Friday, February 27, 2015

A Letter For You

Dear Expecting Mommies and Daddies,

I know how you're feeling. I've been there. You're excited. You're nervous. You're anxious and happy and stressed and worried all at the same time. You have been planning this for months, maybe years, and you just want that little fella to come out already so you can meet him (or her)!! The registry is completed, the nursery is decorated, name is picked out and is already embroidered on an obscene amount of baby all that's left is waiting.

While you're waiting, you're probably going to take a baby class, or Google or Pinterest fun little baby facts and activities. What games can I play with a newborn? How often should they sleep? How do I soothe a crying baby? How much should they eat? How often do I bathe them? Your list is never ending. On top of that, you're also researching baby products and questioning the ones you already bought. Has my car seat been recalled since we installed it? Which stroller is the safest? A Medela breast pump, or a Playtex? Does FisherPrice even make safe bouncy seats? I better read 400 reviews and find out.

What did you find out?

I bet you learned what product was the best for you and your baby. You made a decision and know it's the best one you could make. You are now prepared. You have your checklists checked, your cupboards full of those sanitized bottles and pacifiers, freezer stocked with pre-made meals you spent hours preparing, and you just got told by a technician that your car seat is perfectly installed. Whew! But you're still waiting....

Since you have a minute, I'd like to give you some advice. You can be so prepared, have everything ready, done everything you were suppose to do to prepare for this little baby you are about to get to call your own, but are you really prepared? Whether this is your first or fifth, even if you have countless hours of baby experience, nothing can prepare you for this baby. This baby is different.This one is going to change your entire life, turn everything upside down, change everything you do and how you do it. And all those reviews you read about those products? They don't matter. You are already armed with the tools and knowledge you need to keep your baby safe and healthy. Trust me, it's instinctual whether you would like to think that or not. It will all come to you in the moment because you won't have a choice, and you'll find yourself making snap decisions like you've never made before and you know what? 99% of the time it's gonna turn out just fine.

But mommies and daddies, take this time to be selfish. Think about yourself for just a few minutes before baby gets here. Take the time to arm yourself with the tools you'll need for you after baby arrives. Mommies, read about recovery! There is nothing else like it and you are going to be uncomfortable and overwhelmed by how much you actually have to take care of yourself for the first few weeks. And daddies, spend some time with the guys. Have a few too many beers. And when you sober up the next morning, read an article or two about how to be there for your new mama when you bring the baby home. She is going to need you more than ever, even if she looks like she's handling it, she needs you. Or don't read anything at all, and just sit with her in the dark in the middle of the night while she feeds the baby, or bring her a glass of water (or some of that beef jerky she couldn't have for the last 9 months) without being asked.

Most importantly, cherish your new little family. Cherish the moments you have. The beginning is rough, but you cannot get that time back. You won't get a do over. Love each other on days when it seems really hard to and never take each other for granted.

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