Saturday, April 28, 2007

Shower the people you love with love


I've been forced out of laziness (aka non-stop feeding of The Hungry Child) to write a post, but it's a great idea and I'm honored to have been invited. (Yes, of course I'll be writing a "Keira is Three Months Old!" entry in a few days, but this one needed more immediate attention as BABIES ARE BEING BORN AS WE SPEAK!)

TB at Soul Gardening, Liz at Mom-101 and Christina at A Mommy Story are the lucky honorees of an on-line baby shower. Not only can you go over there to play games and send the love (and see pics of both Keira and ME as a youngster...but I can't tell you which we are), but there are some extremely cool prizes to be won! The women that put this together are some very organized mamas. I feel so inadequate.

But my job, as I've chosen to accept it, is to let the mamas-to-be know about the best and worst advice I received regarding motherhood. Seeing as how I'm just so experienced in all my 90 days at the job, and how two of the ladies are going to be second time arounders...I feel a little silly imparting anything to anyone. But I'll give it a go.

WORST ADVICE

1. Get your sleep now 'cause you'll never sleep again once the baby's born!
I know this one is said in jest half the time, so I'll allow for at least a bit of a sense of humor, but I just think it's pretty stupid. First of all, I don't think there's some kind of sleep bank you can invest in prior to the birth. And secondly, it seems as though it's always other mothers who say this with some kind of glee at the loss of your previously sleep-filled life (!)...it's as though they're rubbing their hands together in anticipation of your misery. Ha ha, welcome to the club, and all that.

Yes, you're going to be a zombie. Accept it. There's no need for me to rub it in.

2. Let the baby cry it out...if you respond every time she cries, she'll just learn to manipulate you.
Um, excuse me? A newborn hasn't exactly developed that level of manipulation. She'll be bargaining the whole new-bike-for-straight-A's in no time I'm sure...but at a week old? To be fair, this advice was really only ever given to me by VERY old ladies and complete strangers.

I never knew how much my own baby's cries would affect me until I saw her face. How could I ever think it would be ok for her to look so miserable? BELIEVE ME, just today she cried THE ENTIRE DAY. I have definitely been worn down on occasion, but I would never just put her in another room and walk off to the sound of her shrieking. I would sooner stab myself in the heart.

3. Listen to all my advice...it's very important.
Ridiculous, isn't it? Which brings me to my point. You're going to do what's best for you. Anything I say is really a moot point because I don't live your life, have your baby or share your existence in any way. IT'S NOT UP TO ME TO SAY WHAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU. I have really learned that we all need to be supportive of one another's choices regarding this whole motherhood thing.

But having said that...

BEST ADVICE

1. Talk to them all the time. Read to them all the time. Just generally keep jabbering away.
My (over thirty-some years in teaching elementary school) Mom is a huge proponent of this and consequently I was reading by age one and a 1/2 (she swears!). But she made it FUN. I can't remember a time when I couldn't read, nor can I recall a time I was ever "shushed". Overly talkative women are the norm in my family.

So to my friends and family: feel free to blame her.

2. Whatever it takes to get them to eat and grow properly, do it.
Trust me; I had planned to be the Breastfeeding Queen prior to Keira's birth. My body, on the other hand, had other ideas. When my poor little baby reached an alarming weight loss in her first week, we had to supplement with formula.

I felt like the worst mother in the world. But why? For cripes sake, I was hardly neglecting her. Frankly, it would have been neglect to let things continue the way they were.

You do what you have to do. And now she's healthy and happy and still gets both breast and bottle, which has allowed Mommy to have small breaks and Daddy to take over on occasion.

No one has to tell you breast is best. We all know that. Get help, but don't kill yourself to make it happen.

3. But if you're nursing, buy Lily Padz.
Seriously. You have to. They rock.

Congrats to the three lovely ladies and welcome to the babies-to-be!

2 Comments:

Blogger Mom101 said...

Outstanding advice, thank you. Where were you when I needed you with #1?

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

Great post, Brooke, and great advice, too! Especially the part about not beating yourself up if your baby has to take formula-right on.

7:38 AM  

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