Yep, you’ll actually have to READ this post to find out what the top ten is. My thanks to those that offered some suggestions. See, I told you there were 3 people that read this blog.
Ok, so I hate to even call it “advice” because that makes me sound so “expertish” (yes that’s a word). I’ve had the honor of hanging around some a-mazing moms. And, as I told Lisa on her blog, imitation is the highest form of flattery. I promise to give credit where credit is due.
BEST PRE-BABY ADVICE (make that TIPS)
1. Get it out of your head that “having a family” is a right, earned by every married couple. After we take those vows, seems like most of us (and yes, I’m including myself, here) assume that starting a family is as easy as…well, you know. It’s when we offer up that human desire to procreate, to bring life into this world (whether the traditional way or via adoption) that we are at peace with the path God creates for us. For some, it’s as easy as a candlelight dinner and a bottle of wine. For others, it’s a wee bit harder. (Thank you FK)
2. Don’t let others make you feel guilty for waiting, or not, to have children. As Scott and I politely told some family members when we were married 4 years with no children, “You’re not on that committee.” And, when others said, “Sheez, how many kids are you going to have?” Same response. Ok, I’m not that cold-hearted. But, I have learned that we all have a limit – either financial, psychological, emotional, etc. – but don’t assume you know when someone has reached hers. (Thank you Pat)
3. Develop thick skin. Everyone from your mother’s uncle’s cousin, twice-removed, will tell you what you’re doing wrong. Smile politely and do it your own way.
4. Address and stamp the birth announcements before you go into labor. Trust me, the last thing you want to do when you get home and you’re so sleep deprived you fall asleep everytime you sit down, is address announcements. (Thank you Janet)
5. Be flexible. Everything from a birthing plan (I believe mine was “Epidural, please?”) to nursing to disciplining – you may have THE PLAN written down, but as I’ve learned with four children – it’s all subject to change. (Thank you Carla E.)
6. When people offer to help, LET THEM. Jot down a few things that would be helpful after you get home from the hospital – cooking meals, mowing your lawn, running to the grocery store, playdates with your other kids, taking the dry cleaning – and then let them choose what they can do. (Thank you AnneMarie)
7. Stock the freezer. Before Will was born, I didn’t do this but I lucked out. The gals at church brought meals for 8 weeks after he was born. With John Paul, my mom and I cooked like crazy people and it paid off. With the girls, we finally got smart and went to The Studio Kitchen (if you’re in Austin, you know what I’m talking about). It’s something we still do!! (Thank you MOM)
8. Don’t feel guilty when you return or exchange a baby gift. Some people can’t live without it, but you can. Get something that you’ll use or, I promise, it will just end up in your next garage sale 🙂
9. Find a GREAT pediatrician. She is golden. When the 104 fever isn’t breaking, when WEBmd doesn’t make you feel better, when breathing is labored, when the EKG isn’t normal, when surgery is your only option – you want someone that loves your kiddo as much as you do.
10. Pray. I came across this book “When Mothers Pray” and I found myself reading it while I nursed. I’ve had some moments when I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, but none quite as powerful as those. It was in those precious moments, when the shades were drawn, the room was quiet and my kids were nursing, that I feel closest to God. And, no doubt, we offered up many more while I was prego. (Thank you Holy Spirit)