What I Learned My First Year As A Mother


1. My second child is not a replica of my son, only with a vagina instead of a penis. Somehow, I thought she would be. She has the nerve to be her very own person.


2. Babies are merciless. Even when you’re the one who was practically ripped in half by a head in the 99th percentile for newborns, that newborn may come out looking exactly like the man who did it to you. Not fair. Maybe God is a man. Damn chauvinist.


3. Mommy brain also includes forgetting how hard a baby was the first time around, which is why you agree to do it again. I seemed to only remember my son sleeping anywhere and everywhere and being out for at least 6 hours through the night from day one. My husband reminded me that I was very, very wrong. People who say their babies sleep through the night at three or five weeks or even five months are fucking lying to you .


4. One kid is nothing. Breezy. Easy peezy. Two is a veritable tornado. Three is more than I could handle (without ruining my nice hair).


5. Despite what the American Academy of blah blah blah says, television, mobile devices, and computers are great babysitters. Why pay $10 an hour?


6. Yes, the going rate for a babysitter is $10 an hour. I wish I got paid for babysitting my own kids. That’s $120 a day x 5 days = (hold on a minute let me get my calculator) $600 a week, times 52 weeks in a year divided by 12, is a whopping $2600 a month. How much is that in a year? Only 31,000? WTF? Maybe I wouldn’t need to pay taxes, though? And don’t forget overtime. Waking up in the middle of the night would be 50 bucks a shot. Breastfeeding, extra. A lot extra.


7. Speaking of breastfeeding, guess what? Your kid won’t croak if you don’t do it! In fact, your baby can be plenty healthy and not appear at all to have a pallor of sickness if not given the precious golden drops of mama’s milk. Formula, my dears, is not poison. This I’ve learned. (In fact, my almost one-year-old daughter doesn’t seem to want to give it up, which is pissing me off.)


8. Formula! It’s all the same! Target brand, Walmart (though I refuse to shop there), supermarket brand, all must adhere to the same FDA standards of vitamins and minerals. So that $28 can of formula you keep buying? Toss it and go for the generic $13 a can. Seriously. You won’t be harming your baby. She’ll thank you for the savings in her college fund.


9. Not only are girls’ clothes cuter, they also allow us moms to live vicariously. While I may be frustrated by five kinds of jeans that don’t fit well, all jeans look fabulous on her. So I’ve been buying lots. And lots. And then some more, because she grows fast. Don’t even mention shoes. I might have to open a new credit card….


10. Parenting gets better and easier, mostly because I become more confident. When my wonderful, adorable family is together, giggling and gnawing on cookies and talking about deep subjects like Spiderman and Buzz Lightyear and pureed bananas, I am joyful. I am quite a lucky woman.


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  1. 2

    Vicki says

    At 8 weeks until my first baby is due, I’m wary of MORE advice and lesson. But I have to say, this is brilliant and exactly what I want to hear right about now. All of it. Thanks.

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    • 4

      Jana @ An Attitude Adjustment says

      You’re right–you get too much advice as a new mom. But the one thing you don’t hear enough is to trust yourself. So here I am, telling you–ignore the multitude of articles and just trust yourself to be able to figure out what’s best for you and the baby.

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    • 5

      Jana @ An Attitude Adjustment says

      So yeah, Vicki, I posted two nearly identical responses to you because the I didn’t think the first one showed up. Anyway, I guess it doesn’t hurt to tell you TWICE to trust yourself. Here is the third. Three is the magic number, right? :)

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  2. 7

    Karen MEG says

    I had to laugh at #9. Just wait until she gets a tiny bit older and has some say in the outfits. My baby girl is hitting 6 next month and already has her own recycling room of clothes for her younger cousins. (Just kidding – sorta). And #2 – pretty hilarious. Although both my kids look alarmingly mostly like me – I thank goodness for their crooked baby fingers a la their Dad, that’s all I’ve got to say!

    Great post. Enjoy each moment with your “last” baby – although you never know, right?

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  3. 10

    Kameron says

    So true! I never knew how easy one kid was until number two came along. My situation is reversed as number one came out with that sparkle and number two is more subdued, but we all have to have one right??

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  4. 12

    Amy Hillis says

    *giggles* I’m a stay home mom with 6 kids, 4 under the age of 7. It gets messier, louder and my hair is a wee bit wilder than it was 10 years ago! But it’s all good and it’s all about confidence!Great article! Thanks for the giggles!

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    • 13

      Jana @ An Attitude Adjustment says

      I am bowing to you right now from my home where I’m avoiding my own two by letting them watch the best babysitter–television. Six!? I wish I had an award to give you virtually. :)

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  5. 14

    dusty earth mother says

    “see the dust bunnies on the floor as not a sign of my domestic inadequacy, but cool fuzzy things that might feel neat in my mouth”. Okay, that is the best line ever. Jana, I read you all the time and this is one of your absolute best and thanks for the babysitting tally; now I realize how much I’m really worth :-) Love you girl!

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