The Only 5 Pieces of Advice Worth Listening To

There is a saying in medicine: “Do one, see one, teach one.” I know a few doctors and would trust them with my care in general, but that idea is terrifying. So, I’ve seen a kid. I’ve had a kid. Let me teach you how to have a kid… Or, not! I get a lot of advice all the time from soliciting it like a hooker on a corner to not asking for it in the least. I’ve sifted through it and come up with the only advice I think is worth listening to:

1. Do not take parenting advice. OK, I’m the one giving this advice…am I suggesting your stop reading the rest of the post like one of those “following directions” tests you got (and I failed) in elementary school? No. But what I’m saying is this: If it doesn’t sound right, then you have no reason to take the advice. Even if it’s from your mom or a mom friend who has five genius children…or even your doctor. If it sounds wrong, get another opinion. Or hey, make your own because IT’S YOUR KID. It’s your responsibility and HECK, you have only known the lump for a week/month/year but you still know it better than anyone else does. (Maybe, though, stop referring to your child as an “it.”)

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2. Take parenting advice. Wait, am I on crack? No. But life is a paradox so here it is: You’ve never done this before! And even if you have, this is A NEW AND WEIRD LITTLE INDIVIDUAL you just created, and it is different from everyone else on the planet so, if you need help, ask! Or if your kid is liiike having ONLY GREEN POOP (like Booberry recently) and that seems weird to you, maybe follow up on that. Or if someone super arrogant and annoying says something to you and you don’t want their stupid advice and you didn’t ask but actually that does sound like a good tip, just get over yourself and try it out. And there’s no point in me telling you not to read horror stories on the internet because you’re going to no matter what so just refer back to advice #1 as needed.

3. Delegate. Green poop. That’s what precipitated this. See a lactation consultant. Why wouldn’t you see an LC? If you don’t like the one the hospital brought you, get another one. They are neat. The stereotypical advice moms get is, “Breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. BUT OH MY GOD IT HURTS SO BAD!” which is super true. Of course it hurts to have a suction cup pull at your nipple every two hours. That takes some getting used to! But get help with that. Because it should not hurt once you get it all sorted out and somehow train that precious creature that sucks the juices from you to do it without bruising you. If you are not breastfeeding, that’s just fine, and see number 1 because people are judgy bitches about breast juice but some people are adopted and they aren’t dying or stupid because they didn’t get their mom’s precious bodily fluids, so your kid will be just brilliant, too!

Tell people to do your dishes. Realllllly, they don’t mind and everyone knows how to do dishes. Or they should. If not, TEACH THEM and then make them practice on your dishes. Not everyone has my mother-in-law aka “The Hurricane” who will come to my house and clean the entirety in half an hour flat. But you do have people asking “what can I do?” and they can do something. Like dishes. Don’t be such a perfectionist that you redo the dishwasher after someone else doesn’t do it efficiently. Let it go, like a Disney princess, because you don’t have time any more. You are not Olivia Pope and you cannot handle everything (I watched some Netflix while pumping).

4. You are the best parent in the world. You are the worst parent in the world. At least in your own head. Yesterday, I woke up after my child slept eight hours and she smiled at me and had a nice yellow poop (thank you, lactation consultant) and then we went to coffee with my mom group and she smiled and gooed and took a cute nap on my lap and they inquired about my oversupply problem (which is like saying your biggest flaw is being a perfectionist when talking to other moms, but it is actually a thing to fix) and I felt like THE BEST MOM EVER. Then, in the afternoon, I went to my neighbor’s house and wedged Booberry in the corner of the couch while I went to take my birth control and she decided to try to commit suicide by pitching herself two feet forward and head first off the couch and my neighbor TOTALLY NINJA saved her by making it a controlled fall and supporting Booberry’s tiny, daredevil head all while holding her own kid. I felt like the WORST MOM EVER!

But… my neighbor got to be the BEST MOM EVER in that moment and I’m super thankful she was right there. So basically, every day you will fail a little but, if your kid is still alive at the end, YOU FOUGHT THE DAY AND YOU WON! Mom guilt will happen forever (I’m flooded with shame thinking of her plummeting off the couch) and you will always think of worst case scenarios (I totally just paused writing this to make sure Booberry was still breathing because she’s all the way in the other room and has been asleep for a long time), but deal with it. You’re the best mom ever (to your kid). I mean, logic dictates that you are also the worst mom ever since you are her only mom unless you are in a two mom marriage, but stilllllll….optimism, people!

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5. “It goes so fast!” is a lie…and a truth. Old ladies and moms of snot-nosed ten-year-olds will stop you on the street to wiggle their fingers at your baby and they will proclaim her the cutest baby that ever lived (your suspicions have been confirmed) and say the SAME DAMN SENTENCE, “Enjoy this. It goes by so fast.” And you will roll your eyes. Because you were up all night with her and you have mastitis (“what cows get”) and she screamed at you for no reason and has weird newborn baby acne and your husband doesn’t like you anymore (he does, I hope), and she doesn’t even acknowledge your presence let alone love you and it’s only 2pm and no one is going to come home to help you or give you a pee break for at least three hours and you MIGHT DIE OF SLEEP DEPRIVATION. It goes slow. SO SLOW.

