Listen. I get it. I get that the mommies of the world have to hold back some of their secrets. If they went around telling all the non-procreating ladies how hard caring for a baby actually is, well, there'd be a lot less babies in the world.
But once we get ourselves knocked up, I think entrance into the sisterhood should be automatic. At the very least, a more experienced mama should take the newbies aside in those early weeks and give them a good talking to.
Although, really, would we listen? Probably not. Every new mom likes to think she knows it all...until, that is, she's deep in the trenches (and by then, she's too embarrassed to admit she doesn't know what she's doing). So, in hopes of educating at least a few of you, here's my list of the things they forget to tell moms-to-be.
Babies poop. A lot. Every time they eat? They poop. And those poops are surprisingly large. Large enough to propel themselves out of the baby's diaper and on to their backs, their clothes, their hair (there might be a good reason most babies are bald). One bloggy friend of mine got the ingenious idea to just cut her baby's onesie off when it was really bad. I thought it was the best idea I'd ever heard.
Spit happens. For a loooooong time. Okay. I knew newborns spit up. I'd heard the stories. Seen the evidence on my friends' shirts. But I didn't know how long that particular phenomenon lasted. Mine is almost seven months old. And guess what? She still spits up. But now there's more of it. My clothing may never be the same.
Even once they start sleeping through the night, they don't. I was lucky. Miss Tori was capable of sleeping through the night when she was just ten weeks old. But as soon as I got used to getting my Zs, she stopped. Growth spurts, unscheduled poopy diapers, teething...all mess with your sleep schedule. Some friends just informed me that I might not sleep again until she's five. Five. That's a whole lot of years, people. I'm not sure I'll make it.
Teething never seems to end. Tori's been working on her first tooth for oh, about, three months now? She'll be miserable. A fussy, drooling, sleepless mess for days at a time. Just long enough, in fact, for me to start thinking that this will be IT. The day when that tooth finally pops through. But then, all the action stops...until I've settled into complacency. Then the cycle starts all over again.
Solid food? Is not something babies are real excited about. I looked forward to the day I could start her on real food for months. I read all the books. Researched baby food manufacturers (no, I don't make my own. This is not Super Mom's blog). But when the big day arrived? She made a face and spit it back out at me. This is a pattern that has repeated itself for the last month. Humorous? Yes. Easy? No.
Dressing babies? Is not fun either. Sure, they look cute in their adorable little outfits. But getting them on? Should be an Olympic event. When they're first born, clothing babies is a nerve-wracking event. They're so...breakable. Then, just when you get the hang of it, they get a mind of their own. And my baby? Hates clothes. Hates them. Especially sleeves. By the time I get her in her pajamas, I'm ready for a bottle of my own (you don't really need me to tell you what kind, do you).
Everything your baby sees will go into her mouth. No, you don't understand. I mean everything. Toys, clothing, dog food, dead bugs...everything. If, like me, you're not the world's best housekeeper, you will spend more time than you ever thought possible diving for whatever unsuitable object is heading toward your baby's drooling orifice.
Vacuum your floors, people. Vacuum your floors.
There are more, of course. More things you need to know. But, hey, I'm a mommy now. I can't go giving away all our secrets. That would ruin the fun (and get me kicked out of the sisterhood). All I can say is...good luck. You're in for a helluva ride. Through a blizzard. At night. In a rear-wheel drive car. On twisty mountain roads.
But don't worry. It's totally worth it.