Candy Coated Baby Crap!

A few days ago I was contacted via email by one of my dearest Blog followers about an idea for a post.  The email reads as follows…

“…Whenever I go through a new parenting experience that I feel like I

should have been prepared for, I think back to what my Been-There-Done-That friends told me about the experience and I feel completely screwed! What I mean is they sugar-coated EVERYTHING.... like "Get all the sleep you can before baby comes..." but never did anyone tell me honestly how tired and horrible I would feel on 3 hours of sleep. What I would have liked to hear was "It's going to suck, you are going to be perpetually tired for the next 3 years, so get used to it and you CAN function off 3 hours of sleep, but it will be hell".  “….I'd love to hear from you and comments from others what sugar-coated things people told you while you were pregnant and now that you are in the thick of being a new parent what you wish they would have honestly told you. Kind of like a top 10 list or something.”

Here is my Top 10 list of Sugar Coated Baby advice I received while I was pregnant, and the real meaning behind it.

  1. “Don’t worry, you get amnesia after you deliver. You won’t remember a thing about your pregnancy!”  Really means, “You black it out.” Pregnancy, labor and delivery are so traumatizing you try like hell to black it out so you can attempt to do it all over again to give your child a sibling!

  1. “Sleep Now!” Means “Sleep Seldom” You will sleep for no more than 3 hours at a time for the first 6-8 weeks, then if you are lucky you will get four hour stretches until 6 months, and then who knows, teething, sleep training, weather, poor naps...  The Good news, you think you will loose you mind, but you won’t!

  1.  “Nothing tests a relationship like a baby.” Means,  “Your relationship is screwed for the first 6 months to 2 years once the baby arrives.” Nothing tests the strength of a relationship like high levels of fear, anxiety and insane sleep deprivation. You will argue, bicker, plot painful deaths on each other, throw the divorce word around like a football and then cry together when the baby finally falls asleep.

  1. “Motherhood is so rewarding!” means “Motherhood if so full of tests that when you pass one you should get an award!” You have no clue what you are doing at first.  It’s scary and full of challenges.  Your mother’s instinct will help, but you will still have obstacles and challenges that will boggle the most genius of minds.  You will never get an award so learn to live off of your own praise.

  1. “Breastfeeding is so good for your baby” really means, “Breastfeeding is super hard and painful at first. It is so good for you baby that it doesn’t matter how much it sucks for you.”

  1. “Baby wearing is so wonderful and convenient.  Really means, “If you want to get anything done, strap that baby to your body!” Get one of those baby-wearing contraptions because your back and ass will break from the constant picking up and putting down and carrying involved with a fussy baby that is only happy when he’s being held. 

  1. “Make time for yourself everyday.” Really means, “You will be so covered in vomit and baby goo/poo that you will need to shower everyday.” You have to shower and put on clean clothes every day. Just because you can’t see the throw up all down your back doesn’t mean it’s not there, and just because your hair is in a ponytail, it doesn’t mean it’s ok to be rock hard from the coating of spit up.

  1. “Savor each minute because it goes so fast!” really means, “Time does not slow down so your mind can catch up to your child’s constant growth.” Thanks the extreme exhaustion and overall constant work involved with having a baby, minutes become hours, that become days, that become weeks that become months of blurry hazy confusion. Then surprise your baby is six months old already!

  1. “Join a mothers Group” really means, “All of your friends without children will fall off the face of the earth so you will need to make some new friends.”  Even the friends with children are hard to catch up with now that both of you have child filled days.

  1. “You are going to be a wonderful mother.” Really means, “Just wait, you are going to think you are awful and doing all of the wrong things! Luckily babies are resilient and will overcome your crazy ideas and methods, while teaching you how to be a wonderful mother.”   I don’t think you stop thinking you suck for long periods at a time, because once you think you have it figured out, boom the baby rolls off the couch!

A good friends list of things she wishes someone would have told her.... she is a mother of a 6 year old and a 9 month old.

1.Being a mom is not easy.

2.Babies don't sleep through the night until they are 2.

3.How much having kids would test the strength of my marriage, or how friends who don't have kids fall off the face of the earth.

4.Don't buy baby clothes out of season for the next year, because your child won't fit into the size he is supposed to until he turns two.  Both babies wear/wore clothes way outside their age range.  Gavin's 12 month onesies are getting a bit small.
5.How hard it is to take a child's paci away.
6.That you have to take the baby to the doctor every couple months and endure shot after shot and that the doctor only works Tuesday through Thursday right in the middle of my work day.
7.That some kids are scared to poop on the toilet and that you might have to hold them down and force them to do it just to get them into big kid underwear...AND...when you get them into big kid underwear, they still have to wear a pull up at night.

What's your list or candy coated crap baby advice that left you annoyed? Visit Top Mommy Blogs To Vote For Me! No sign up. Just click the pic and come right back!

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit AprilMcCormick.com


Unknown said...

