“So, any advice for a soon to be new mom?”
It took me a few days to process this question and I swear I didn’t mean to post it on Dutch / American Mother’s Day, but here we are and what a lovely post it turned out to be… except there needs to be more curse words in here.
Fuck. Let’s get this shit going, shall we?
- SLEEP. You about to get NONE SLEEP. Sometimes for MONTHS. So right now? Get all the sleep you can handle. The laundry? Can wait. The dishes? Can wait. The waking up early cause you need to exercise? Can wait. SLEEEEEP.
- Go see all the movies. With your partner. Cause you don’t get to go to the movies, like, forever. And not just movies, but dates. Go on lots and lots of dates. I know you feel self conscious about your body and maybe not as sexy, but one, YOU ARE TOTALLY SEXY. And two, you aren’t going to have alone time for a LOOOOOOONG time.
- Use that nesting instinct to your advantage. A lot of people used their nesting time to actually get ready for the baby, which is totally cool, but I used mine to Get Shit Done. Not just for baby, but around the house and in the garden and, before the twins, to UNPACK ALL THE THINGS. Which is indirectly for the baby cause when you’re happy, you can take care of others.
- Speaking of… TREAT YO’SELF. Okay, but seriously, go to the spa. Go swimming cause then you’re all lightweight again and who doesn’t love water? Eat the chocolate. Buy the kickass lip gloss that costs entirely too much. If you haven’t already figured out what you need to be happy / sane / consistent / soothed, figure it out now cause you need to be happy / sane / consistent / soothed in order to take care of another human being which you’re about to have to do for the next twenty years. HOLY SHIT, I’M TOTALLY FREAKING OUT NOW, TOO.
- Breathe. Just breathe. Now I’ve got that song in my head, too, but it’s relevant. At certain points, especially immediately after the baby’s birth, you’ll be completely sleep deprived, exhausted, desperate, and thinking dark thoughts late at night. Remember to breathe. And also remember that it’s okay that, as long as the baby is safe, fed, and dry, you can walk away when they’re howling if you need a minute. This was one of the most important points the kraamzorger told me when my first was born. Remember that it’s more important to walk away and take a minute than it is to stay there and completely lose your shit. I mean, DUH. But it’s not obvious right when the completely helpless little person arrives. Try to remember.
- It takes a village. You’ll notice that, fundamentally, I’m being very vague about the specifics after the little one arrives. Because those specifics don’t matter. What worked for mine might not work for yours. And what worked for the first one might not work for the second. It’s almost guaranteed. But when you run into specific things, I’m here for you. If you’re not figuring things out, I’m here for you. I’m one of your many gurus. But I will not reach out and give you advice unless you ask for it. Because that’s what I wanted when mine were born. And when I give you advice, it’s based on my experience and it might not work the same for you or for your little one. So, gather your gurus. You’re gonna need them.
- Unless it doesn’t. Cause with my first born, I was an island unto myself and for six months that worked just fine. Until I absolutely lost my shit and then it didn’t work. So I TALKED IT OVER WITH MY PARTNER AND THINGS CHANGED. That’s in all caps cause it was actually a really upsetting, stressful time for both of us, but ultimately things did change and worked out and got better. I’m being vague with this as well, cause, well, that’s another blog post.
I’m so totally excited for your next chapter to begin. You’re going to rock this.