfect. :)
Here's a list, I'm feeling quite listy this evening.
1. I don't know what my baby's cries mean, everyone told me I would right away. "That's her, 'I'm hungry' cry, or the 'I'm poopy' cry." Well, either I'm deaf, or this kid does not speak traditional baby. Or, I suppose, it could be the fact that her crying really is to a minimum, although my loving husband would not agree tonight as he sat in the other room trying to play a racing game while she wailed it out looking for her paci. But, maybe we're just parent deaf, ask Brooke when she's 3.
2. It is completely normal to spend far too much time in your opinion thinking of a "party hat" like strap to put around your child's head with binky attached. How do they spit them out so quickly? GEESH! In-out, in-out.... Lordy!
3. Cloth diapering will not save the planet, but it certainly is fun and good to know her poop won't be in a landfill after she dies, and it is NOT that much work, really. I even use the prefolds (old school... like burp cloths, ahhhh you shake your head). I'll probably write more about this later, even though there are millions of blogs out there on cloth diapering, I so preferred my personalized cousin sessions to practice with dipes and hope to help my sister in law in the coming weeks... holy crap, a new baby already! :)
4. Pacifiers might save your life, if you have a child that needs to suck on something after a feeding. If it weren't for my mother in law saving us with 4 pacifiers when Brooke was 3 or 4 days old, we would have gone looney, and my nipples would have fallen off, truly. Now, I can handle being a human pacifier, but in those first few weeks, heck NO.
5. Name your kid what you want to. My dad HATED Brooke's name before she was born, too bad papa! My kid, my name choice. You picked mine, I pick hers thankyouverymuch! :)
6. Get a stroller that fits YOUR life. We looked at the BOB, it sure is pretty, and convenient, and has blow up tires, but as my husband said, "We just aren't.... jogging stroller type people hunny." Ah dear, you are correct, and I highly doubt we will become jogging stroller type people, but if we do, I'll let you know.
7. Laugh at your kid and have lots of towels, blankets, and burp cloths around for feedings. If your child is anything like mine, or maybe I should say if your breasts are anything like mine, you will need it. Last night I tried to explain it to Daddy, "It's like trying to suck off that piece on an orange, you know the thingie that sort of looks like a star when you peel it off? Try it, it's not easy, Brooke is AMAZING!" Really, but in real size it's like a soccer ball and pencil eraser, and the eraser is hosing her down the whole time. Poor kid, I'm shocked she ever gets anything to eat. No wonder she wants to sleep after every feeding, she was chasing around at least three streams of milk to figure out where dinner is! She has become a champ at the "spot it, circle, dive bomb!" I wish it wasn't totally disgusting to show people this hilarious act, but oh so inappropriate (and hilarious-again.).
8. Make your kid nap, no one likes the baby who fusses all evening, and daddy doesn't want to come home to sassy pants. I try to make her nap in the am and pm... but hey, we're still new, so we don't always get it. In fact, B is napping on my chest right now... and this morning... and on grandma's chest this weekend... we have a thing for napping with babies, they are exhausting!
9. Save the little things that you might want her to see some day, we have a baby book that I'm writing in from Great Grandma Sue, in the back is a memory box. We have hospital bands, some maternity shots, ultrasounds, and are adding her hospital bill, kid, you were expensive. I'm just saying- you should thank us some day. :)
10. When people tell you about the "let down" in breastfeeding, they may be referring to the flaming sensation that encircles your breasts when you see your child and then your shirt is soaked, in the middle of Menards. Or maybe they didn't mean that... but whatever.
11. Let your kid cry a little in the night, B wakes up after 3 hours sometimes and I offer her a paci, she is still so tired if I catch her fast enough, she is back to sleep for 2 hours... can I complain? NOPE! Also on nighttime- nurse in bed if possible, Jon hears her cry anyway, and falls asleep instantly again, it is so much more calming to nurse in bed! Even with the aforementioned dive bomb hose down.
