Well, you did it. You had the sex-a-thon or maybe you didn’t. You tried to track your ovulation or maybe you were trying to avoid fertilizing that egg. Either way, you’ve decided to become a mother.
You’ve endured (or loved) all the changes that happen to your body. You’ve bitched and moaned about the discomforts, all the while anticipating all the first moments of the pregnancy: The end of nausea. The first kicks. The first contractions. You nervously await the first signs of labour, eating one last pint of Ben and Jerry’s while you still feel good about indulging that way.
Before the birth, we’re so worried for the process of it. We think we can imagine it. We think we know exactly how it should go. We think we’re in charge of something.
Let this be your first parenting lesson.
You are not in charge of shit. Not ever again.
To all of you first time moms out there, let me be the voice of reason. Let me help you.
Your little Bub is gonna come out one way or another. And from that moment on, the love you have for this tiny little life that you’ve created and grown inside of you will make you crazy. Crazy because you want to get it right. From the time they come out and can’t even hold their own head up, you want to make sure that you do it all the right way and are terrified of fucking them up.
For some people, the first few weeks are kinda traumatizing. They were for me. Because all of a sudden you a different person. A better person. Selfless. And you need time to adjust to that. Your child makes you better that you were before. It’s like some mom gene gets turned on and mutates your DNA into something completely different. Or in my case, something more human.
But seriously, in this day of the internet and where every hack out there can write a book flaunting their “expertise” (I mean, you’re reading the shit that comes out of my brain), you try to get as much information as possible so you can get it right.
And then there’s all the people you know telling you about Ferber, or Cry-it-out, or breastfeeding, or co-sleeping, or silicon versus latex nipples, and soothers being bad for the teeth (what teeth?) and HOLY SHIT. No matter what you do, you’re kid will be fucked. Because the internet is a motherfucker who cannot make up his mind ever. Someone always knows better.
Here’s the thing. And I sincerely hope that this helps you figure out your own way.
Sure. Read some books. Do a little research about what options are out there. Spend time with other moms and ask what worked for them. I can guarantee you will get a million different answers. The idea is to get some anecdotal advice from those who have been there and experiment with it, tweaking it to suit your own rhythm. Your love for your child will steer you in the right direction every time. Because there is nothing more sincere than a mother’s love. Nothing.
And here are the rules:
1. If it’s working, do it.
2. If it’s not working, stop it.
3. If you’re not sure whether it’s working: If the baby is not crying, and you are not crying, it’s working.
All other rules that say “you should” or “expect” or “you must” are bullshit. Turn off the internet, and listen to yourself. You’ve got this, Momma.