I could not sleep last night and was thinking about her, the baby, and my own two
thinking how you are truly starting with a BLANK SLATE...not only does your baby not know ANYTHING....you don't know YOUR OWN baby. You can read books, blogs, ask your mama/friends what to do, but truthfully...you just have to get "in the trenches" and figure it out...
So I have come up with my own "Top Ten Tips" for Motherhood...
1.) Do what works for YOUR child. You will have 500 people telling you how to bathe, diaper, rock and care for your child. EVERY child is different! Things that worked well with Mary Dalton did NOT work with Jackson...and vice versa. Just do what works...I remember following (or trying to at least!) all the "rules" with Mary Dalton. I just wanted to be a good mother and could not believe God had entrusted ME to take care of her. If the doctor said no rice cereal until 6 months...I waited. After Jackson arrived so soon after Mary Dalton I realized that the rules are nice, but I did what I wanted. I knew what he needed, prayed over the situation and did what was best for HIM. (and for what it is worth, he got cereal at 2 weeks...thick as a milkshake...at 2 a.m.....and slept in 6 hour stretches....)
2.) Buy Generic. It's the same. Both of mine ended up on generic formula and they both wore Target/Wal-Mart brand diapers. I had two in diapers and bought formula for 28 months total...it saved money and it's the SAME THING. I also bought generic lotion/shampoo/etc.
3.) Have an emergency supply of gas drops, tylenol, etc. EVERYWHERE!!! My two (and most other kids!) go from perfectly fine to sick as a dog in oh....about 2 seconds...be prepared. Trust me, you will thank me. I also still keep extra outfits for the kids in the car (and they are 7 and 8!)...spills/sickness/etc...you never know! And plastic bags for dirty things will be your new best friend!
4.) LEAVE your baby and GO OUT with your HUSBAND. I can't stress this enough. I bet we have spent close to $15,00-20,000 on sitter the last 8 years. I found out really quick that the children can take over ALL areas of your life…and marriage. Dalton and I have always tried to make…actually schedule…time for each other. When they were tiny, it would be once a month maybe, but we enjoyed it and it gave us time alone. We still go out on dates…more now than ever!
5.) Make time for YOURSELF. This is a hard one. We have that guilt of all the things we could or should be doing to make our child the best, smartest, cutest, etc. I have found that I need time for ME to be a better mother AND wife! I have to MAKE time!!! My time is when I run. The kids know that they cannot bother me unless someone is vomiting or bleeding…and it better be severe. That 30-45 mins is MY time. And to get that time…I have to wake up at 5:00 on school mornings to squeeze it in…but I do it because I want to be the best mama I can be…and being healthy and taking care of myself is part of that! I also occasionally will go shopping or run errands alone…that’s always a treat too! ;)
6.) Put your baby in his/her own bed. This is the only thing in parenting I feel VERY strongly about, but if you want to co-sleep….see #1….desperate times call for desperate measures. However, we had this rule and WE STUCK TO IT. Come hell or high water…those babies were sleeping in their beds. It wasn’t always pretty…there were nights they cried to get out, nights that I slept on the floor by their beds, nights we took turns at the bottom of the stairs to return a cute little girl back to her bed after she got a spanking…but we hung in there. There are still times now that they will get scared, sick, etc…and they sleep in our room…on a pallet. Our bed is for us. I think that’s super important in a marriage.
7.) Scheduling ~ This works great for some, not so great for others. I NEEDED a schedule because I had TWO babies. When it was just Mary Dalton things were ok, but when I had two...I NEEDED them to nap and go to bed at the same time...for my own sanity. I remember stopping by the Mexican place in town one night and there were some friends of ours in there with their older kids eating at 8 p.m. ~ My kids had been in bed for 30 minutes! I did not think that we would EVER be able to eat out after 6 p.m. but we can...just takes time! The kids never really argued at bedtime because they KNEW what to expect. All that to say #8 would be if you can...get them on a schedule when they are small.
8.) Try to be thankful in the craziness...when drinks are spilled (this STILL happens!!!) I am just thankful it's not vomit. When vomit happens
9.) Take LOTS of video and pictures! You think you will remember....you won't! You will be too sleep deprived! Blog, journal, something so you remember everyday things. I kept a calendar for their first 2 years and wrote SOMETHING that happened each day. I treasure that now and the kids love it too! They love to read the blog book and see all the cute things they did and said when they were little!
10.) Everything is magnified at 2 a.m. Things that weren't a big deal in the daylight become a HUGE issue in the middle of the night when we had one (sometimes two!) kids crying/sick/etc and we knew that 5 a.m. was just 3 hours away and it would be time to get up! We acted like REDNECK white trash...said lots of profane things and sometimes didn't even remember...prolonged sleep deprivation will make one CRAZY!!!
EVERYONE will tell you "Enjoy it! It goes by so fast!" That was the LAST thing I wanted to hear from ANYONE. Goes by fast?!?! I had two kids with rotovirus and had it myself for 2 weeks...that was territory for self inflicted injury!!! So fast?!?! But it truly does......