Friday, February 26, 2010

What I Wish I Knew...

I have recently found out that an old friend of mine is pregnant. She will be a rocking stay-at-home-mom, and I also think she'll have a few of the need-to-have-an-answer, need-to-have-a-plan tendencies that I had (and, let's be honest, still have). One of the hardest things I encountered while pregnant was the challenge to sort through the amazing volumes of well-meaning advice that came at me from every angle.

I intend to now write a blog full of my own well-meaning advice, inspired by my friends' pregnancy, and by others around me who are expecting.

Disclaimer: I am in no way a pregnancy OR child care expert. The following tidbits are taken from my own experience and hindsight observations, in the hopes that they will offer some peace of mind and/or validation to friends and to myself if I am ever in this position again and in need of a few reminders.

What I Wish I Knew While I Was Pregnant

1. You will drive yourself crazy comparing yourself to family, friends, or media moms. It is cliche but true: everyone is different, and different is not wrong.

2. Your definition of spontaneity is about to change forever. Take the next several whirlwind months and build up some self-indulgent experiences to draw from once you have to start making all your plans around a little someone else.

3. It may seem like you're not sleeping well due to the pregnancy, but at least right now you can lay down when you want, for as long as you want, and totally zone out. Do that as many times as you can.

4. Nothing is wrong with your maternal instincts if you don't feel like nesting for 35 out of the 40 weeks you're expecting, or if you start cleaning, baby-proofing, and decorating like a madwoman from week 4.

5. Don't worry about your weight, beyond your health and the health of the growing wee one.

6. Borrow maternity clothes, buy used maternity clothes, and think outside the box- what is in your 'normal clothes' section of your wardrobe that offers extra room for a growing belly?

7. Don't be embarrassed about your belly. It's not taboo, even if it is new to you. Have photos done, go swimming, and wear clothing that is a little more clingy than it is billowy. Enjoy the change, and you'll set a tone for a more optimistic approach to all the other changes your physique foreshadows.

8. Don't let family and friends pressure or bully you in to or out of a baby name.

9. Read, read, read, read, read. Be open-minded about more than "how it was done when I was a kid" when it comes to child-rearing methods.

...aaaaaaaaaaand last...

10. There is more than one 'right' way to raise a kid. If you have an all-natural birth, an epidural, or a c-section... if you breastfeed or use formula... if you circumcise or not... if you utilize a schedule or not... if you co-sleep or start and keep your wee one in their own bed... if you have pets or not... if you separate their laundry or mix it in with yours...

Remember: if you're making your parenting decisions out of love, then that's all that matters. In the end, the parents are the only people accountable for the decisions made for a kiddo, so in the end, the ultimate decision is yours. Be gracious when advice is offered, but don't feel pressured or judged when you go to make your decision.

It's cliche, but it's true- time flies. It will feel slow at first, but all of the sudden, you'll have an almost-two-year-old, and you'll be wondering why in the world you stressed out so much when all you had was a squishy lump that slept all day. Enjoy every step for what it is, and you'll get by just fine (good advice for others and for myself, even now).

1 comment:

  1. Awww, thanks Courtney!! You are too sweet and I can't wait to ask you for tons of advice :)