Hahaha, that amnesia one is SO TRUE! Every time I start to think how nice it would be to have a huge family, I get flashbacks lol.
One I learnt was 'the kilos just melt away with your first' really means you'll be so stressed out worrying about your baby that you won't have the time or energy to eat so your body just goes all saggy and jiggly!
A straight out lie is 'it gets easier'. It doesn't get easier, new worries just crowd out the old ones! Panicking about if baby is warm 25 times a night is clouded over with worrying if baby has rolled themselves under the covers, or had a nappy explosion that they're playing in.
'Dress comfortably' really means something you're not likely to fall out of/over, and that hides baby vomit stains.
'Breastfeeding is a challenge, but so worth it' Hmmph, I'm still pissy at the people that told me this one lol. For me, it really meant 'breastfeeding will be excruciating, literally rip your nipple off and leave your baby very sick, but it's easier than getting lectures from midwives and random do-gooders at the mall.'
'Neutral colours look so good in babies rooms' really means browns are great for hiding pee and poop stains'. :-D
Ahhhhh, how the memories flow...

Unknown said...

The best of them all... 'when baby sh*ts on you, pees in your face or vomits down your bra, it doesn't matter because they're your baby, so it's kinda sweet'. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. I have worn baby crap as a nail polish, hand cream, lip gloss (not my finest moment, I'll admit) and I have been peed on more times than I can count, and I tell ya now, it is NOT cute! I still do an oh-so-glamorous gaggy face when confronted with a nasty nappy load or find a smudge of baby by-product somewhere that it shouldn't be.
Okay, sorry, couldn't leave that one out! :-D

Fancy Pants said...

1. Sleep deprivation, I believe my mum warned me of this bit but never told me I would feel like I have had derby weekend for close to 4 months now, how did I ever party so damn hard and still not feel this tired?

2. Mood swings, NO ONE told me about the rapid decent of hormones and the following mood swings which follow, even 4 months out I am still going through this.

3. Post partum depression. They should really tell you about this before you deliver instead of making you take that survey when you are euphoric from pain meds and pushing 8 pounds out of your yahoo. AND they should warn your partner of this as well so when they come home from work and you are a mess and crying your eyes out acting crazy while the baby screams they will understand what the hell is going on.

4. Your whole world view shifts, everything becomes a pre cursor to your child. You constantly are thinking of your childs future, it will consume you.

5. The 5000 diaper rule, my BIL told me about this after I had been through about 250 diapers, apparently when you make it to 5000 the battle is halfway done! I'm looking forward to this and so is my bank account.

6. You can never have enough diaper wipes, some changes will require 4 of these, if you need more I suggest holding them under the faucet, much faster and water is much cheaper than a wipe!

7. Your house will end up looking like a daycare, toys, baby stations, you will decorate now for your child, forget about your home looking like a pottery barn advert.

8. Shaving your legs is a major accomplishment and for the first month just showering and brushing your teeth is a miracle if done daily!

9. Childless friends will be scared to hold your baby, the fear of dropping them, making them cry, etc is somehow instilled in them. Don't take it personal, by month 3 you will be shoving that baby in their arms not giving them a chance to say no.

10. Your arms will get a daily workout, along with your back, prepare to wrestle with the child daily after month 3.

11. All of a sudden you are judge and jury to every other parent in the world, you are now fully in the club and somehow this makes it acceptable to you to tell your partner how bad or good every other parent is.

12. You swore you would never let the child watch tv in their first months of life but as you realized you can't watch it either this quickly goes by the wayside. Baby now is amused and entertained by the flashy screen and for 15 minutes you get to zone out and live in tv land.

13. Baby's grow incredibly fast, all those awesome cute outfits you got might be used 3 times in some instances, usually for about an hour because the baby has either spit all over them or had a blow out.

14. You will be doing laundry at least once a day, you will become so efficient at it you will wonder why you could never find anything clean in college.

15. You will never just make a quick run to the store or run inside to pay for your gas again. In fact you will methodically plan out shopping trips tailored to baby's schedule.

16. Throw the birthing books and child rearing books out the window. They will do nothing but create more anxiety and tension for you.

17. Take a damn nap, TAKE A DAMN NAP, DO NOT get up when baby is asleep and try to catch up on housework or anything else. Get over the fact that your house is a mess, refer back to MY HOME NOW LOOKS LIKE A DAYCARE and TAKE A DAMN NAP.

I'm sure I could think of lots more but my sleep deprived mind needs a rest!

Alissa said...

I love this post!! Thank you for telling it how it is... When I was pregnant I had a friend that would constantly tell me: "You won't regret it"... ummm... What is that supposed to mean? Like I could undo everything if I suddenly decided I did regret it. The other thing people would say with regards to hearing screaming or crying babies in public; "You won't mind the screaming and crying when it's your own"... Yes, yes I do mind it when it's my own child whether it's in public or at home. Where do people come up with this stuff? :)

foodpixie said...