And then, suddenly, you’re packing up the size newborn clothes. And also the 0-3 month clothes. And she can roll off couches and hold things with her hands and put them in her mouth. And you have this beautiful moment of clarity one day as she wriggles between you and your husband at 7am, blowing bubbles with her lips and refusing to go back to sleep because she’s so excited to see you and you will smile and then start to cry because this is never going to happen again. And your husband will look at your like you’re crazy and say “I’m sure we will hang out with her in the morning in bed again” and you say, “But never like this! Never will she ever be this small again! Never exactly this age and stage of life again!” And you will see a little newborn in the bathroom at the mall, dead asleep on his mom’s chest and you will think (but maybe keep the thought to yourself because she looks stressed) “I hope you enjoy this, because it goes so fast.”

Related post: 10 Things Parents Should Never Do

About the writer

Laura Wheatman Hill is an English and drama teacher who used to direct middle school musicals for a living, but now mostly performs showtunes for her infant, Alice, aka Booberry.  She lives in Portland, Oregon where she spends a significant chunk of her free time blogging about her boobs (and other things) to avoid doing household chores.  You can find her at http://aworldthatissmall.blogspot.com/.  

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Anne Sausser 12 months ago

Best SM post ever!

Julie Ecker Ertl 12 months ago

Ohhhh my yessss!!

Nick Jones 12 months ago

So your advice is: “don’t take advice but do”, “you’re the best parent and the worst”, and “it goes by fast but slow.”

Madam Jinx 12 months ago

This made me cry a little. My baby is only two months old, but omg, baby is already two months old! The time is already going by so fast, just slipping through my fingers.

Charlotte Wise 12 months ago

It DOES TOO go too fast. Now that my daughter is 10, she is much different. She still snuggles, holds my hand, and gives me a good-bye kiss. But she no longer comes to me with “boo-boos”. She watches YouTube, (self-censors), plays Minecraft on the computer, wants an ipad, and worries about peer pressure. She listens to pop music (who need sex ed when you listen to those songs?) and makes her own dinner (occasionally). The hand-holding and kisses are about to go..I will refuse to let the snuggling go. But just yesterday she was the perky girl going to kindergarten.

Alexandra Sliwinski Kavana 12 months ago

Excellent!

Farda Mughal 12 months ago

Love it!!

Jennifer Furnari 12 months ago

Best post I ever read!

Amanda Gamosh 12 months ago

My youngest is now 7 and I still got teary reading this and immediately wanted to share it with my fb universe – only to stop and recall my baby is 7 :(

Sarah 12 months ago

What an amazing article! You rock!

Suz Holtorf 12 months ago

Hilarious & honest!

Michelle Vinokurov 12 months ago

Snaps for scary mom!!!! So good :)

Andrea Medina 12 months ago

Love love love Scary Mommy ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Karen Jean 12 months ago

That’s clear as mud

Savi 12 months ago

“It goes by so fast” is absolutely true although it really doesn’t feel like it. I’m watching my 1 year old destroy her playroom all while blabbering a mixture of real words(mama, dada, kitty cat, panda) and nonsense(puppa, boooo, buh blah) and wondering how I got to this point so quickly! Wasn’t it just yesterday that she was a tiny little lump? I miss the tiny baby snuggles! Which is why I’m ten weeks pregnant with #2! I get to do it all over again, although I’m sure I’ll wonder WHY I wanted to when I’m no longer getting 8 hours of sleep and have an infant attached to my boob again.

Merryl Carr-Goldman 12 months ago

Okay, so I really don’t have an answer for green poop! Lol…message received, loud and clear!
😉

Denise Alejandro Santoro 12 months ago

Honestly, the only parenting book I ever read was “Confessions of a Slacker Mom”.

Ann Joyce 12 months ago

People are in NO WAY interested in doing your dishes.

Theresa Phillips Scargill 12 months ago

That was great. Really made me laugh and also remember when it was me going through it

Isabel Guerra 12 months ago

After a night of walking and shushing and crying and feeding and burping. I needed this post. :-)

Amy Thalman Reese 12 months ago

The first rule of fight club, don’t talk about fight club!

Cynthia Merriott 12 months ago

I love this page ❤

Hannah Fabiani 12 months ago

Thank you for this :*}

Jennifer Diane 12 months ago

Love!

Tracy Deming 12 months ago

NEVER listen to other moms compare their baby to yours. EVER !!

Keeva Williams 12 months ago

Speaking of clothes. Don’t buy so many clothes. A friend of my sister has a daughter the same age my daughter was in the same season she thinks she hits the jackpot every time I bring her a box of clothes. I have learned though. She now recycles the same 5 dresses the same 10 shirts and so on. No more Mariah Carey kiddie closet. LOL! They grow too fast to spend so much on clothes. I now have a budget of $350 when she grows. You don’t wanna know what it was before.

Charlotte Preci 12 months ago

“The days are long, but the years are short”. Truth.

Nicole McKinley 12 months ago

Love this!!!

R. Sahsi 12 months ago

The correct medical saying is “See one, do one, teach one.”

Jamaican Bacon 12 months ago

Too true.

Catherine Lavallee 12 months ago

Best thing I ever did was stop trying to do things by the book and just follow my instincts.