She’s had her family baby shower, her friend baby shower, and her work baby shower. She’s set up the nursery… and rearranged it seven times. She’s been to the birthing class, had the firemen install her car seat, and her hospital bag is ready to go and packed with the necessities like essential oils, candles, a Celine Dion CD, a picture of her on her wedding day, and a baby name book just in case she changes her mind once she sees her little one for the first time. This is the perfect time to completely freak her out with some of the less talked about issues following the birth of her first baby.
1. Tell her how much your body hurts after giving birth to a kid. We all know that the act of child birth is painful. Just watch any Hollywood depiction of bringing a kid into this world and you’ll see all the screaming, sweat, and tears you need to convince you that, yes, having a kid is literally a pain in the bajingo. What we don’t see too often is the new mom struggling to sit down or, heaven forbid, stand up. That area which mere hours before pushed a watermelon through a cheerio is now as sore as the Pillsbury Dough Boy after doing a triathlon. It. Hurts. And that’s just standing up. Sex? Please hold while I laugh…
2. Tell her how much your body has changed. Why not point to the place your boobs used to be? Or explain to her that there was a time not so long ago when your abs were tight and toned and now you can’t wear anything that doesn’t have an empire waist to hide the stretch-marked Play-Doh blob you call a belly.
3. Tell her your baby still isn’t sleeping through the night… and he’s six. Once the new car smell has morphed into blowout diaper scent, new moms begin to wonder when their child will magically sleep through the night. Because once they start doing that at 4 months, you’re set, right? Tell her about teething, night terrors, colds and growth spurts. Give her a kind smile and say, “I’m sure your kid will be a perfect sleeper, though.”
4. If she’s married, tell her that every itty bitty problem she and her partner used to have will now become the size of a killer whale. Sleep deprivation, learning to live with a cranky, colicky, drool monkey, and figuring out what role you each play in the development of your newborn bundle of joy can really screw up a marriage. You suddenly forget how to communicate and, if you weren’t the best at communicating before, it’s an uphill battle.
5. Tell her your daughter was speaking in adult-like sentences at seven months. Or anything else that fills her with concern that her child won’t be able to “keep up.” After all, her kid isn’t even here yet, so of course she should be worried that her child won’t be smart or liked or will be the smelly kid. It’s not like she has anything else to worry about.
6. Tell her the hospital bills never stop coming. My son is 16 months old and we recently received a bill from his birth because the insurance “finally came through.” Awesome. I’ll be waiting for the next bill while getting him ready for high school graduation. And if the bill from his birth are coming in now, I imagine I’ll still be paying off his well check exams while celebrating his 40th birthday.
7. Tell her what an awesome mom she’s going to be. Okay, this one won’t freak her out. But after everything you just put her through, the least you can do is encourage her a bit, don’t ya think?
Related post: A Letter To My Pregnant, Child-Less Self…
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