I chided all the women in my life while I was pregnant for not telling me how awful pregnancy was. My sister claims she did, but I probably either wasn't listening, or I thought mine won't be so bad. WRONG!

While I was pregnant I took the advice from other new mothers of not listening to advice. It all went in one ear and out the other. But I do recall hearing most of this candy coated baby crap.

The big "truths" for me would definitely have to be:

Sleep when the baby sleeps: Are these people out of their minds? I can't just turn it on and off like some sleep wizard. Naps generally make me feel worse anyway. And there are some things I most certainly needed to get done while the baby sleeps like bottle wash, or feeding myself.

Take time for yourself: This is almost impossible. The first few months I was lucky to get enough time to shower, cook for myself and eat, and do all the paperwork for the new baby and the house. But most of the time (and this is still true), when I do get a few minutes (like when baby sleeps), the time I take for myself involves me vegging out on the sofa in front of the t.v. or laptop, or behind a book. I wouldn't call it quality time, just a 10-15 minute break.

Motherhood is a full time job: No, it's an all-the-time, high stress job. It never stops and it's never going to end. It is for life. There are no breaks or vacations and at times the work is mind numbing, isolating, and full of worry. Don't get me wrong, it is also the most rewarding job. But this tidbit really can't be emphasized enough to anyone thinking of having a baby.

Jessi said...

I would have to say that the biggest thing I wish that I was told, and this does not apply to everyone, is that it might take some time to bond with your baby. I thought and expected that the mother/child bond would be instantaneous and overwhelming. That was not the case with me. It took me a good 5 or 6 weeks before I really felt that love and protection for my daughter. I felt SO guilty about it, too. I remember crying at my doctor's appointment and telling her that I must be such a bad mother because I didn't feel much of a connection with my baby. She reassured me that it was completely normal and that most women feel that way even with subsequent children. That was news to me! I felt like shit for weeks for not feeling instant love toward her. I thought it was going to have a detrimental effect on her and the guilt was awful. Come to find out, it's normal to not instantly connect with your baby. It's normal to wish that you had your old life back. It's normal to wish it were just you and your husband again. I had no idea! I also found out that if you have a difficult delivery, as I did, that these feelings of disconnect can be much more severe and take longer to get over.

The other thing that I wish someone would have told me is that my feet and ankles would swell to EIGHT TIMES their normal size a few days after giving birth. I was clueless so when I woke up the morning after coming home from the hospital and could harldy move, I just sat in the recliner and sobbed. I felt so horrible! I figured postpartum swelling would have set in during my hospital stay, if I were going to get it, so I was completely unprepared when it set in 4 days after my delivery.

And the last, and most TMI, thing I wish I would have known is that the post-labor constipation and subsequent BM would be absolutely AWFUL! Maybe some women didn't get it as bad as I did but I will prepare any of my pregnant friends that it's a real possibility and that stool softeners may do nothing. Be prepared with an at home enema in my opinion.

Unknown said...

Bahahahaha 'you won't regret it' sounds like a car salesman trying to get you to buy outside your budget. If only babies were that easy, then you could get the extended warranty and instruction manual too! :)

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Love it!! Candy coated crapola!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

LMAO!! I dry heaved over the smell of Oliver's poop this morning!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

OUTSTANDING!!!! We are living parallel postpartum lives. Incredibly well put!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Oliver lost it in Macy's today. I minded very much. I begged and pleaded with a 6 month old baby. Definitely not my finest hour in parenting. I regretted it.

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

If only I could turn sleep on and off. And damn right motherhood is way more than a full time job'

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

Jessi. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you so much. What you have just said is the truth. The realist most ugly truth of postpartum life. You have given me the courage I need to write the ugly truth post. God bless you. Xx

britmouth said...

Thanks for your post!! All of it is so true!! No one even bothered to tell me how difficult an painful my own recovery would be, nevermind candy coating it!! It was insanely hard and extremely painful to even move around for the first couple of weeks!! Oh & you can't rest in bed to recover because there is a crying baby that needs all your attention first. Oh and having every friend and family member visit in the first two weeks just makes adjusting to home life that much harder, especially when still learning to breastfeed - awkward!

Unknown said...

Oh what a group of fantastic lists!!!

Jessi said...

Honestly, April, you have a lot of followers that will back you up and support you in your quest for telling it like it is. Remember how many people on your pregnant website agreed with the how shitty they felt while being pregnant? Same goes with this website. If you didn't love your baby, it would have been and still would be very evident. There's a huge difference between bitching about something and hating your child. I dislike mine sometimes but I love and adore her more than anything in this world! We got your back, girl!

FirstTimeMomandDad.com said...

I was so annoyed when I would tell friends and family I needed to nurse Oliver, and they would just stare at me like, Go Ahead... Hell no I am not whipping the tit out in fronth of you!