I wanted to write a blog post, but I wasn’t sure what to write about so I decided to google what kind of blog posts people like to read. One was a how-to guide so I have decided to write a how-to guide on how to be a mom.
- When you are trying to get pregnant make sure you take the early pregnancy test every month before your missed period:
When Dan and I started trying to conceive I figured I would be pregnant in the first month. I would take the early pregnancy tests every month. They were always negative (until I got pregnant obviously). Since they were the early pregnancy tests I would think, Maybe it was too early… maybe I could still be pregnant. Then, I would be sad every month when I started my period. Even though it only took us 10 months to get pregnant, I was still sad every month I wasn’t pregnant. I wouldn’t recommend taking a test at least until you miss your period.
2. If you are planning on breastfeeding make sure you read books that make you feel terrible about yourself when it doesn’t work out the way you planned:
I heard breastfeeding is hard so I should read about it before I had my son. I read a book that said, “don’t have an epidural, let the baby latch naturally, don’t pump because you won’t bond with your baby, if you give your baby formula they will be fat and stupid.” So yeah… I had always been planning on having an epidural, I have an extremely low pain tolerance. I did have an epidural so I, of course, felt guilty when nursing didn’t work out for us. I also had a fairly traumatic labor and I wasn’t able to nurse right away so that could be a big part of it. I felt like a horrible mom when nursing didn’t work out for us. I decided to exclusively pump for 11 months and that worked great for us. When I saw other moms nursing their babies I would feel like a failure. I do think breast milk is the best for babies, but there is nothing wrong with formula. Also, if breastfeeding is effecting your mental health and your relationship with your baby, it is probably better to do what works best for both of you. If you nurse, you’re a good mom. If you exclusively pump, you’re a good mom. If you use formula, you’re a good mom. If your baby had to be tube fed, you’re a good mom. If you did a combination of any of these, you’re a good mom.
3. Don’t let your kids have screen time. Ever.
Hahahahaha, Covid. Life. Time to yourself. If you do zero screen time with your kids, please let me know how you manage.
4. Take everyone’s unsolicited advice seriously:
Everyone has an opinion on how you should parent your kid; don’t listen to advice that doesn’t work for you. Personally, I only want parenting advice if I ask for it, and I feel like most parents are the same. Unsolicited advice used to make me feel like I was failing as a mom. I still don’t like it, but I try not to take it too seriously. I also try to be friends with people who are uplifting and encouraging, not people who criticize everything I do.
5. Make Plans. Lots of them. Everything will go exactly the way you planned:
Oh, wait! There are sleepless nights, fights with your husband, messy houses, stitches that need to heal, people who want to come see the baby when you’re trying to figure out how to breastfeed. I don’t think I left the house the first month (except for doctor’s appointments). Actually, I know I didn’t because M.J. wanted to nurse All. The. Time. Also, we didn’t have it figured out so I was not comfortable doing it in public at all. When I started pumping, Dan was able to watch M.J. and I was able to have time to myself. It was wonderful! Adding a child to your family changes your relationship a lot. You don’t realize how differently you think and you don’t realize you disagree on a lot of parenting strategies. Remember to work together and keep loving each other. You made a baby together so you hopefully liked each other a little bit. Remember parenting together is hard and make sure you are on the same team.
6. Making friends with other moms is easy and you won’t have to put yourself outside of your comfort zone at all:
I wanted to make mom friends, but I was very anxious about it. What if they think I’m a bad mom? What if they think I’m weird or awkward? I am, but true friends don’t care. Once I started putting myself out of my comfort zone it started getting easier. I also, didn’t have a choice when M.J. started talking because he is an extreme extrovert. He would just start playing with a kid so I would be like… I guess I’ll talk to their mom. I have also been very blessed to meet mom friends at my church. It is very encouraging to have friends who will pray for me when I’m having a hard parenting day and who don’t judge me when I feel like I’m drowning. Making mom friends might cause you to go outside of your comfort zone, but it is totally worth it.
7. Disciplining your kids is easy and you will never second-guess yourself:
Discipline is probably one of the hardest parts of parenting for me. Am I being too strict? Am I being too lenient? How do I know when my kid’s being a brat and when he’s just being a 3 year old? I don’t know if I will ever have it figured out. I ask God for wisdom with discipline almost every day.
8. Toddlers eat everything you put on their plate. You will never be disappointed when you decide to actually home-cook a meal and your son says, “I don’t like it” without even trying it.
From what I’ve heard from other parents, M.J. is not that picky, but he used to not want to eat any vegetables. Thankfully, he’s always loved fruit and he has started eating vegetables sometimes. However; sometimes he asks for something and then says he didn’t want it. “You asked for it!” Apparently, in the 5 seconds it took me to peel the banana he said he wanted, he decided he didn’t want it anymore. This is not frustrating at all. Although, when M.J. wouldn’t eat any vegetables, I got him the pouches that had fruits and vegetables in them to trick him into eating vegetables. It worked pretty well. He still likes pouches and they’re a super easy snack.
9. Always say yes to your kids. No matter what.
This reminds me of Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Her parents give her whatever she wants and never discipline her. If you’ve seen this movie, you see how well their parenting works out… not great. This can be hard because you obviously want your kid to like you, but giving them whatever they want is not healthy for them. You don’t want them to grow up to be adults who feel they deserve everyone to do everything else for them. You normally know better than a 3 year old: they might want to stay up all night, but you know if you let them do that, they will be very moody the next day. It’s okay to say no to your kids sometimes. It can be hard, especially if they throw a tantrum, but sometimes it is the best thing for them
10. Give your kids sugar right before bedtime:
They will sleep great. I think I only made that mistake a few times. M.J. was very hyper and didn’t want to sleep. So, I would not recommend this.
This was obviously a sarcastic blog post. These are things that didn’t work well for me, or were difficult for me. If some of these things work for you, that’s fine. I think there are many women who found breastfeeding books helpful to successfully nurse their babies. This is okay. Breastfeeding is great, but if it doesn’t work out for you, that’s okay. There might also be people who like unsolicited advice (I don’t know anyone, but maybe they exist). All kids are different. All moms are different. All dads are different. You’re a good mom. You’re a good dad. You are loved. You are awesome.
“Raising kids may be a thankless job with ridiculous hours, but at least the pay sucks.”- Jim Gaffigan