Monday, March 21, 2011

First Time Mom

Dunbar-926One of my very best and life long friends is  pregnant with her first child. For years I’ve been asking her, “Pregnant yet?,” only to receive the PC answer of, “Not yet, we’re waiting for the right time…” But I have bugged and bugged (because she knows I want the best for her) and she’s one of my kindred spirits, and well, when you’ve been friends since before puberty asking such a personal question is like water off a ducks back.

Anyhow, she’s prego now and I couldn’t be more excited or more bummed.

She’s going to be a mom, hooray. She lives in New York, crap.

As I was talking with her on the phone the other day, so many thoughts popped into my head that I wanted to share with her, so many do’s and don’ts and this and that’s. So I thought perhaps I’d share a few opinions and thoughts that I am sharing with her.

Here is all of my wisdom… Dunbar-938

1. Everyone’s got an opinion on everything. Just smile and nod, and take what you like, use it, take what’s wack and throw it out the window. (But I’m sure you’ll use everything contained in this letter.)

2. When registering for all of the baby gear, take a friend who’s walked a mile in your shoes already. Perhaps someone with an infant or a toddler, not a friend who’s kid is 12, things change so fast and the gear gets better each year.

3. Find a support group now!  Find friends who are walking in your shoes or are just a bit ahead of you in this parenting game. Listen when they talk. Nobody can give it to you straight like someone who has just crossed the milestone you are about to come across. People who have older kids remember the glory days and the bliss of everything. Time, I think, reduces the cruddy memories and the feelings of devastation after weeks of sleep deprivation. Having moms in your corner that are living the same life day-to-day will give you the understanding and hope that nobody else really can.

Your friends will change, slowly. Singles really don’t want to hear about your breasts, or poopy diapers, or sleep schedules and that’s okay. Their life is still theirs, and well, yours is not going to be yours for quite a while.


4. Learn where your and your spouses strengths and weaknesses are. (This is NOT easy.) I have a friend that says her husband “does the newborn stage” better than she does, and being on baby number three themselves they have things worked out. But you have to find out and accept whose got more patience during those colicky evenings, who handles 2am wet bed sheets and blowouts best. Communication with your spouse is absolutely imperative now, it will make or break your relationship, and if you’d like to have a relationship at the end of the next 18 years, he has got to remain first in your life.

5. Which leads me to sex. Yikes, I wrote it, sex. Yes, that’s how you got into this crazy of sector of life to begin with, but remember, your husband is still going to want it. Post baby weight, leaky boobs, saggy thighs and all. Make time for him! Put some lipstick on, close your eyes and make him feel like he’s still the one. Again, easier said than done, just ask my husband. But a happier husband almost always equals an easier life for you. (ie trash taken out, help with laundry, that shelf you want put up; done…) {Mr. Dunbar is probably thinking, FOLLOW YOUR OWN ADVICE- but I’m on baby #3, ha.}

Okay, bringing this back around...

6. Call your mom if you have questions on how to get the baby to stop crying, diaper rash, gas, earaches… any of that stuff. Mom’s know this stuff, they remember how to cure all these baby ailments. They do, and they’re a lot easier to reach then the nurse help line who will ask you 25 questions before giving you any advice at all.

7. You will never be as smart as you are today, never be as put together as this afternoon, and you will never have every second of every day to yourself for the rest of your life, but what you will have will be so, so much more. You will have a soul that was created and carried by you, eyes that will light up only to your voice because all others are foreign, and a body that will react to you alone. Did you know that your heartbeats will align whenever he/she is rested on your chest these first few days of motherhood? Incredible, is what it is.

8. Your life will forever be changed because of this little person. You will never be the same, ever. The moment they place that baby in your arms you will know how real God is, how great is His love and power because of this miracle He has allowed you to experience. You will never view joy, peace, love, or God in the same manner.

9. Of course there is reality when that “miracle” just won’t sleep, or continues to cry even though you’ve done everything you could think and you think you’re going to lose your mind, but the child will live and you will gain some amount of sanity again.

10. You will finally appreciate and understand all that your parents have done for you. My mom used to say, “ You won’t understand xyz until you are a parent yourself.” She was right. All of those sacrifices and worries that were expended because of you will live again  because of your child. They will.

Oh, and you will become your mother, yup, all those annoying things she did “for your own good”, you will do them, too.


and now for some nitty gritty…

gas drops are good

clotrimiazole cures diaper rash (yeast infection)

always pack one more outfit or burp cloth than you think you’ll need, and add 2 diapers

all of those adorable outfits that look like something off a GAP or Gucci add are junk, what will be easiest for you and baby are sleepers and soft jammies.

invest in the expensive stroller, carrier, car seat now, if you plan on having more kids. the cheap stuff won’t last.

buy some good nursing bras, and/ or nursing tanks, oh and stick with the breast feeding, its liquid gold for your baby, and even though it will hurt like h-e-double hockey sticks, it is so worth it for you and baby

invest in a good camera, your memories will fade but the pictures will keep them alive and fresh, and reord as much as possible.

when you’ve got more blow-outs than poop staying in the diaper, its time to move up a size

baths are good relaxation for both baby and mom.

everyone will tell you how to get your kid to sleep through the night, i’ve read all the books. use what sounds right to you, what you’re comfortable with don’t go crazy over. seriously.


Good luck on your journey into motherhood. Take it from one who has many little hands and hearts to care for, you will be a great mommy.


And yes, that is my belly with Baby H.


~mrs. dunbar


jen@odbt said...

Great advice. She is lucky to have you to call when those silly books just don't make sense.

I would add -- accept help especially in the beginning. Before my first was born, I was adamant about it just being the 3 of us but then there were complications and it was so stressful. Having my MIL there was just what we needed.

Oh and one more but this pertains to the birth and kind of graphic but I wish someone told me...when it's time to push, push like you're having a bm. Apparently I was pushing with my face and that added extra labor hours. I probably could have given birth sooner if I'd known.

Robin said...

So cute....and all so very true!

Genn said...

Great advice. What a lucky gal to have such a knowledgeable friend when it comes to this motherhood business. :)

Mrs. C... said...

Beautiful. Simply Beautiful. Mwah friend. Also love your photographer - no truly, I do!!

Anonymous said...

Such great advice. I'll never forget my support group...two friends that were just a tad ahead of me. I don't know what I would have done without them.

GREAT pictures! You'll cherish those forever.

Cindy said...

Such wonderful and REAL advice!
Moms helping moms is a beautiful thing!
Have a happy day

priceless photos btw....

Kerri said...

Your advice is fantastic...your pictures are beautiful!

Janna said...

beautiful advice!

Cathy said...

what a perfect list! and a beautiful friend, you are!

Simply...Me said...

#5 I read aloud to Adam, I had to because I was on my phone reading this during a movie and burst into laughter. Mostly about the lipstick and laying down part. He rolled his eyes.

Great post for your friend!

Lori said...

That is a really sweet post. Your blog is making me all emotional tonight! Blessings to your friend, she is lucky to have you in her corner!

(And I agree with Jen about asking for help! Hard to do, but something you have to get used to as a mom if you want to keep your sanity!)

Jensamom23 said...

What a good and true frind you are. Great advice!