This idea of listing things I had no clue about when I first had Riley has been floating in my head for weeks. Months, probably. It’s interesting to look back on these past ten months since having a baby, and think of what I would’ve done differently. Here’s my list. It will probably be a working list, and more things will be added later on.
1. I would not have stressed so much about breastfeeding. Boobs are made to do this. They will do it. I would not have freaked out so much about my supply dropping if Riley didn’t eat rightthisminuteohmygod!!!!!!!&*(&(^W(*&. I mean, here I am, ten months later, still producing. Apparently it’s not that hard.
2. Stretch marks are inevitable. People who tell you they didn’t get stretch marks are lying. Or they can’t see the parts of their body that are now home to stretch marks. I cried when I saw my naked, post baby belly, spattered with purple stretch marks. Now I notice them on my boobs. Thanks for lactating THAT much, boobs! Great!
3. It’s waaaaaay hard to lose baby weight. Even if you’re young. Even if you breastfeed. Even if you were in good shape to begin with. Even if you compete in a triathlon four months after having your baby.
4. If you’ve got a crappy marriage, introducing an adorable ball of stress and sleep deprivation is not the way to “bring you two closer.” This is definitely not the case for us, but I just remember in the early days thinking, “God, it would suck to have a crappy husband and be going through this.” Make sure you’ve got a kick ass husband before you embark on babydom.
5. Give mad props to single parents. (See above)
6. You say you’ll never be THAT mom. You will. Even after being a mom for ten months, trust me. You will.
7. Having a baby really teaches you how to stand up for yourself. And your family. The pharmacy screwed up and gave us the wrong amount of antibiotic for Riley’s first ear infection. I almost let it slide. Then I remembered that this is for him, not me. I care more about his ears than I do my own. I called and they corrected it. The insurance company has been bullshitting me around for months about a doctor’s appointment. I kept on them and they took care of it. You’re not just your own advocate anymore, ya know.
8. Less tolerant to bullshit. I think that’s actually a good quality. You want to complain about mundane crap? I don’t want to hear it. Call me when you’ve got real problems. Does that sound harsh? Too bad. I now know what is most important in life, and you whining about not getting an iPhone for Christmas is not it.
9. There is an instant bond with new moms. You see other moms with their infant carriers perched on the red plastic carts at Target and you have to take a peek at their baby. And ask them how it’s going. You enjoy it and you better believe they appreciate it. It’s awesome to hear you have a cute baby. Not that you don’t already know that.
10. The amazement and love you feel when you look at your baby never goes away or fades. Ditto for the husband.