12. C-sections aren't so bad. More on this later.
13. Diaper duty: a-If you want to do cloth, be prepared to have classes to teach daddy, or do it yourself. b-Allow your child at least 10 minutes after a pooper to continue the process. Brooklyn rarely poops when held, she prefers to be flat on her back and gives three valiant pushes across 5 minutes of time with flared white nostrils, wait for the third push... or learn your own kid. Today... I changed her after two, and then proceeded to let her sit in poop for an hour, I was NOT changing another diaper. c-Try to use paper towels for the first few weeks, the first day we introduced wipes she got SO red at 2 weeks! Poor tush! (That is why the hospital gives you dry wipes... you're not really supposed to use store bought wipes on newborns, new info to me!) d-Girls pee and poop when the diaper is open too, that's all I'm gonna say. (Sorry for your guest bed mom... happy it came out!)
14. Baby acne goes away really fast, like, in a day. We're proud donners of the acne from sweaty naps on chests outside, it's not that bad, don't worry.
15. It is okay to make the "Too hot Ducky" say "Hot" lightly. Brooke HATED her first 2 baths... and yes, we waited until she was almost 2 weeks old to bathe her, not even a sponge bath! GASP! Don't call DCFS!! We wanted that GROSS belly button to BEGONE! (Like HE-GONE! Maybe only my family yells it like that... whatever.) I finally made the water a little too hot according to Dr. Duck, M.D. but according to Princess Brooklyn, it was perfecto- full of smiles, coos, and giggles. Approved!
16. It is really hard to wake up a newborn, like, really hard. Like, dropping a pot in the sink won't cut it, and whistling as high pitched as you can. But dog licks work EVERY time, just saying.
17. You don't have to hold your kid all day every day, lay her down for a bit, let the dog lick the crap out of her face (with breaks for breath of course). Throw a blanket down, put her in the bouncy seat, give your back a break people!
18. You don't have to be the "first time mom." I drop her paci, wipe it off on my pants, and put it back in her mouth. I've never been a germaphobe, had a student this year with a father who was one and he wrote many times throughout the year about that bad influence on his life and caused him awful anxiety... golly, I'm not becoming one now! It is quite freeing to not have to be perfect... even though I am.
19. Remember (if you're a stay at home mom) that daddy was at work all day today providing for you, he needs a break from the day as well. Let him have some time each evening. I make sure to take time when Brooke naps, I might shave my legs (only happened once since she's been born), cut my toe nails (previous comment applies), lay my head down, watch a fun episode of some show, NOT clean. I get to choose what I do when my baby naps, I can count it as a break for myself and say it is okay for the kitchen to not be spotless today, or I can have the perfect house and be a wreck inside... you pick what works for you. But what is working for us, is some daddy time, some alone time, and some family time every night, and I LOVE it.
20. Breast milk stains a lot of clothes, get over it or get some Resolve. We've had to switch to a detergent that does not get out stains because of cloth diapering (I still think it is worth it) and we love Resolve... when he doesn't change the color of our clothes.
21. If you give your child a paci and they spit it out, that's okay. If they root for it, give it back, if not, LEAVE IT OUT YOU DUMMY! PS- your kid will probably need braces anyway, so just give them the binky if they want it, okay?
22. Truly, I'm fair, have blonde hair, and was doomed to have bleeding, cracked nipples (so I've been told). I used Lanolin cream after nursing every time I just wore a bra, or wore Soothies (by Lansinoh) for comfort with NO cream. So far, according to my sister in law Jamie, my nipples look good, a chunk fell off and one time the other got a little purple... but it's okay. Now they only feel like paper cuts every now and then. (My child just laughed as I typed that... not funny kid.)
23. Your baby might actually be smiling AT YOU- and laughing with you... I'm just saying. Doctors say this won't happen until they are about 2 months old, lies I say! Brooke will smile when I get in her face, kiss her, tickle her, talk to her, and no.. she doesn't fart shortly after. She even giggles a LOT (mostly in her sleep) but it is the cutest thing I have EVER heard in my life.
24. Do devotions with your baby. I read mine aloud to Brooke. It's a simple email I get every morning, different women send scripture and a story, a prayer, and an application. Brooke is learning the importance of time with Jesus now.
25. Pray for your baby as you put her to sleep, it makes you like her even more as you call out to the Savior your dreams, desires, and passions for the life he has handed to you. I pray nightly for Brooke to become a woman of integrity, faith, compassion, and love. What do you want for your child more than anything?
And so... three weeks, and that is what this bleary eyed momma can think of right now. I love this journey... even though it is all I seem to talk about... for now (then we'll have another one! :)