Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Advice for New Moms: (Chef)uality

Today I'm thrilled to welcome my dear sister-in-law Dani , the blogger behind the fantastic food video blog (Chef)uality and mother of two of my all-time favorite kiddos (yes, they also happen to be my nephew and niece, but I'd still argue they're unequivocally awesome and I give Dani tons of credit for how they're turning out). And so, it's little wonder that I've asked for her advice and sage wisdom this week -- and you can bet I'll be pumping her for more info. when I see her over Thanksgiving. [I'll be honest though, I already told my OB that I'm down with the epidural!!]

* * *
Dave & Averill,

It's a boy! Congratulations! I am sure you are sick of hearing the whole "your life is going to change" spiel from family and, if it has happened to you, random strangers. I remember when I was pregnant some random desk clerk at Hertz lectured Micah and I for 15 minutes on how things will never be the same, and how we just can't imagine it now, how much he wasn't prepared and, well you get it. Unless you are totally clueless you can probably assume that OF COURSE your life is going to change. People have probably also inundated you with advise regarding what to expect during delivery, how to care for a newborn, and so on. Here are some things people may have not told you, some serious, some not, and some totally random, but it's information I wish new moms shared with me!

- You do not know how much you love the little Conn until you hold him in your arms; your heart will melt when you see him in David's.

- You will take pleasure, secretly, of another child having a melt down in a public place.
- You won't be able to sit and have a nice meal at a restaurant for at least three years.
- No matter how hard you try, your house will turn into Kiddie World.
- You will become an expert one-handed (and dare I say no-handed) driver.
- From now on, quiet will never be a good thing...It usually means mischief is going on.
- You will be scared when your child has a fever, and think the worse. This goes back to the whole neurotic thing.
- Your medicine cabinet will soon look like a Walgreen's pharmacy.
- Inevitably, you will compare your child to another child.
- As the kids get older, the happy hour gets earlier.
- Yet, the first time you go away for an adult mini-vacation, and sit to enjoy some peace and quiet, all you will think about is how much you miss the chaos.
- If you are considering it, go natural! Birth that is. It's the most painful experience. You will curse and cry but you will feel like superwoman afterwords. Get one of those exercise balls, the one you use to do crunches, straddle it, and bounce. I swear that when I did this, I did not feel a single contraction! Swear!
- Diaper caution: Be wary! Boys have great aim!- You actually won't mind when some baby poo accidentally gets on your hand.
-No sleep will leave your short tempered, not to mention feeling like a zombie.
- There will be days that you will feel like a failure.
- There will be days you will cry, not from joy, but from frustration.
- There will be days you will feel like the world's worst mom.
- Routines are invaluable, start one immediately.
- You will become totally neurotic.
- No matter how much experience someone else has, you will believe that no one can take better care of that baby than you.
- Watch out! Mom circles are like being at a mid-week brunch at some yuppie country club. They constantly boast, brag and compare. Choose your mom friends wisely.
- Moms that breastfeed can have a "holier than thou" persona. It is so obnoxious! (I can say this, because I breast fed.)- You will fight with David more than you ever have. (I never really understood the whole "We are having a kids to save our marriage" deal.) But don't worry, your relationship will become stronger.
- Don't feel guilty when you start comparing yourself to other moms.

So here are a few things that I have saved me in my journey through motherhood:

The nurse at the hospital sold Micah and I a copy of this DVD and it pretty much saved our life. You will watch it and wonder how the heck these strategies will work, but they do! It's so amazing you will actually be tempted to "perform the magic" to an audience. I don't say this often, but skip the book, and get the DVD.

There's nothing I enjoy more than laying in a hammock, so I could only imagine how the little peanut feels bundled up in a baby sling. I pretty much had a fourth trimester of pregnancy...that's how much time Cayden spent in this thing.

 Of all the baby books I have read, this one was the best. The authors are witty and their take on parenting is so refreshing. The overall message is that your baby doesn't need a ton of crap to be happy, it just needs you. They share funny stories, and practical solutions, on temper tantrums, sleep, pacifiers, siblings, and so much more.

This book pretty much transformed me from a walking zombie to functioning mother.

I highly recommend the Britax Marathon car seat. We have been through a few and this one is amazing. You will never have to purchase another one since it is appropriate for children 5 to 70 pounds! It also doesn't hurt that they have super cute design options!

You are going to be so tired from sleepless nights. Get a co-sleeper so you don't have to get out of bed every three hours. When baby wakes, you just grab, nurse, and fall asleep. It pretty much rocks.

Ikea rocks when it comes to kids!

As soon as the peanut turns into Picasso, frame his art! It's my favorite part of the kids' room.


Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Oh yes, art!! Nothing better than nicely framed kids art...and Ikea does have some awesome things for kids. Wonderful post, so many of the advice statements I can relate to and recall!

Hello Lover... said...

Averill - you are receiving so much amazing advice on here - people are going to be able to save some money on all those baby books but just checking out your blog - congrats again - what an exciting time for you!

Kirsten Krason said...

Loved it! that is the best advice so far. All the things she said at the beginning are so so true!

René said...

Such great advice and I can honestly say that I agree with Dani's "things" no one has told you - every single one.


Laura@JourneyChic said...

Great ideas and very good advice! Except about the epidural, at least for me - all it took was hearing the women down the hall screaming bloody murder and suddenly the idea of a needle going into my spine seemed fantastic - and it was! Although, I def. appreciate why many women want the full "experience". I'm just not one of those women! :)

Kiki said...

Oh my gosh-- Karp and Weissbluth are my heros. Seriously. And Karp's Happiest Toddler On the Block book (DVD is annoying) is ah-may-zing. Read it when little one is about 11 months old to get you ready for the next phase. :) Kiki

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